One of the core beliefs of Top Shelf Gaming is that people with power and influence should use it to help pave the way for others. Creator of The Game Theorists Matthew Patrick and nine other YouTube personalities met with Pope Francis yesterday in Vatican City to discuss how they could use their prominent, albeit digital, social status to champion peace in a world full of hate.
“My channels, The Film Theorists and Game Theorists, we educate our viewers about math, science, and history by talking about movies, video games, and television,” Patrick opens in an attempt to qualify forms of media he’s built his career around as more than mindless entertainment. “Probably one of the hardest things, I assume, about being Pope is having to take a stance on controversial topics…Do you have any advice for people who are dealing with having to take a stand to fight for what’s right on a regular basis in their everyday lives?”
“I am not always successful. Sometimes I fail and I do not succeed in neutralizing the anger that an opinion or speech I give can produce so I always say it is my fault. I always say that it’s my fault. Something failed in my system and I think that is healthy,” Pope Francis said to Patrick through a translator. “You have to hold your hand out to dialogue and to build bridges. In these cases where there are several opinions, what really helps me is to listen. To hear what the positions of others are. If my position is not in tune with that we try to persuade.”
The world is watching. No longer can our leaders deny the influence that gaming and social media have on the world. It is incredible that the Vatican, often criticized for being stuck in the past, mobilized a group of YouTube stars to combat major social issues in a more direct way through their own platforms in order to reach people where they already are.
I met Mat Pat last year after he spoke on a panel with several other popular video game YouTube channel hosts. I do not think there could have been a better person to represent the YouTube video game community. Our interactions, though brief, were genuine and insightful and he is doing a great job in uniting people through his videos and willingness to help others.
Watch a snippet of the full video interview here and join 6.3 million other fans by subscribing to Mat Pat’s YouTube channel to stay tuned for upcoming videos detailing what he learned from meeting the Pope.