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The Youtube Life

Kjellberg originally registered a YouTube account under the name โ€œPewdieโ€ in December 2006; he explained that โ€œpewโ€ represents the sound of lasers and โ€œdieโ€ refers to death. After initially forgetting the password to this account, he registered the โ€œPewDiePieโ€ YouTube channel on 29 April 2010. Following his exit from Chalmers, his parents refused to financially support him, so he funded his early videos by working as a harbor captain, selling prints of his Photoshop art, and working at a hot dog stand. Kjellberg stated that the ability to make videos was more important to him than a prestigious career. Five years later, Kjellberg recalled, โ€œI knew people were big at other types of videos, but there was no one big in gaming, and I didnโ€™t know you could make money out of it. It was never like a career that I could just quit college to pursue. It was just something I loved to do.โ€

In his early years as a YouTube creator, Kjellberg focused on video game commentaries, most notably of horror and action video games. Some of his earliest videos featured commentaries of mainstream video games including Minecraft and Call of Duty, although he was particularly noted for his Letโ€™s Plays of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and its related mods. Starting on 2 September 2011, he also began posting weekly vlogs under the title of Fridays with PewDiePie. By December 2011, Kjellbergโ€™s channel had around 60,000 subscribers, and on 9 May 2012, it reached 500,000 subscribers. Around the time his channel earned 700,000 subscribers, Kjellberg spoke at Nonick Conference 2012. July 2012 saw his channel reaching 1 million subscribers, and it reached 2 million subscribers in September. In October, OpenSlate ranked Kjellbergโ€™s channel as the No. 1 YouTube channel. Kjellberg signed with Maker Studios in December, a multi-channel network (MCN) that drives the growth of the channels under it. Prior to his partnership with Maker, he was signed to Machinima, which operates as a rival to Maker. Kjellberg expressed feeling neglected by Machinima, and frustrated with their treatment, he hired a lawyer to free him from his contract with the network.

Early in his YouTube career, Kjellberg used jokes about rape in his videos. A satirical video mocking Kjellbergโ€™s content highlighted his usage of such jokes. Shortly after, Kjellberg attracted criticism and controversy for the jokes, and in October 2012, he addressed the issue through a Tumblr post, writing, โ€œI just wanted to make clear that Iโ€™m no longer making rape jokes, as I mentioned before Iโ€™m not looking to hurt anyone and I apologise if it ever did. The Globe and Mail stated โ€unlike many young gamers, he listened when fans and critics alike pointed out their harmful nature, and resolved to stop making rape jokes.โ€

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