Marissa Isgreen is a recent Colorado State University graduate who enjoys typical activities like playing video games, spending time with her pets and traveling. But Isgreen does one thing that is very different than most; she documents her life and the things she loves on her own YouTube channel.
Isgreen’s channel is called “LifeOnMarz” and covers gaming and lifestyle. Her gaming videos include first impression reviews and commentary about news in the gaming industry. Isgreen’s other videos include hauls, DIY projects and daily vlogs, and she also frequently uploads videos of her dogs and horses.
Isgreen uploads to YouTube about once a week, but she has even posted every day for periods of time. Isgreen has participated in the popular YouTube trend called “vlogmas” where YouTubers post vlogs daily in the month of December leading up to Christmas.
Isgreen said Phillip DeFranco, Ryan Higa, Casey Neistat and Jenna Marbles were some YouTubers that inspired her to create a channel, but it was a CSU professor that actually encouraged her to do it.
“I took an independent study with Mike Humphrey and he was like, ‘why don’t you make a YouTube channel?’ Initially it was going to be some sort of news type show and I was going to do it on gaming or nerd culture.”
Humphrey said they worked together to figure out how she could find a space that was not oversaturated by other vloggers.
“What I respect most about Marissa is that she is consistent, but not stuck in one idea,” Humphrey said. “She experiments with ideas for content, the ways she shoots her videos, the way she promotes her site — all of these keep morphing as she watches how fans react.”
Isgreen’s channel has a special story behind its name. In a video that Isgreen titles “Draw My Life- Life on Marz” she explains that there is a special story behind the name Marz.
In the video Isgreen explains that in her sixth grade math class she and a friend Claire would pass drawings to each other to communicate. The two friends ended up drawing a picture of stars, the earth and Mars, and Claire ended up making Isgreen go to Mars in the drawing.
After Isgreen wrote “Marissa goes to Mars” on the page Claire crossed out Marissa and wrote Marz, forever changing how people referred to her. Claire and Isgreen were roommates at CSU and Isgreen’s name in Claire’s phone is still Marz.
Isgreen said the identity of her channel took shape when she realized she wanted to do something different.
“I knew gaming was really big on YouTube and I knew that it was growing, but I really didn’t want to do ‘Let’s Plays,’ so I just tried to find a niche that wasn’t that,” Isgreen said.
Humphrey said Isgreen’s work ethic is evident in her channel.
“She is passionate about gaming, and especially gaming for all people, and she works harder than most people I know,” Humphrey said. “It is a very impressive combination and she was a joy to work with.”
Isgreen said that as she has grown, so has her channel.
“I’ve found series that work better, my editing has become more complex and my tone changed a little bit,” Isgreen said.
Isgreen said her current goal is to continue building a community through YouTube.
“I think it’s very interesting to build a community around something that you’re interested in, that you’re passionate about,” Isgreen said.
Engaging with her audience is also at the top of her list of goals.
“I have a video about horses and video games and I’ve found that so many people love horses and video games,” Isgreen said. “It’s been really fun interacting with those people.”
The video that Isgreen refers to is her most popular video titled “Expectation vs. Reality: Horses in Video Games.” In the video she used her own horses to act out skits comparing how horses act in video games to real life. This video alone has over 28,000 views.
Isgreen said making friends is a benefit of having a YouTube channel.
“I’ve met other YouTubers in the area and having those connections are really fun,” Isgreen said. “Being around like-minded people is really great.”
With her YouTube channel Isgreen hopes to continue combating the stigma surrounding women in gaming.
“Any time a woman is in the space of gaming, that’s a good thing because there are a ton of stereotypes and misconceptions when really there are a ton of women in gaming,” Isgreen said.