Don't Try This at Home: First-Person Perspective Puts You in the Extreme Action

February 24, 2012

This post was authored by Will Goodman, managing editor of's The Feed, for a YouTube Trends series exploring viral video phenomena.

Action sports are booming. BASE Jumpers can make national headlines and snowboarders can become Olympic gold-medalists.It's fair to say we are in a golden-age of extreme sports. And with the rise of the Go Pro sports cameras and others like them, the action has never felt more real on YouTube.

Much like the title, do not try to emulate these videos at home. Or outside. Or in any context whatsoever. But do make sure to have a lot of fun engaging in the experiences vicariously. That’s the whole point.

While the above video is a clear example of a professional, Marcelo Gutierrez, showing us what he sees and does while engaging in an urban biking competition, the great part of this growing trend is that it’s not just limited to the pros. Everyone is starting to share their first-person perspective experiences and the range of action you can find on YouTube seems to know no bounds.

A simple bicycle ride through the mountains doesn't look so simple when you're strapped to the helmet. Okay, so this bike ride isn't so simple no matter where you're standing. But in first-person we get the rush of the ride without the whole worry of getting injured, maimed or killed. And in high-definition too!

Wasn’t that refreshing? Short, simple, but compelling all the same. Being able to share in the experiences of travel and adventure has never been so available at any other time. Want to know what it’s like to go cliff diving? It's out there. How about riding a motorbike on a snow-covered mountain top? Yup, it’s there, too. Okay, what about doing a luge along the Great Wall of China?Guess what.

Which leads me full-circle to the point I cannot emphasize enough: while these kinds of videos are amazing to behold, they’re best left to the pros (or at least advanced practitioners.) There’s always the chance that something will go wrong. And the more extreme the sport, the bigger that chance gets. So for our final example, let’s all vicariously engage in a very close call to get a feel for what can go wrong, even when done by people who know what they’re doing.

Today's Trend analysis provided by