The sensuality of unboxing videos

PBS Idea Channel explores why we love watching a box get opened


The always brilliant PBS Idea Channel, which documents Internet trends, has produced another cool video discussing the world's obsession with unboxing videos.

An unboxing video, for the initiated, is a type of video where a person (usually a consumer, but media types and even companies themselves have done them) opens up a brand new gadget or other obsessive object on camera, showing things like the power cable, packaging and other such items. You've likely watched one of these videos many times - I've even done some of these videos (I remember doing a mock video for the Sony PS3 where we opened the box and discovered an Atari 2600 inside). The video explores this issue, even suggesting the sensual nature of these videos:

One thing I think the video misses is how the people doing these videos are often trying to show to the world, "Look what I have - I have this before you" - whether to rack up more video views or to just brag to others to make them feel more special than everyone else. However, that still doesn't explain why a whole bunch of people watch the videos, but the PBS video does a good job of trying to explain that aspect.

What do you think? Why do people make these videos? Why do people watch them? Let me know in the comments.

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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