Back in 2017, Matthew Patrick invited me to write for a YouTube channel he ran called The Game Theorists, and I’ve been a scriptwriter ever since. I usually describe that job as “writing about educational topics through a pop culture lens.” A few personal portfolio highlights from my time working there:
The Film Theorists
- Marvel’s Ant Man and the square-cube law. Whenever I’m trying to explain the “Theorist ethos,” this is usually the video I point them to. Lots of people like to click on videos about Marvel superheroes, and that provides a great opportunity to give them a basic lesson on physics.
- Ready Player One’s dystopian housing (and the impracticality thereof). This video two of my areas of interest: picking apart the impractical worldbuilding of science fiction settings, and structural engineering. (Before I was a scriptwriter, I studied mechanical engineering, and it’s nice when I get to flex those muscles.)
- A 2020 collaboration with Neil deGrasse Tyson, who shares a passion for explaining science topics to a lay audience. This was fun to work on, and also led to a noticeable bump in traffic for Neil’s Star Talk channel.
- Willy Wonka’s factory is an OSHA inspector’s nightmare. “Come with me, and you’ll be, in a world of OSHA violations…” To whatever extent that phrase can be considered to be part of the cultural lexicon, this video is responsible for putting it there.
The Game Theorists
- How epigenetics explains Pokemon evolution. This is one of the other videos I often point people toward when trying to explain the kind of educational content that I write as part of the Theorist team.
- This episode about the feasibility of using fried chicken as a computer heatsink won a Stream Award in December 2021.
The Style Theorists
- How SHEIN gets away with copying independent fashion designers. Occasionally, I’ll wade into forum discussions where I disclaim that “I am not a lawyer,” and add “but I do have a job where I sometimes write about legal topics for a lay audience.” (Case in point.)
The Food Theorists
- Do carrots actually improve your eyesight? One of my favorite parts of working on Food Theory is getting to teach viewers about science or history, and it’s always fun when I get to do both in the same episode.
- What’s the legal definition of a sandwich? Tax law sure can get weird and wacky sometimes. Did you know that there’s a Colorado tax board that includes “chicken wings” in their legal definition of a sandwich?
- An occasional genre of video across all Theorist channels (that seems to get covered most often on Food Theory) is a certain style of “media audit” that looks at reporting and evaluates it for truthfulness. Some examples include: Is Subway’s tuna actually tuna? and Is “Nyquil chicken” an actual food fad?
The above list is by no means comprehensive; I’ve written around 150 videos across all Theorist channels. (This playlist contains some more of my favorites.) The videos I worked on can usually be identified by the presence of my name (Justin Kuiper) in the video description, though video credits didn’t become standard practice until around the start of 2019, so not all of the older videos I worked on in 2018 and 2017 have my name in the description.
In addition to working as a video scriptwriter for Theorist, I also spent around half a year working as a Creative Director for Food Theory (back when the channel was younger and that role that was a remote position), which mostly involved things like providing notes on Frame.io, working with video editors and thumbnail artists, and working with advertisers.
Spending over half a decade writing videos that have collectively garnered around half a billion views has, by some definitions, made me a bit of an expert on a highly specific part of online video content. If this is a topic that you’re interested in discussing with me (either in a personal or professional capacity), feel free to reach out! My DMs are open on Twitter/X, but that site has become increasingly unreliable when it comes to sending notification, so probably the best way to get in touch is to email me (kuiperdesu at the google mail domain).
I’m also Kuiper on Discord, but due to the presence of spambots, I’m likely to ignore any Discord message requests unless we happen to share mutual serves or friends.