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The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

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The Legacy of Matthew Patrick

Matthew Patrick, a YouTube sensation famous for combining theoretical and scientific analysis with various aspects of pop culture, has recently decided to retire from content creation.
Matthew Patrick gives a presentation at Campus Party Brasil 2019. “MatPat” by campuspartybrasil is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

On January 9th, 2024, one of YouTube’s largest content creators, spanning nearly 40 million subscribers across four channels, announced his retirement from Internet content creation. Following this announcement, his audience mourned the loss of a beloved creator, honored the legacy that his channels left behind, and began to look forward to what the future held. 

Matthew Patrick, better known as MatPat, was the mastermind behind Game Theory, an iconic YouTube series which merged theory-crafting and science with video games. Eventually, he would expand to other aspects of pop culture, creating three other channels–The Film Theorists, The Food Theorists, and The Style Theorists. However, Matpat’s massive platform was derived from humble beginnings.

Matthew Robert Patrick was born on November 15, 1986, in Medina, Ohio. He was given the nickname “MatPat” when he was still in the sixth grade. According to Patrick himself in his 2013 “Draw My Life” video, the young MatPat grew up with a passion for video games.

“My first memories are of my Mario-themed bedroom, and of playing Castlevania, so video games have been a part of my life literally for as long as I can remember,” Patrick recalls.

However, Patrick also developed a strong interest for the performing arts, becoming involved in as many activities as he could.

“I sang in five choirs before Glee made it cool. I was both president and dance captain. I played viola in the Orchestra, and I performed in around six stage shows a year,” Patrick explained.

In addition to his love for video games and his involvement in numerous performance-based activities, Patrick enjoyed and excelled in academics.

“I loved school. I loved to learn, and I studied a lot, overloading on class periods, sacrificing lunch periods, so I could enroll in courses with names like, Creative Cooking, and Survival for Singles all just for fun!” Patrick recounted.

Patrick’s academic excellence would only continue after high school, graduating as valedictorian and scoring a 1600 on his SAT. Patrick attended Duke University, where he would go on to meet Stephanie Cordato, whom he would later get married to on May 19, 2012. Better known by his audience as Steph, she would go on to play a major role in Patrick’s YouTube career, featuring in numerous videos across all of his channels.

Unfortunately, after graduating from college and moving to New York, Patrick began to struggle to make ends meet.

“Even though I was constantly working, it didn’t change the fact that I was still a starving actor, and I quickly learned that for many reasons, theater wasn’t the life I thought it would be,” Patrick recalled.

However, by a stroke of luck, and desperation for a resume booster, Patrick created a show that would quickly become one of the most successful series on YouTube. Inspired by another web series known as “Extra Credits,” who had recently released an episode on “learning through gaming,” Patrick started Game Theory. 

“That gave me an idea–why didn’t someone do a show that fused education and games, that used game discussion as a means to teach?” Patrick recalled, “I was too poor for a camera and game capture stuff, so I just grabbed images from online and manipulated them using what default tools my computer had. My apartment was echo-y so I recorded in the closet.”

It was from these humble beginnings that Patrick would build his following. Fully embracing his position as the host-like MatPat, he began crafting some of the wackiest theories about gaming, shaking the Internet in more ways than one.

In his very first episode, “Game Theory: Is Chrono Trigger’s Time Travel Accurate,” MatPat compares the time traveling mechanic of the RPG series, Chrono Trigger, with the real-life theories surrounding the concept of time travel. Many staples of modern Game Theory are seen and can be traced back to this first fateful episode, including MatPat’s clear and concise explanation of both game mechanics and scientific theory, and of course, his iconic dad jokes.

“Now is not the time to touch on String Theory. We’ll save that for when we talk about ‘Kirby’s Epic Yarn.”

Following this first episode, MatPat’s audience would continue to grow, and his videos would only get wackier. Some of his most popular theories would revolve around the Super Mario Bros. franchise. These theories would have some very outlandish claims, ranging from how the series’ protagonist, Mario, was secretly a Communist to how he could be a sociopath. However, it was the shock value of these assertions that helped to popularize his videos. That, and his iconic catchphrase that he would use to finish every one of his videos.

“But hey, that’s just a theory–A GAME THEORY! Thanks for watching.”

By the tail end of 2013, Game Theory would succeed in guiding MatPat to one million subscribers. However, his big break would come in light of a new hit indie game.

On October 23, 2014, MatPat released an episode of Game Theory on Five Nights at Freddy’s (or FNAF), a horror-themed indie game released by developer Scott Cawthon. It was this franchise that would garner MatPat the first major wave of followers in his career. This first FNAF theory has gotten over 33 million views, and remains to this day, the most viewed episode of Game Theory. It should therefore be no surprise that out of the twenty most popular episodes of Game Theory, 17 are FNAF theories. 

Eventually, MatPat would expand his platform to other spheres of entertainment. On June 2nd, 2015, MatPat announced a new series known as Film Theory, which would focus on dissecting the science, lore, and other points of interest and speculation within films. On July 23rd, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, MatPat announced Food Theory, which took the same format as his other two series, only shifting the center of attention to the culinary field. Finally, on February 18, 2023, MatPat announced Style Theory, which gave him a foothold into the fashion sphere on YouTube.

Beyond his four channels, MatPat became a star not only in the YouTube community, but also among the greater sphere of content creation as a whole. Firstly, he was featured on many other creators’ channels, including the various tournaments hosted by MrBeast, who holds the second most subscribed YouTube channel on the platform. 

MatPat was also featured in the Streamy Awards, which cites itself as “the foremost recognition within the creator community, honoring excellence in a variety of content verticals and areas of expertise,” on multiple occasions, and even won awards numerous times. In 2016, he won in Gaming and Virtual Reality or 360° Video. In 2017, he won in Editing. In 2019, he once again won in Gaming, and in 2021, he won in Writing. The community respected him so much that in 2023 he was given the opportunity to host the Streamy Awards.

Additionally, MatPat has been often praised for his generous charity streams. Through these streams, he has donated millions of dollars to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization that actively works to lead “the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”  

Lastly, MatPat has even been able to land a few acting roles, the most prominent of which being his appearance in the recent Five Nights at Freddy’s film. 

By 2024, MatPat had amassed one of the largest followings of any content creator on YouTube, and was a well-respected figure in the larger community. However, on January 9th, he made a shocking announcement; MatPat was retiring from YouTube.

“Steph and I have known this video would be coming for the last three years…we didn’t know exactly when it would fall, but we knew it was gonna happen eventually… we knew that we couldn’t do this forever. We knew that, honestly, we didn’t want to do this forever,” he explained.

His retirement video was met with a mix of sorrow and hope amongst his community, for even though he would be stepping away from the channels, MatPat ensured his audience that they would continue running in good hands.

Matthew Patrick’s journey and legacy has been nothing short of remarkable, rising from a clever young man, struggling to find his footing in life, to one of the most renowned content creators on the massive platform that is YouTube.

But hey, that’s just a story–MatPat’s story. Thanks for reading.

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About the Contributor
Sunny Li
Sunny Li, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Sunny is a Senior at NASH who is writing for the Uproar for the second and final year. As one of three Editors-in-Chief, Sunny hopes to inspire the rest of the Uproar's staff to go outside the box with wacky, yet well-constructed works. Outside of writing for the Uproar, Sunny enjoys aiding, guiding, and competing for the Speech and Debate team as one of two event leaders for Interpretation.

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