"Hello, Internet. Welcome to Game Theory."
is a comedy web series created by Matthew Patrick, where he engages in Wild Mass Guessing
by analyzing video games to provide answers on a wide variety of questions, from scientifically determining if something in a video game could be achieved in real life (example: could someone survive being headshot a la Fallout: New Vegas
?) to tackling some of gaming's biggest questions (example: what is the Pyro's
gender?) to some game changing accusations. (example: should Dr. Light
be considered a villain?) The show is accompanied by pictures and diagrams, which often aid with what he is saying, or they are just there for visual puns
. There are a lot of puns.
On rare occasions, MatPat himself goes on camera to test the episode's topic in real life, although it happens less frequently currently.
On June 2nd, 2015, MatPat created another channel named The Film Theorists
which has a Spin-Off
to Game Theory, which is called Film Theory. It tackles theories on not only the subject of film, but television shows as well. Other related shows on the channel include Did You Know Movies (a spin-off of Did You Know Gaming?) and Frame By Frame (which examines film techniques used by famous directors).
On September 14, 2015, MatPat created yet another channel, GTLive
, which posts live streams of Matt and Stephanie playing video games
Game Theory is a part of the Game Theorists, a group of game-based shows that analyze video games for a certain reason. See "Game Exchange" and "Digressing And Sidequesting". Not to be confused with the fanfic of the same name.
Nor should it be confused with the study of strategic decision making
Tropes found in Game Theory:
- Alternative Character Interpretation: .
- Princess Peach is actually paying Bowser to kidnap her.
- In a two-part episode, he described Mario as an animal abuser, misogynist, sadist and mass murderer.
- He theorizes that The Angry Video Game Nerd has a serious mental conditon.
- In his Toad's Deadly Secret episode, he proposes that Peach is the true Big Bad of the Mario franchise, using her parasitic followers to run the goombas out of their native homeland, with Bowser as the tragic, reluctant Big Good just trying to combat a parasitic threat.
- Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2 already got a decent amount from fans, but Matt also theorizes that Jack actually has borderline personality disorder and gives examples meeting 7 of the 9 criteria.
- Bowser's habit of kidnapping Peach is actually an attempt to give his son and seven adopted children the complete family Bowser wishes he'd had growing up.
- In his analysis of Until Dawn, he comes to the conclusion that Josh has been experiencing poor mental health care, and, based off his symptoms, should be treated for schizophrenia.
- Animation Lead Time:
- The likely reason why he posted his Five Nights at Freddy's video (theorizing that Mike Schmidt is the murderer, that the evil animatronics don't exist, and that the entire game is his guilt-ridden nightmares in his final days on death row) two days after the trailer and Steam greenlight information for the sequel rendered it impossible. He seems to have since quietly abandoned the theory entirely and makes no mention of it at all in his Five Nights at Freddy's 2 video.
- It happened again with the same franchise when Part One of what was supposed to be a unified, loose-ends-tied-up theory for the trilogy went up 24 hours before the creator confirmed Five Nights at Freddy's 4.
- Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Touched upon his War Thunder Tanks video when he finally reveals a real life attribute that is not accurately represented in the game (that being the very significant rates at which the real tanks break down just from locomotion without even seeing combat), only to then state that the developers did spend some time deliberating as to whether or not they should add that trait into the game and ultimately decided that having your tank cripplingly malfunction at random was not fun.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Downplayed, lampshaded, and later subverted here.
"The Binding of Isaac
. Man, this game is depressing, disturbing, dark, even some adjectives that don't start with D, like uh… baffling, obtuse, just plain weird."
- All Just a Dream: One of his final FNAF theories suggests that the entire tetralogy is the coma-induced nightmares of the fourth game's protagonist.
- Angrish: Says this out during the Humans are Pokemon theory, during his reaction to the Wheel of Gaming's flipper lands on "Pokemon" the third time.
- Armor Is Useless: In the Minecraft episode, diamond armor turns out be Awesome, but Impractical. Sure, it looks awesome, but it would weigh about 1100 lbs (over 500 kilograms)… and because of the fact that it would be very easy to cut the armor by slicing it along 90–degree planes relative to the surface of the armor, due to the diamond's cleavages (that all crystals also have) making it easier to slice through the hard armor, you would risk wasting a few billion dollars when hit with a sword.
- Ass Shove: The line "Let's diagnose" in the AVGN episode is accompanied by a picture of the host giving the Nerd a prostate exam.
- Author Tract: The Wii U-centric theories are this regarding MatPat's opinions on the console, although a more obvious example would be the sociopathic Mario theory.
- Berserk Button:
- YouTuber "The JWittz", having done 375 videos about Pokémon at the time, was furious when MatPat complained to him about having to do more than six Pokemon videos.
JWittz: Six? SIX? Try three-hundred and seventy-five! Video after video, week after week. Creepy Pokémon, cool Pokémon, sexy Pokémon, weak Pokémon. Pokémon games, Pokémon manga, Pokémon CARDS. Blue, red, white, black, X & Y? PURPLE!? I can't talk without saying Pokémon puns anymore!
- Big Bad Friend: The theory posted that Phone Guy is the Golden Freddy Murderer after seeing Five Nights at Freddy's 2. Despite Five Nights at Freddy's 3 supposedly refuting that theory, he instead managed to solidify his theory with it, though the "Golden Freddy" part is disproven.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Invoked. MatPat calls Scott Cawthon out on making the key-pad tiles in Five Nights at Freddy's 3.
: Scott, seriously? Seriously, Scott?
Oh look! Here's a wall.
Let me just dial in my phone number.
Beep boop boop beep boop boop! What?! When did we jump from a point-and-click horror game to magical fantasy? This thing is like Platform 9 and 3/4, I expected Harry effin' Potter
to Apparate into Pirate's Cove or something.
- Big "NO!": Suffers one in the Stinger for the second half of the part two of his FNAF 3 video when he learns how Five Nights at Freddy's 4 was announced just a day after posting the first part of the video.
- Boom, Headshot: There's a scientific look into how the Courier survived their headshot. Long answer: Yes, but only under certain conditions and the Courier likely wouldn't be the same afterwards. Short answer: Doesn't matter, because Benny actually fired twice, with the second aimed at the temple, aka the squishiest, most vulnerable part of the head.
- Butt Monkey: Ronnie of Digressing and Sidequesting is frequently mocked in Game Theory videos and end slates.
- Call Back: The Mass Effect 2 episode connected back to the Modern War Crimes video.
- The episode on Fallout: New Vegas (AKA the Boom, Headshot video) and specifically the tale of Phineas Gage was brought back to the limelight in the episode on Five Nights At Freddy's 4.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Happens in the "Surviving the Assassin's Creed Leap of Faith" Episode after disproving its chance of survival. Which also somehow involves the AC world's gravity being greater than ours.
MatPat: Leap of faith? Hah! They wish they had the chance! More like tumble of… fatigue. I don't know, I can't come up with any good punchlines this week.
- Catchphrase Interruptus:
- Critical Research Failure: MatPat claims that Scott Cawthon did not do proper research when creating Five Nights at Freddy's 4 in regards to frontal lobe damage and it's effects on dreams specifically nightmares.note
- Crossover: There are a number of guests that appear in various episodes.
- Damned by Faint Praise: MatPat was extremely pleased to appear in YouTube's 2015 rewind for "a glorious 22 frames, 0.92 seconds".
- Dead All Along:
- The center of the Link is Dead episode.
- Rosalina Unmasked suggests this of Princess Peach, or at least an alternate version of her as well.
- Deus ex Machina: Repeatedly lampshaded in the Composite Superman episode.
- Drunk on Milk: Well, more like "addicted to milk", in the Candy Crush Saga episode he claims to have an addiction to Diet Coke.
- Early Installment Weirdness: MatPat says outright that the show was inspired by Extra Credits, and before he found his own voice, artifacts of that style can be seen in the presentation.
- Epileptic Trees: The whole purpose of his theories.
- Stock Epileptic Trees: Many of his theories are some of these:
- Link being in purgatory.
- Mario being the villain.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: In many theories, MatPat uses obvious or supposed symbolism as evidence.
- Expy: The speculative theory on Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is that the game's recurring enemy The Blighters, are modeled after various real world London gangs of the time such as the Elephant and Castle Mob and Forty Elephants Gang.
- Failed a Spot Check: One episode of Film Theory justifies this in The Walking Dead by showing that spending a large amount of time shooting loud guns in places with echoes (which the characters do constantly) would result in them starting to lose their hearing, allowing Walkers to constantly sneak up on them.
- Fake Boobs: There is an entire episode about which video game characters have fake breasts and which ones have natural breasts.
- Fake-Out Opening: The satire before the FNAF video.
- Fetish Fuel: When The JWittz rants about all the different types of Pokémon he's made videos about, he mentions "Sexy Pokemon". MatPat promptly types the phrase into Google.
- Freudian Excuse: Part of the "Bowser's Broken Home" theory posts that Bowser is villainous because he grew up an orphan, using real world studies regarding criminals with parentless upbringing.
- Freudian Slip: Matt sure has a hard time saying "Kremcroc."
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: MatPat actually apologizes for saying the word "poop" in one episode.
- Hive Mind: The Zerg episode focuses on the functions of a hive mind, or swarm intelligence, and goes on to theorize that humans operate on the same mentality as the Zerg thanks to the Internet.
- Hostile Show Takeover: Subverted. While PeanutButterGamer interrupts an episode about Majora's Mask (MatPat blames a YouTube glitch), it's by no means hostile, or even intentionalnote on PBG's part.
- In fact, the only real moments of hostility (if you can call it that) are when PBG jumps the gun and trys to say "A Game Theory!" before the proper point.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: At the beginning of the boobs episode, he sings a song of these to the tune of Offenbach's "Orpheus In The Underworld Overture".note
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: MatPat has a cat named Skips, though he also nicknames it CatPat in the livestream.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: If you saw the thumbnail for the second part of the Rosalina Unmasked theory before watching the first, then Princess Peach being Dead All Along won't come as much of a surprise to you.
- Nothing Is Scarier: MatPat acts terrified in the satirical beginning of the Five Nights at Freddy's episode, but once he actually gets jump-scared, he stops being scared of it in the slightest. Until Golden Freddy shows up, at least.
- Magic Feather: One of the Zelda episodes focused on the various strength and health items, and then goes on to explain the Placebo Effect.
- Massively Multiplayer Crossover:
- Messianic Archetype: Discussed in Chrono Trigger episode, where MatPat claims that the whole game is actually a retelling of the Bible.
- Metaphor is My Middle Name: In his first FNAF video:
Hello, internet! Welcome to Game Theory, where fear is our middle name. Matthew Fear Patrick! It's a very strange name.
- Monty Hall Problem: Half of "Monty Hall, Plinko, and Probability" concerns this and how by switching your door, you're 2/3rds more likely to win.
- Mood Whiplash:
- The Five Nights at Freddy's episode. Who expected him to bring up a real life murder incident that took place at a Chuck E. Cheese?
- At the end of the 2nd part of the Watch_Dogs episode, where he ends on a dark note about how vulnerable we are to hackers, so much so that they could kill people… immediately follows it up with a light-hearted advert about a shaving website.
- Overly Long Gag: In an episode discussing whether Pokémon supports animal abuse, the screen stops on a shot of a cricket match. While MatPat is talking, the subtitles comment that he's never stayed on one shot so long before. They then go off on a random tangent for about a minute, before reminding you that MatPat is still talking in the background and you should probably rewind to hear what he said.
- Paranoia Gambit: Claims in a FNAF video that he's not going to use any more Jump Scares, before invoking the trope.
- Path of Inspiration : One episode was dedicated to examining the religion-themed antagonists from the Final Fantasy games.
- Poe's Law: While they tried to defy this with the opening of the Five Nights at Freddy's episode, (where MatPat deliberately made it blatantly obvious that he was faking it), some people who failed to sit through the first two minutes apparently believed it.
Rule #13: Make sure all obvious satire in a video comes with a large red label on screen that says "OBVIOUS SATIRE." *cough* first two minutes *cough*
- Reality Ensues: The focus of some episodes is to determine if some concepts, like a flying city, diamond armor, or the Morph Ball are actually feasible.
- The Reveal: Subverted. Near the end of the two-parter concerning Rosalina, Matt thinks a little more and starts to think that she isn't Peach and Mario's daughter, but Peach and Luigi's… before dismissing it. Though his latest Mario Timeline episode seems to imply he accepts this theory.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Performed whenever the Wheel of Gaming is involved.
MatPat Wheel of Gaming, spin around, give a franchise that is profound.
- Running Gag: MatPat is really fond of them.
- Ever since the episode where it was the main topic, MatPat has frequently used his claim that "Wario is 10 feet tall" to highlight inaccuracies in his videos, and also for general Self-Deprecation.
- He frequently expresses his goal of beating PewDiePie in subscribers.
- As of his theory on Video Game Movies, he also likes to randomly throw a fez on characters and graphics.
- Though, supposedly, this is done not as a random joke, but for copyright reasons - by doing this to the images, he avoids any potential lawsuits that might occur from using them in unaltered form.
- His fear of, out of all the scary things in there, the fan in his Five Nights at Freddy's theories. Moreso when it's now purple in the fourth game.
- And before finally doing it, mentioning the dating sim episode.
- Rule of Sexy: Mentions the controversy about Smite and it's original character model for Kali (and other characters) being overly sexualised to draw the attention of males.
- Justified, as MatPat goes on to argue, in that most mythological art of female goddesses are practically half-naked. Kali's already been showing her boobs since BC times, so Smite isn't really giving us anything we couldn't have seen after a quick search on the internet.
- Rule of Three: During his Humans are Pokemon theory:
MatPat: Wheel of Gaming, spin around, to give me a franchise that is profound.
MatPat: Huh. Uh, sorry, no, we've done more than enough Pokemon episodes, thank you very much. Let's try this again. Wheel of Gaming, Spin, Spin, Spun, land on a series that's super fun.
(Wheel of Gaming lands on Pokemon again)
MatPat: Ha Ha, very funny, Wheel of Gaming. Wheel of Gaming, I'm getting weary, give me a game to do a theory.
(Wheel of Gaming lands on Pokemon the third time)
MatPat: Hello, Internet, welcome to Game Theory, hailed by critics as "Fast edits with mildly impressive Photoshopping".
- He's repeatedly referenced his Critical Research Failure in evaluating Wario's fartillery, in which he says that Wario is ten feet tall.
- Ronnie while talking during Digressing and Sidequesting has a Greek Chorus calling out most of the flaws in what he says.
- Game Theory's 2015 rewind was just a montage of MatPat saying "FNAF", "Freddy", "Scott", and "Purple Guy".
- Shout-Out: In the "What gender is the Pyro?" video, MatPat, after "ending" the video about halfway through, says that his end-cards are long, but he's no Yuriofwind.
- Shown Their Work: The whole point of the show.
- Signing Off Catchphrase:
- "But hey! That's just a theory: A Game Theory! Thanks for watching." He also sometimes uses variations of this when mentioning other theories like "string theory", "scientific theory", "crime theories", and so on.
- For Film Theory, this was changed to "But hey! That's just a theory: A Film Theory! Aaaaaaand, cut!"
- When doing two-parters, he ends with "In the meantime, that's just a theory!"
- Soft Water: Defied in "Surviving the Assassin's Creed Leap of Faith", where he notes that the surface tension of water makes hitting it at high speeds just as bad as hitting concrete, and hay would actually break the assassin's fall better.
- Stylistic Suck: The opening of his video on Five Nights at Freddy's plays out like a really bad Let's Play.
*whispering quickly* I am so scared right now, I am so scared, can't you tell how scared I am right now?
- Subverted Catchphrase:
- Sympathy for the Devil: Matt's thoughts about Josh from Until Dawn.
- Take That: The AVGN episode has one towards The Irate Gamer.
- Take This Job and Shove It: MatPat's reaction to the wheel of gaming insisting he make a seventh video about Pokémon.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: One of the videos shows that the games that sell best are usually not too different from the ones we've already tried, and that the games praised for being "innovative" rarely sell as well.
- This Is Gonna Suck: From the beginning of "Is Link dead in Majora's Mask?" episode:
MatPat: Wheel of Gaming, turn, turn, turn, tell me the fanbase I should burn…
MatPat: Oh geez…
- Trademark Favorite Food: MatPat loves Diet Coke.
- Two First Names: The host of the show, Matthew Patrick.
- Unfortunate Implications: Invoked when MatPat made an episode on how many LGBT characters are portrayed; as villains, mental unstable, inhuman.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: According to the "Who is Mega Man's TRUE villain?" theory, due to Dr. Light's inability to program roboethics, Dr. Wily managed to manipulate the robots into serving him, by convincing them that by the time they have finished their work, they would be scrapped, and thus, joining him in his quest for world domination is the only way to survive, resulting in the events of the original Mega Man series.
- Up to Eleven: If you thought Aerith's death wasn't tragic enough, MatPat's Game Theory manages to make it much worse.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Half of the "Five Nights at Freddy's" episode posits that the game is based off of a real life incident that took place at a Chuck E. Cheese on December 14th, 1993.
- Visual Pun: Multiple ones per episode too.
- Voice of the Legion: During the final episode of the Fran Bow livestream, when Mabuka, Queen of Darkness appears, Matt and Stephanie spontaneously decide to Speak in Unison. The effect is very unsettling.
- Who's on First?: MatPat deals with this at the start of his second Doctor Who episode, when someone calls to tell him that there's a TV marathon of famous fictional doctors, and says "No" when asked who's on first, because Doctor Who is on second (and Dr. No is on first).
But hey, that's just a theory! A Game Theory! Thanks for watching.