Why I Watch Streams And Let’s Plays

“What’s so fun about watching someone play a game when you could just play it yourself?”

or

(I’ve never been asked this but… I’ll improvise!) “What’s so great about watching someone stream live and they’re just talking?”

 

Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) and MissesMae (Jonna Mae) with Jimmy Kimmel Credit By Jonna Mae’s Instagram

There was a segment covering the topic of Let’s Plays on Jimmy Kimmel Live where YouTubers Markiplier and MissesMae who do Let’s Plays on the platform YouTube cover the reason behind their jobs. I didn’t think this segment was really justified. They tried their best to explain, but when talking with someone who is unfamiliar with gaming it’s basically talking to a wall. I’m not sure if Jimmy Kimmel plays video games or not, but it looked like he invited them on the show to make fun of what they do rather than try to understand and embrace the power it has. Oh well. I guess its safe to say some people just don’t get it. Sorry, rant over!

YouTube

I have been using the YouTube platform for as long as I can remember. I would use it to watch Hilary Duff music videos to playing various albums while I studied up in school, mostly college stuff. If you ever want to just sit, relax and enjoy watching someone play Resident Evil VII: Biohazard or Alien Isolation so you don’t have to. Not going to lie it is very hard to relax even while watching someone else play horror games, but its all the more fun to see their reactions and your own collide.

It’s also a good outlet for indie game designers to test their games out with lets players in addition to free advertising. There are some games I wouldn’t know about if it weren’t for lets players. For example the Rusty Lake series by LoyaltyGame. I was watching a lets player named Dexbonus play it and not even halfway through I got excited enough to want to play it on my own and since then I have played all three games in the series with a fourth one coming out very soon.

YouTube is less interactive compared to Twitch where all the user has to do watch and doesn’t really have the option to interact with the player. A lets player uploads their content after editing and possibly doing some trial shots to make sure their sound, video, etc. are all in order.

Original Rusty Lake game cover credit by rustylake.itch.io

A fantastic example of a lets player through the YouTube platform would be Game Grumps. They are very well known and have been around since July 18, 2012, with Jon Jafari and Arin Hanson. Co-host Jafari left in 2013 leaving Dan Avidan to take his place. Both Arin and Dan could leave you in tears while shaking your head no matter what game they decide to play next. They continue to play a game while holding a conversation with one another as they progress through the game.

Game Grumps cast left to right-Ross Donovan, Dan Avidan, Arin Hanson, Suzy Berhow, Barry Kramer Credit by trendingallday.com

 

MissesMae (Jonna Mae) Credit By Twitch.tv

Twitch

So! I watch streams because they are SUPER chill and laid back to watch. It really depends on the person’s personality, their interests and how they connect up with mine. I usually watch streams of people I find interesting or share similar humor as me. Its similar to sitting and talking with a friend while one of them plays a game. Usually, this person is in a different state or country.

Mark Fischbach as Markiplier showing his logo of a white M with a pink mustache

I have been watching a lot more Twitch streamers lately so I thought writing about this would be a good idea.

I get notifications sent to my phone to let me know when a Twitch streamer is live if I am subscribed to them. For those who are unaware, Twitch is the platform in which people can stream whatever they want to.

It doesn’t stop at video games, people from all over live stream themselves building sculptures, cosplays, poker, there’s even a community where they focus on being positive which I think is a really great idea. If you had a bad day and need someone to make you laugh then head over to the Twitch community with the good vibes.

A live stream is a real-time based, someone recording with their webcam and mic of choice, so anyone can watch them doing their thing. If you happen to miss their live stream they do upload recordings of it afterward so you can stay up to date.

Twitch communities are groups and the users in them fit a certain curriculum of what you may be interested in. Example the positive community is filled with users who are going to be optimistic and bubbly personalities. If you are looking for a certain game to be played there are communities named after game titles and there are countless users playing the same game, but each has their own style of playing it and presenting themselves. There are also communities referred to as “IRL” which means In Real Life where people sit and chat with their users.

IRL image from Twitch Credit by variety.com

I watch streams because I enjoy them. Simple as that. It’s being part of a conversation where you can choose to take part in or not since all of it is online. The streamer never sees your face you only see theirs and you communicate through a chat window that’s being shared by the other users. Most streamers do have set rules for users to go by or else the user gets banned. Typically these rules have to do with link-sharing, bullying other users or giving spoilers of some kind. Streamers are live on certain days of the week and usually have a schedule located somewhere on their homepage.

If you feel like experiencing a twitch stream don’t be afraid to interact, but don’t feel the pressure to do so either. The streamers I follow are always optimistic and the users do the same. The best example I have (also extremely biased!)

Brooke Thorne aka Dodger or Dexbonus with her husband Sam Throne aka Strippin. My boyfriend Alex introduced me to Dodger when we first started dating and possibly before then. Dodger has been making videos for a long time and has created an incredible community because of it. Everyone gets along and we are all there to have a good time. They just had a baby named Clarke in April 2018, so there were times when she would go over aspects of pregnancy. She lets her community into her life and what is going on with it.

Don’t get me wrong there are still areas of privacy for twitch streamers, but it’s up to the streamer to make that line.

Credit by Dodger Coffee Co Twitter account

Dodger also has a coffee company which is super amazing the shipping can be a little pricey, but overall its worth it!

When it comes down to it both platforms are great to use and I’m not a fan of one over the other. I love being able to use one for, however, I choose to.