Reddit's 'Explain Like I'm Five' videos star real 5-year-olds

Reddit turns one of its most popular sub-reddits into a YouTube series starring actual 5-year-olds working to comprehend complex subjects.

Still from Reddit video
The boy on the right hates Nietzsche. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Some subjects, like communism, zippers, and our long absence from the moon, can be a little hard to explain. That's when people turn to "Explain Like I'm Five," a Reddit group dedicated to breaking complex ideas down into understandable terms. While the group has been geared for adult readers, it has now morphed into a video series featuring real 5-year-olds.

The YouTube series kicks off with three entries. The topics covered are Syria, existentialism, and the stock market. If you can make a group of bored 5-year-olds understand these topics, you should be good to go for most adults, too.

The presenters in each episode have quite a task in front of them. This isn't a one-way street. The youngsters get to throw in questions and comments along the way, much like an actual Reddit thread.

There's something incredibly entertaining about watching a group of kids sort through Nietzsche through a discussion of arbitrarty household rules like cleaning up your room or putting on your pajamas before bed. It results in one boy declaring, "I hate Nietzsche!" Smart kid.

The videos are a bit of an experiment for Reddit. The company was curious if some of the answers from the group would actually make sense to 5-year-olds. So far, it seems to be pretty successful. I definitely have a better understanding of Existentialism than when I started.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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