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Comment count is 25
jfcaron_ca - 2015-08-28

Fair enough, but if you assume that there is such a thing as skill in certain video games, it's about as reasonable as watching people play sports. It's also as ridiculous as watching people play poker. Sure they are different kinds of skill, but skill nonetheless.

Sure, you can watch on the sidelines until it's your turn to tee up (community or intramural sports - equivalent of going to the arcade or sharing games with friends), but people genuinely like watching pro players compete (the equivalent of watching top streamers). It's even more ridiculous for sports because probably most soccer/hockey/baseball fans don't even play those sports themselves. At least video game stream-watchers probably also play some or most of the games they watch.

Some sports only have a small niche of people who want to watch it: darts, track & field (olympics aside). The same thing with video games (mmorpgs, plants vs zombies-type games), but the really popular ones have really competitive fields.

Skill aside, I often watch streamers just to see what a game is like without having to buy it. There is so much crap on the market, and you can't really trust reviews, but certain streamers have gained my trust about such things.

Old_Zircon - 2015-08-28

I don't really watch streamers, but the only way I could find the first GOP debate was as an overlay in the corner of somebody's Twitch stream of Arma 3 and it made the whole experience better.

Sanest Man Alive - 2015-08-28

"...but people genuinely like watching pro players compete (the equivalent of watching top streamers)."

Nobody ever paid to watch LeBron James spaz out and scream rape jokes and other obscenities up and down the court because somebody tried to steal his ball, then airball twenty shots in a row while giggling like a twit. That is exactly what the highest-traffic game streamers do. They're clowns - not even rodeo clowns, who are still involved in a sport, just painted caricatures of substance abuse.

I'll grant you, "See it in action before you buy it" is a perfectly fine reason to watch LPs. Douchey return policies are the norm for vidcons, especially in the age of downloads and DRM, so it's important to see if a game will be worth your time and money in the first place. Just don't pretend streamers are somehow incorruptible just because they're not affiliated with the established game 'zine circlejerks.

Scrimmjob - 2015-08-28

I don't watch streamers, but I will look up a long play to check out a game, or if I'm playing a game where a specific part has me stumped. The only other LP'ers I tend to watch are Yahtzee and his buddy occasionally.

EvilHomer - 2015-08-28

I don't watch streams, but I sometimes watch LPs and recorded/archived streams - or rather, I should say, I sometimes listen to them, in the background, while I'm doing something around the house.

There are only a couple channels I've found which I enjoy - Scott Manley (the astronomer who plays Kerbals, Crusader Kings, and various other highbrow nerd games) and Previously Recorded (Red Letter Media / Stroke Guy people's gaming show). Skallagrim has done some amusing Let's Plays in the past, too, and if PnP gaming counts, then I also like listening to random Google Hangout D&D games, such as those run by GentlemanGamer.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2015-08-28

I dont get watching people play computer games, I also dont get watching people play sports.
I *understand* the premise of course but watching someone do something is just not as fun as doing it yourself imo.
Seems like a inefficient usage of time for maximising happiness.

Hooker - 2015-08-29

Are the successfully Let's Play guys basically watched by women? I think it's more sad girls wanting to spend time with their make-believe boyfriend.

infinite zest - 2015-08-29

The food analogy is pretty dumb: plenty of people pay for cable in order to watch The Food Network, which at this point IS just watching celebrities eat food: unless you're really good at eyeing what little shots of the food preparation process they're using, you're not learning anything. His analogy only works in a situation where you buy a game, and just have your friend play it.

I don't really play games a lot, but I usually look up a let's play before I buy, just to see if it's something I'd be into, since I'm pretty particular. The one time I was sold on a trailer without seeing any gameplay was Borderlands 2, and I wished I had seen a LP or knew that it was more linear (guess I just wanted a more stylish Fallout) but I still had fun and watching a LP wouldn't have been a dealbreaker, especially for the 9.99 pricetag.

CIWB - 2015-08-29

Oh, shut up, you waste of human consciousness.

infinite zest - 2015-08-29

@Mr. Esquire Cat, that's true.. I like watching the Tour De France, but it just makes me want to ride my bike. And I like watching the World Cup and I usually go out and play a pickup game of soccer. Difference is I could never do the Tour De France, do a bicycle kick, etc.. and I won't even get started on more extreme sports like basejumping or even skydiving. I'll just let other people do that.

Video games are a little different. It's fun to see someone kill it in a speedrun, or do some impossible shit in Dance Dance Revolution or pinball, but I'd rather just participate in a tournament myself, even if I'm probably going to get my ass handed to me, because I won't get hurt.

Spaceman Africa - 2015-08-28

A lot of people are very mad at about this, so stars for that.

Old_Zircon - 2015-08-29


Gmork - 2015-08-28

Thanks for the heads-up. I'm going to make a branded whore of a channel and maybe millions of people will waste their time watching me waste mine!

Xenocide - 2015-08-28

Why would anyone watch a talk show host make jokes when they can make jokes all by themselves? You can even do it monologue style, watch:

Let's see what's in the news today, did you hear about this, did you hear? It seems that Popular Male Celebrity just broke up with Popular Female Celebrity. I guess it just wasn't working out...kind of like Popular Male Celebrity's performance in Recent Disappointing Movie! Hi-yoooo!

Eat that, Jimmy Fallon or whichever one you are.

Meerkat - 2015-08-28

As a guy who went to a pubstomp to watch TI5, all I have to say is:


Binro the Heretic - 2015-08-28

Watching videos of people while they watch videos of another person play a video game are called "Reaction Videos" Mr. Kimmel.

They are quite popular.

By not knowing this or at least checking into it before making your little comedy bit, you have shown yourself to be officially an old person.

EvilHomer - 2015-08-28

This is a Jimmy Kimmel video, yes? I assume it is, owing both to your comment and to the preload image. HOWEVER, I do not wish to confirm this theory by clicking "play", because if I do, and it IS Jimmy Kimmel, then Youtube will conclude that I enjoy his videos, and I will never be able to get rid of him.

They already force me to look at advertisements for his channel every time I open my homepage; I can't imagine the damage an actual view would do.

Anaxagoras - 2015-08-28

You have great wisdom, EH. I unthinkingly clicked on a Jimmy Fallon clip months ago, and YT has been recommending him to me ever since.


Meerkat - 2015-08-28

At least it's not recommending Tapir mating videos. I still have no fucking idea why it decided I should be watching those.

Although, admittedly, they are fascinating.

Old_Zircon - 2015-08-29

I never clicked anything even remotely related to it but I've been getting Taylor Swift Vevo for about 6 months.

Old_Zircon - 2015-08-29

The mystery here, of course, is that Youtube doesn't even try to disguise that there's some kind of pay-for-play type weighting going on in their "personalized" recommendations.

EvilHomer - 2015-08-29

>> I've been getting Taylor Swift Vevo for about 6 months.

Yes! Taylor Swift, too. She doesn't show up on my recommendations, but her Vevo channel does show up on my homepage, right below Jimmy Kimmel. The only Taylor Swift song I've ever clicked on (with this device/ profile) was that crowdsourced Taylor Swift animation posted here a few months back.

Scrotum H. Vainglorious - 2015-08-28

5 for the butthurt millennial "gamers".

Sanest Man Alive - 2015-08-29

Let's drop the fucking sports/video games comparisons, people. For one, we actually have televised e-sports now (judge those as you will; I find them cringeworthy). If anything, watching someone else play video games isn't too different from watching someone else watch movies. I seem to recall an old TV series like that, think it even had a pretty loyal following. The name escapes me now though...

Mind you, few LPers write their material nearly as well as the Nelsons did.

jfcaron_ca - 2015-08-31

Are you referring to MST3k? I guess that could be apt...since the idea is that the streamer can actually add something through commentary. Note I said *can* not *does* and obviously what viewers consider a worthwhile addition is entirely subjective.

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