Game Theory's MatPat Retires

Goodbye, MatPat: Honoring Over a Decade of Awesome Game Theories

Reliving some of GT’s greatest hits

Though it may take some time before MatPat graces our screens once again, our Theorist hearts will never forget the many hours of fun and wacky analyses – including and especially some of our favorites below!

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In 2009, Matthew Patrick (more lovingly known as MatPat) created a YouTube channel where he could marry his curious and analytical nature with his love for video games by producing a series of video essays that discussed popular video games through various scientific and literary frameworks – The Game Theorists. Now, 15 years, 4 billion views, over 600 videos, and nearly 20 million subscribers later, MatPat has uploaded his final theory – marking his official retirement from the channel. 

Though the various Theorist channels (Game Theory, Film Theory, Food Theory, and Style Theory) will continue to create interesting thought pieces, led by experts handpicked by the OG Theorist himself, there will definitely be a giant MatPat-shaped hole left in our hearts from now on. And while a simple listicle cannot possibly express the great joys that came with learning about G forces from Assassin’s Creed and Zelda, or the horrifying truth about our favorite Italian plumber’s psyche, here’s a list of some unforgettable Game Theories. 

Rosalina, Unmasked

Whether or not you’re a fan of the classic platformer, one simply cannot deny the importance and influence of the Super Mario games on the industry as a whole. Who isn’t at least vaguely familiar with the tale of the mustached plumber and his quest to save Princess Peach from a giant evil turtle monster? 

So when MatPat released the two-parter asserting that the real ship might have been between Luigi and Princess Peach all along AND (spoiler alert) that the princess may have been dead this entire time, the internet got buzzing. It is still considered to be one of his greatest theories to date. 

Sans is Ness

A theory that, to this day, is considered so controversial that it has become a long-surviving meme among Theorists, this one centered around the famous indie game Undertale. A unique game that reintroduced the concept of pacifism to an entire generation of gamers, it featured a lot of quirky and mysterious characters, primary among them being the character of Sans. 

As one of the most powerful bosses in the game with seemingly little to no explanation on how he came to be, the discovery of Sans’ Workshop, and all the little details included therein, led MatPat to the ~determination~ that Sans was none other than the hero of the EarthBound series, Ness. Though backed with a lot of supporting evidence, at the time of its release this video sparked a lot of heated discussion among the fans. 

Whether or not you agree, this video is so memorable to the Theorist channel’s history that when MatPat cameo’d in the Five Nights at Freddy’s live action movie adaptation as a waiter named “Ness”, the fanbase was screaming. 

Five Nights at Freddy’s

A review of The Game Theorists’ greatest videos would not be complete without mentioning the Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) series. Comprising almost 10% of the channel’s overall output over the last couple of decades, who could forget all the dead kids, purple guy, Gregory as Ness, and, of course, MUSIC MAAAAAAAN?  

An indie horror game that changed the face of the genre and whose media influence was so great that it resulted in a movie starring The Hunger Games’ heartthrob Josh Hutcherson, FNAF’s lore is complicated, to say the least. Spanning over 10 games and nearly 30 books, even simply trying to unpack the chronological order of events in the franchise has been a nightmare for everyone involved. 

In spite of the challenge, MatPat never gave up. As one of, if not the most, knowledgeable theorists in the FNAF community, he has dedicated hundreds (if not thousands) of hours to uncovering its many secrets. And while Scott Cawthon may be dedicated to ensuring the nightmare never ends for either William Afton, MatPat, or the FNAF fanbase, the ride to now has been nothing short of a dream come true for us nerds at heart. 

We love you, MatPat

We could go on and on for pages about all the things we loved and learned from MatPat (we wouldn’t be real Theorists if we couldn’t). But as we learned from the great man himself: Sometimes it’s just time to let go. Thank you, MatPat, for teaching an entire generation of us the basics of media literacy – for showing us the joys of thinking outside the box and the importance of consuming content with a critical eye. In a world that is saturated with media screaming for our attention, these lessons will only grow in their importance – but that’s just a theory.

You will be missed, good sir. Much love from the kids you helped raise~

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