In the vast realm of YouTube, there are few individuals who have made as profound an impact as Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie.
With over 110 million subscribers and billions of views (and counting), PewDiePie has become a global sensation, known for his entertaining and humorous content.
This article explores the life of PewDiePie, delving into his early beginnings on YouTube and the path that led him to the pinnacle of online stardom.
Early Life and Education
Felix Kjellberg was born on October 24, 1989, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Growing up, he developed a passion for video games and spent countless hours playing them. Throughout a lot of his childhood, Felix was often sick and unwell. As a result, he had more time to play video games.
Felix has often talked about some prime memories when it came to his love for video games. Most took place during his teenage years, playing MMO games like World of Warcraft and Tibia.
In one of his videos, he talked about the almost addicted-like state that he was in while playing Tibia. He went over how he was scamming people for his own benefit for in-game items, looking back with regret and laughter.
After high school, he attended Chalmers University of Technology, where he pursued a degree in industrial economics and technology management.
The time during university was actually one of his lowest points. He openly talked about how he would often skip class and walk around, and how he couldn’t relate to anyone in the classes. Felix experienced tough episodes of isolation and loneliness during this time.
It was during his university days that he first ventured into the world of YouTube, although he initially saw it as a hobby rather than a career path.
In 2010, Kjellberg created a YouTube channel under the pseudonym "PewDiePie." while still in university.
Felix, being skilled in Photoshop and digital art, actually sold some Photoshop art in order to make enough money to buy a decent PC. He was living alone in an apartment he could barely afford.
In one of his old videos, he stated how he was excited to go to his parent’s house every Sunday for a decent cooked meal. Besides that, he often relied on cheap foods like cans of spaghetti.
The oldest uploaded video on his account isn’t actually “Minecraft Multiplayer Fun”. But nonetheless, the video shows a short snippet of gameplay in which he found a zombie in a minecart with his friends.
Breakthrough and Rise to Fame
In 2011, Felix’s channel began to pick up popularity but it was nothing compared to the growth he experienced in the following years. He famously made Let’s Play videos of the game Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
PewDiePie's early rise to fame can be attributed to his ability to connect with viewers on a personal level. He embraced the concept of audience interaction, engaging in conversations, and responding to comments. His content expanded beyond gaming, encompassing challenges, vlogs, and reaction videos. PewDiePie's distinctive humor and infectious energy continued to draw in viewers, and his subscriber count skyrocketed.
Before Felix got married in 2019 to his long-time Italian girlfriend Marzia, they started their love story way back in 2011. It was Marzia’s friend - Dazio who initially sent her links to Feix’s videos, apparently telling her to “look at this idiot”.
After watching many of his videos, Marzia decided to reach out to Felix and it all started from there. Felix was instantly attracted to her good looks, and he took a flight over to Italy to spend some time with her.
Not too long after, Marzia made the plunge to move to Sweden with Felix at just 19. During the early years, the pair were living a quiet and comfortable life with Felix mostly staying at home making videos. They have since moved again to Italy, the UK, and even Japan.
Collaborations and Brand Partnerships
As PewDiePie's popularity soared, he collaborated with other YouTubers and online personalities, further widening his reach.
Collaborative videos with fellow creators, such as Markiplier and Jacksepticeye, attracted massive attention and fostered a sense of community within the YouTube space.
In addition, PewDiePie established partnerships with brands and companies, leading to various endorsement deals and sponsorships.
Controversies and Challenges
Despite his immense success, PewDiePie has faced his fair share of controversies throughout his career. In 2017, he faced criticism for posting anti-Semitic jokes in some of his videos, which led to a temporary suspension from YouTube's premium advertising program. While he apologized for the offensive content, these incidents underscored the challenges faced by online creators in navigating the line between humor and insensitivity.
Philanthropy and Social Impact
PewDiePie has also utilized his platform for philanthropic endeavors and social impact. In 2018, he raised over $200,000 for the Child Rights and You organization through a charity live stream. Additionally, he has made significant donations to causes like water sanitation and education. PewDiePie's efforts highlight the power of influential individuals to drive positive change and support charitable causes.
Legacy and Influence
PewDiePie's impact on the YouTube landscape cannot be overstated. He pioneered a new form of entertainment, bridging the gap between gaming and mainstream culture.
His success paved the way for many other creators, inspiring a generation of YouTubers to pursue their passions. PewDiePie's influence extends beyond YouTube, as he has also been a prominent figure in internet culture, memes, and even music charts.
From his humble beginnings as a university student in Sweden to becoming the most subscribed individual creator on YouTube, PewDiePie's journey exemplifies the power of authenticity and relatability in the digital age.
Through his entertaining videos, PewDiePie has captured the hearts of millions worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on the online community. Regardless of the controversies and challenges he has faced, PewDiePie's impact will continue to resonate, solidifying his status as an iconic figure in the world of YouTube and internet culture as a whole.