Markiplier
The YouTuber's brand is synonymous with authenticity and raising money for charity. (Illustration by Andrew Moghab, School of Visual Arts)
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Markiplier

In a culture dictated by likes and shares, who knew a celebrity could be so wholesome and authentic?

Since the advent of content streaming platforms — namely, YouTube — the world of stardom and fame has become a game of “like, comment, subscribe.” Success is dictated by the number of views, how many times a video is shared or the number of subscribers a channel has.

Furthermore, since YouTube videos can be monetized, each click contributes to pay in the video creator’s pocket. Fans graciously give time, effort and money into supporting their favorite YouTubers, but many don’t receive anything in return.

Markiplier takes a different approach.

Who Is Markiplier?

Mark Fischbach, better known by his online handle, Markiplier, is a YouTube content creator best known for his gaming videos and short films. He began making videos in 2012 and got his start playing “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” and doing collaborations like his “Drunk Minecraft” series.

The YouTuber gained popularity for his playthroughs of the 2014 indie game “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” Although he’s known for playing horror games, Markiplier does “let’s plays” of any and all genres, from blockbuster games like “Grand Theft Auto” to low-budget titles like “Happy Wheels.”

As of 2019, Markiplier now entertains an audience of over 24 million subscribers (and counting), though his content hasn’t changed a bit — in the best way possible. But now, with so many gaming channels out there, how has Markiplier been able to stay relevant?

Connections with Fans

No matter how much fame he attracts, Markiplier genuinely loves both his work and his fans. As an engineering school dropout, the YouTube creator has always done this gig for the love of it. He originally bought his first camera with money left over from a tax refund and used it to begin making videos online.

His beginnings were humble, to say the least, but he was focused on entertaining his audience. “I didn’t even care that I didn’t have that many subscribers,” Markiplier explained. “Even the few people that did watch me, I was more than happy to do everything it took to entertain them.”

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Now that he’s attracted millions of adoring fans, Fischbach’s gratitude and eagerness to please hasn’t faded in the slightest. He provides weekly life updates, thanks those who support him and is constantly trying to improve himself creatively for his subscribers. He wears his heart on his sleeve and has retained an inimitable authenticity throughout his seven years of making videos, which is certainly something not every celebrity can say.

“I want to do more to actually change the world,” he laments in a 2018 vlog that feels more like a heart-to-heart conversation than a video. It’s an ambitious (and perhaps even unrealistic) statement, but Fischbach works tirelessly day by day to realize that dream.

Charity Livestreams

Of his many efforts to “change the world,” none have been so prominent as his financial contributions to charity. With over 24 million subscribers and an estimated net worth of $12.5 million, Markiplier’s prominence in the YouTube realm is inarguably nothing to scoff at.

And Fischbach believes those numbers should not go to waste. In only seven years, his channel has hosted dozens of what are known as charity livestreams, online events that are popular within the YouTube gaming community and provide channels with the ability to raise money for an organization while also playing games for fans.

Fischbach’s livestreams, in particular, have been astoundingly successful. In the past, he raised money for nonprofits like Direct Relief, Stand Up to Cancer and the Epilepsy Foundation. In 2019, the YouTuber accomplished some groundbreaking philanthropic feats.

In February, his livestream for My Friend’s Place, a Los Angeles-based charity fighting youth homelessness, raised over $500,000 in 24 hours. His most recent event — which took place in October — turned the livestream game on its head: Fischbach went around to 12 other livestreams and used his own stream to boost their viewership and donation goals for the organizations they were sponsoring. In just three hours, Markiplier helped raise a collective total of over $20,000.

Additionally, Fischbach recently announced that 100% of his merchandise profits will now go to charity. Truly, there is no shortage of generosity on this man’s channel.

Creative Content

Aside from filming himself playing games, Markiplier has become somewhat of a versatile entertainer. Staying true to himself and keeping his fans pleased are his main drives, so it might not come as a surprise that Fischbach has dabbled in film work, sketch comedy and even music.

While cinematography has always been a consideration when making videos, Markiplier expands this skill through the creation of several short films and sketches. In 2017, he released “A Date With Markiplier,” an interactive choice-based film with various endings; he also created “Who Killed Markiplier?” a four-part murder mystery that allowed viewers to help solve the case in the same year.

Most recently, Fischbach released “A Heist with Markiplier,” YouTube Originals’ very first interactive film, on Oct. 30. “I’m so happy to finally be able to share this with you!” writes Fischbach. “I’ve been working on this for over a year and now we’re … releasing it to you all for free!”

As if that wasn’t enough, the YouTuber recently expressed a desire to dive deeper into music. Fischbach hopes to begin posting musical content on his SoundCloud account which, he admits, hasn’t been touched in several years since its creation. Fischbach dabbled in music previously on his channel, even going as far as to post an Ed Sheeran cover.

A Man Who Is Leaving His Mark

While his content doesn’t necessarily showcase all the frills and nuances of other YouTube creatives, Fischbach’s passionate demeanor and desire to express his truest self are what stand out and come through clearly in his works.

Even more, Markiplier’s ever-present desire to give back to his fans and the community make him a true star — one worth adoring. Many celebrities get caught up in the fame, but Markiplier’s brand has always been, and always will be, authentic.

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