We play games so you don't have to.
Let's Play is a relatively recent revival of an old concept, which became mainstream (for a certain value of mainstream) due to the Something Awful forums, and has since branched out to independent players on YouTube as well as other forums. Essentially, it's a screenshot or video Walkthrough with entertaining commentary; The goal generally isn't to Speed Run through it, but to show off how the player plays the game normally. Mistakes and multiple deaths are often left intact, for sake of humor, but better LPers will edit around un-funny screwups. The Let's Play Curse leads to a large number of mistakes, often of the hilarious variety because of the stupidity of the mistakes.
The tone and style will vary greatly with the nature of the game and those playing them. Some use screenshots and captions, whilst others use videos, or a mix of both. Some of those videos have voice commentary, and some use subtitles. And depending on the quality and style of the game, the LP may be in-character Fanfic of sort, or closer to a MST, the latter especially common if there's multiple commentators involved. And often they have some degree of fan input; the viewers may submit their own side material, vote on a certain course of action to take, or offer suggestions.
Emulation and heavy use of save-states is often involved (though the latter is commonly discouraged), as most of the consoles and games able to be emulated currently don't have a save or password feature. For the most part, cheating is discouraged, though doing boring parts (like grinding for levels in RPGs) "off-camera" is encouraged. On the other hand, some LPs embrace cheats and hacks as their gimmick to mix things up.
Computers love to attempt suicide by any means possible partway though. Sturgeon's Law is in effect, and many Let's Plays on forums won't last long if they're not gripping. (With some, of course, being Too Good to Last)
Let's Plays have become extremely popular in the mid-2010s, with YouTube stars like PewDiePie, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye and Game Grumps having subscription counts in the millions and receiving sponsorship opportunities. And with Twitch becoming a behemoth of a website and being bought by Amazon, YouTube launched YouTube Gaming on August 2015... which has been mocked in a sketch by Jimmy Kimmel. Fans were split between sending hate and insults to the sketch (which he then mocked on two seperate occasions) and pointing out that Jimmy Kimmel missed the point.
- The Let's Play Archive, featuring completed Something Awful LPs.
- The non-SA Let's Play Forum
- Let's Play Wikia (List of let's players)
- "Let's Play"-friendly developers Wiki (Mirror)
Please try to keep the entries in alphabetical order by game in each section.
- Recommendations from the LP Archive
- Other examples
- Specific Let's Players: See Category:Let's Players
- The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon LP, by Not Pigeon.
- He's currently put that on hiatus and had done an LP of Sonic Battle.
- On the plus side, he now has an ongoing LP [dead link] of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, which depicts Trielo and Atsuro as fully aware they're in a SMT game, and Yuzu as a completely oblivious Butt Monkey. Schedule Slip as always, but the writing makes up for it.
- In the same vein, the somewhat recent LP of Myth II, by FluffyTheHamster, is also an excellent read and is still currently on going.
- A recently started, and finished, LP of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone manages to be quite amusing despite being short (as it condenses the plot into the so-called important parts). It almost went incomplete due to the game being a glitchy mess, to everyone's apparent disappointment, but it managed to continue unimpeded anyway.