Growing up, James Prime passed his time as a child playing video games. Despite being born in the late nineties, he still calls himself a "90s kid" as he was always getting second hand things, from clothes to video game consoles. He still remembers his first gaming device, a Nintendo Game Boy, with a bunch of infamous bootleg games, followed by the original Sony Playstation. Gaming was more than just a past time for Prime, it was a passion, and little did he know that his love for video games would become the driving force in his life.
Now, Prime goes by Jameskii, the comedic content creator. With 1.4 million subscribers on YouTube alone, Jameskii has become a household name for those who feel the same passion for gaming that he does. Unlike many streamers who simply upload full clips of their good games, Jameskii takes a more original approach to his craft. He uploads montages, thoughtful commentary, and parody videos of video games or pop culture items that resonate with his fans. He attends international events where he is instantly recognized, from Gamescom in Germany, to Twitchcon in California, to Jingle Jam in England. It's a unique lifestyle, and one he wouldn't trade for the world.
"You're not a real YouTuber if you don't have a bunch of Uber Eats bags lying around your kitchen and computer," he said.
Jameskii has over 170 million accumulated views on his YouTube channel, and that number grows daily. Amongst these videos, his most popular series takes a look at the most revolutionary style of game play: virtual reality. He decided to take on the game VRChat, a free-to-play massively multiplayer online virtual reality video game. It allows players to interact with others as 3D character models, where players can create their own instanced worlds in which they can interact with each other through virtual avatars.
The series, "VRChat in a nutshell" has over 50 million combined views and are the most known and recognizable series in the VRChat community as well in other VR communities. The most viewed VR video on Jameskii's channel has over 11 million views, the second most watched has over 8.5 million.
"Honestly, it's all a bit surreal. I've experienced so much of everything over the last 12 months and it was mostly thanks to my purchase of the HTC Vive headset and the series I could create thanks to it. I remember being aimed at a 300,000 subscribers goal and now I'm just sitting here with a channel about to hit 1.5 million. I'm extremely glad that people enjoy my series and I'm able to inspire other people to be creative both in VRChat and outside of VRChat. Almost every time I go to public lobbies in VR I meet people who thank me for bringing them to the VR world and it honestly means a lot. It's also worth mentioning that VRChat inspired thousands of people to learn 3D and animation programs to create their own content. Something they might've not even thought about in the past," said Jameskii.
Virtual Reality was always niche in the PC market and wasn't available to everyone. VR headsets are expensive and so are computers that are able to run them properly, not to mention the lack of publicly available headsets and games until fairly recently. Jameskii, however, likes to be at the forefront of innovative technology, and that's why he has such a following. Always willing to try something new, he bought an HTC Vive headset second hand, which became a life changing purchase.
"I fell in love with Virtual Reality. There is something special about not being limited to a keyboard and a mouse while being able to express yourself as if you were there. It was hilarious, I met a lot of amazing people, most of whom also became my friends. I started making VR videos that were extremely rare on YouTube at the time. Most of the VR stuff you would see on YouTube would be just generic roller coasters, Google Earth VR and some other stuff aimed at an older generation. Not many comedy creators were making VR videos. My very first VRChat video got over a million views in a week and that was an insane amount considering I was really small at the time. I started making more VR videos that weren't only VRChat and my fans loved them and asked for more. Sometimes I enjoy VR more than regular games so it made me really happy that I can experience something so awesome and bring joy to other people by sharing my adventures in the virtual reality world," he said.
Jameskii loves that he never knows what to expect with Virtual Reality. He has more than 500 hours on VRChat and is still impressed and amazed by what people can create. Rather than getting bored after so many hours, he is always thrilled seeing what people have made.
Jameskii was always interested in 3D modeling and animation, but never had enough reasons to get into it. VRChat inspired him to learn game engines as well as 3D editing programs such as Blender. It encouraged him to try to create, modify and share content for all sorts of applications, which he would never have done without trying out this new and unexpected game.