I appreciate the irony of this being a reaction thread complaining about reaction videos. Maybe you should start a youtube channel, Beagle?
I'm not going to quote anyone here because I don't want anyone to think that what I'm going to say next is directly against them. It is my general thoughts and opinion on the matter after skimming through this topic to see general points being made. As always, nothing I'm about to say is meant to be a personal accusation or attack of any sort.
I am permanently of two minds on the subject of just letting people enjoy things tbh. Although, that shouldn't be surprising at all since context does matter, after all. I think that people should feel perfectly free to enjoy things without feeling like they have to change their minds about liking it. This is the very thing that the term "guilty pleasure" exists to describe. I would think that most people who watch reaction videos would describe the genre as a guilty pleasure. Maybe less so when it comes to videos that are technically reaction videos, but are more just a vehicle for insightful commentary.
On the other hand, I don't agree with most blanket statements, especially when they shut down any sort of criticism. Criticism is a good thing, so long as it's not simply used as a baseless attack on someone. Constructive criticism is absolutely vital when it comes to things that you're seeking to improve. I don't think that someone criticizing a genre of videos that they don't care for is a baseless attack, it's an opinion. Opinions are not facts, they're subjective, and healthy to express. I don't understand the kneejerk reaction to suppress someone from expressing an opinion that one doesn't agree with. If you have a differing opinion, by all means, express it. Take your chance to argue your own point of view. However, "SHHH" is simply not an argument. If you can't hear criticism on something that you like, then it sounds to me like you either know that you're easily swayed by the thoughts of others and fear having your opinion changed, or you know that the thing that you don't want criticized is actually not very good and either don't understand or don't want to admit that simply liking a thing doesn't automatically make it good.
As far as the reaction genre of videos, my personal opinion can vary all the way down to the individual content creator. Some of them are, IMO, pretty trash. I suspect that Beagle's experience has mostly been with the trash end of it. There are, again IMO, content creators who are not solely seeking the latest trend or trying to skirt copyright laws, and rather do make transformative fair use utilization of other materials in their reaction videos. But if you simply don't care for the genre, then even the quality side of it won't be of any interest to you.
As far as the video game community both video and streaming-wise, I think that certainly if it's not for you, it's just not for you, but I do think that the opinion that it's just all about getting likes and ad revenue is poorly misguided. Are there content creators who are just all about the money? Absolutely. But what if I told you that here at my job, the only reason that I do it is for the money? The only reason that most people work is for the money. If your problem is that you don't think it's noble for them to accept money for making videos for other people's entertainment, then I've got some bad news for you about the entirety of the arts world. Just because someone's talent is playing video games or, moreover, being entertaining while playing video games, doesn't mean that they shouldn't be allowed to monetize it. But also, just because someone is asking their viewers to like/comment/subscribe, etc. doesn't mean that money is all they care about. They have to ask people to do those things because people forget and the only way to keep their channel visible in the vast sea that is youtube, is to get as much viewer interaction as possible or else the algorithm will bury them.
If video game videos aren't your thing, cool, no problem, don't watch them. But allow me to tell you at least some of the reasons why people do watch them.
1. They can't play the game themselves. Sometimes this is a financial constraint - they can't afford the game or the console/computer that the game is on. Sometimes it's an ability thing. For instance, I LOVE the Dark Souls games. I love the aesthetic of them, I love the detail of the lore behind them, I love the stories... but I absolutely cannot play those games. They're purposefully extremely difficult and frustrating and I am not good enough at video games and too prone to becoming easily frustrated to the point that I don't have any fun. But I love to watch someone else play those games so that I can enjoy them without feeling the personal frustration.
2. They don't trust the video game industry anymore (with good reason, IMO) to give them quality games and are using these videos as a review that they can see for themselves.
3. For the same reason that people enjoy podcasts, talk radio, talk shows, go to comedy shows, attend lectures, etc. Some content creators focus on being funny, some of them are giving instructional commentary, and others just talk. There's one let's player that I watch from time to time who was a geologist (but now makes videos/streams for a living) and he tells a lot of stories. He plays mostly indie games and some of the games I honestly find very boring, but he's such an interesting person and has such a unique perspective that I like to just listen to him talk.
4. Some people either don't have friends or at least don't have friends who share the same interests as them and watching someone whose personality they enjoy makes them feel less alone.
5. Because they love a game or games in general so much that they like immersing themselves in it further. A lot of people who watch video game videos do, in fact, play the games themselves, but they also enjoy seeing someone else's experience - seeing their reaction - to a game that they've enjoyed. I don't think doing so is any different from having a conversation with someone about the game or posting on a forum about it.
Anyway, I understand if it's not your thing, but I do think that it's pretty narrow-minded to outright dismiss any video genre or youtube itself in general, when you're talking about a platform that has over 20 million different channels with hundreds of genres with dozens of sub-genres within those genres, with thousands of individual creators within those sub-genres. You might as well say you don't associate with people who wear blue shirts, that's how broad and varied of people you're dismissing. but if dismissing things is what you enjoy, who am I to argue?