Oddly satisfying videos
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Oddly satisfying videos are internet video clips that portray repetitive events or actions that viewers find satisfying. Typical subjects include materials (wood, foam, etc., and in particular slime) being manipulated (carved, smoothed, dissolved, etc.), domino shows, or parlor tricks.
The trend emerged in the 2010s on the Internet forum Reddit, whose "/r/oddlysatisfying" subreddit was established in 2013 and, as of 2019, had 2.6 million subscribers. Oddly satisfying videos are now widespread on online video platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. Irish researchers found in 2019 that videos "whose appeal seemed to be related to their sensory or tactile nature", particularly videos involving slime, were popular among children. Advertising also uses the appeal of oddly satisfying videos.
The appeal of oddly satisfying videos is thought to lie in the human mind's preference for symmetry, patterns and repetition; or in an innate human interest in exploring the behavior of materials, or in hand movements. It may be related to the autonomous sensory meridian response, a pleasing, tingling sensation. Evan Malone, a professor of art and film philosophy, theorized that the appeal of oddly satisfying videos may lie in their portrayal of everyday experiences as cinematic and, in Baudrillard's words, "hyper-real". The effect of watching such videos has been described as a "brain massage" or "lightly hypnotizing", and as a form of psychological self-care to help overcome stress or anxiety.