I guess at the end of the day Storm8 is a company. Buying gem items isn't required, however these items provide a quicker path to accumulate resources. Watching videos seems to be a bit hit or miss. If you have the option to watch but they aren't working you'll need to reach out to Support and have your game checked. There have been issues with videos today, so maybe it's just a glitch and will be corrected soon.
Make sure you check out the info nugget on gems in the HUB so you accumulate them and save for something you want. There are lots of ways to get them thanks for the message!