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YouTube's 'Slam' game forces videos to battle for votes


Two videos will enter the YouTube Slam arena each time you refresh the video-sharing site's newest section, but only one will leave. And that one video will be a step closer to the top of each week's YouTube Slam leaderboard. Which clips will your votes nudge into victory?

Those sentences would probably sound a lot better if you read them in a thunderous voice — the kind that you hear during wrestling tournaments or monster truck shows. But seeing as you're probably reading them in your own voice — or my soft squeaky one — you probably already suspect that YouTube Slam isn't as dramatic as I'm making it out to be.

Your suspicions are justified. As explained on the official YouTube blog, YouTube Slam is a little video discovery experiment created in collaboration with the folks of Google Research. It simply means that you are asked to decide which of the two videos presented to you is cuter, weirder, funnier, and so on. The clips are "scored based on your votes, and the best videos are featured on the Slam leaderboard."

As you vote for videos, you'll earn points for predicting the "crowd favorites." You'll be able to see just how good your choices are when you check the player leaderboard at the end of each week.

There are separate sections for different types of clips: A Dance Slam for videos of crazy moves, a Music Slam for "up and coming singers," a Cute Slam which appears to mostly consist of cat clips, a Comedy Slam which is full of giggle-inducing videos, and a Bizarre Slam into which YouTube's strangest clips go.

That's all there is to YouTube Slam. It's one of the simplest and most basic "games" you'll encounter, but I have a hunch it'll easily suck up plenty of your time.

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