If you describe Jason Gastrow, a.k.a VideoGameDunkey, as a YouTube gamer, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong but you would have failed to capture the very essence of what has propelled him to internet stardom and made the Washington Post hail him as the Lester Bangs of video gaming (FYI, Bangs was an influential rock music critic of the 1970s).
Rather than just restricting himself to playing video games and offering commentary along the way, Gastrow has built a career for himself by offering his honest reviews on most of the games that flood the consumer markets. His critiques are often inter-spliced with his wild sense of humor, sarcasm, and wittiness. All these have made for a one-of-a-kind package which has fuelled his rise in the YouTube community with over 2 billion views and 5 million subscribers to his name.
Jason Gastrow’s Early Years Of Playing Video Games And Dreaming of Becoming An Animator
Jason Gastrow was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, on January 30, 1991. The American YouTube personality grew up with his brother, his father and mother who is said to be a second-grade teacher. Gastrow spent his formative years in various parts of Wisconsin, particularly cities such as Milwaukee and Madison. As most young boys are wont to do, he discovered video games at an early age and spent most of his free time indulging in this.
He subsequently developed a desire to be an animator and spent much of the early 2000s trying to make headway. He, however, suffered multiple failed attempts. Gastrow may not have succeeded in his quest to become an animator but he did gain a deep appreciation of the whole nitty-gritty involved in the video game process. This, together with his long-time passion for playing video games, inspired him to create his YouTube on the 21st of October 2010.
Emerging As A Foremost Gaming Critic On YouTube
Using his channel known as VideoGameDunkey, Jason Gastrow started out by indulging in gameplay and streaming of popular games such as League of Legends, GTA V, Superman 64, Halo 1-4, and many others. The Milwaukee native subsequently went beyond playing games to offering humorous critiques of the video games that he was playing. In these critiques, Gastrow also breaks and exploits game codes, deconstructs player experience, and recreates the same in post-production. All these come interspersed with numerous pop culture references, thus creating a combination that the YouTube community has found irresistible.
From just thousands of viewers, when he started out, Jason Gastrow reached the 1.8 million subscriber mark in September 2015. That number has since ballooned to about 6.35 million with his videos having been viewed a whopping 6.2 billion times. Such numbers have made Jason Gastrow a force that cannot be ignored and now, many gaming companies approach him and pay him to criticize their games.
Such collaborations usually turn out smoothly but have also gone awry on some occasions. For instance, in 2015, Microsoft approached Gastrow and offered to pay him in exchange for his opinion on their Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade Games. The gamer went on to do what he knows best, however his review was mostly negative. Microsoft was less than impressed and immediately terminated the deal. Regardless, it was no skin off Gastrow’s back as he is someone who is dedicated to being a consumer advocate rather than kowtowing to big corporate machines.
He Has Made A Fortune From His YouTube Channel And Merchandise Store
The Milwaukee-born star has a net worth that falls somewhere between $1 and $2 million. His sources of income ostensibly stem from his online activities as well as his merchandise store. Going by expert estimates, Jason Gastrow makes as much as $1.7 million per annum off YouTube. This comes from the platform’s monetization policy as well as revenue from the gaming companies that he has worked with.
Previously, Jason had to share the majority of his YouTube earnings with his sponsors such as Machinima Inc. and Maker Studios. This left him virtually empty-handed at the end of the day and he decided to join another network of gaming websites known as Curse LLC. The Curse deal is much favorable and ensures that he gets to keep a greater percentage of his earnings.
Gastrow’s merchandise is one other area that contributes to his income. He and his wife (whom we shall discuss shortly) run a store known as Dunkey’s Castle. The store features branded items such as t-shirts, keychains, pin sets, hoodies, and even a mouse pad. All these are reasonably priced and are, therefore, well patronized by Gastrow’s fans thus giving him another reason to keep on smiling to the bank.
Jason Gastrow Is Married To Leah Bee, An Upcoming YouTube Star
Jason Gastrow is married to his long term girlfriend and budding YouTube star, Leah Bee. The couple first went public with their relationship in October 2017, the same month they got engaged. Since then, they have collaborated on some videos together for Leah’s channel known as xLeahBee. They have also been spotted together in public places on several occasions.
Unlike most YouTube relationships that are filled with drama, Jason and Leah have been able to sustain a stable romance. This can be credited to rarely oversharing personal information but limiting themselves to pertinent details. For instance, the couple shared their engagement story in a conversation on the H3 podcast in 2017. Gastrow revealed that they were at the post office to ship some packages when he placed the engagement ring in the glove box. When Leah came out of the office, he asked her to look in the glove box. She did and was astounded by the huge rock that she saw.
The couple are now man and wife having gotten married in September 2019. From a sweet video posted on Jason’s YouTube channel, it was revealed that the wedding took place at the Spring Brook Chapel. The groom, who wore a suit and tie, walked down the aisle with his mother while the bride, who wore a simple but stunning lace dress, walked down the aisle with her father. The couple exchanged vows that they had written with Jason declaring that he loved his bride more than tacos, sprite, and even video games. After saying their vows, the couple and their loved ones gathered for a hearty reception in a barn house type venue.