You Like to Watch? Video Game Voyeurism

September 13, 2014

You may have heard about Twitch.TV and their recent deal with Amazon for $1Billion dollars.

That’s right, B as in Billion.

Even Doctor Evil from the Austin Powers movies wouldn’t go so far.

And the next question is “Who watches other people play video games”?

This person, as well as over 45 million viewers worldwide with a bandwidth of 13 billion minutes of gaming per month.

That’s right, per month.  That’s the equivalent of over 19 centuries, if measured back to back.

Yeah dude, that’s older than your great, great, great grandparents combined.

So what’s the fascination?

You have the competitions.

Those of us who watch do it to see competitors vie for bragging rights and for big money.  Think of the World Series of Poker, just done in front of a screen with a controller.  You’d think that wouldn’t be spectacular but in Asia, some of these cats are grossing in the 7 figures! (I bet you’re wondering when you should relocate to Asia).

 

You have the walk-throughs.
These vids are for folks that are presently playing the same game but get stuck on certain parts and require assistance. Because strategy guys are so 1990’s, video walk-throughs have taken their place as the strategy guide to game play.

 

Because the storyline is so damn compelling!

For those of us who know the feeling of frustration while playing a game, to the point where you throw the game controller across the room in angst, or start biting it out of pure rage, you will know why folks just don’t bother with it.  With story lines as good as “Injustice: Gods Among Us”, watching the game is satisfying enough. And after 3 hours, you won’t have to worry about returning the game to the rental outlet of choice.

 

Magical cut scenes…

There are some games that have spectacular cut scenes you just love watching regularly because they are just so awesome.  Conker’s Bad Fur Day is perhaps one of my favorites for well executed cut scenes.  It’s a game full of absolute raunchy ridiculousness that you need to relive them again and again.  Since old games don’t offer you the option of jumping straight to the cinematic, YouTube becomes a game-o-phile’s best friend.

 

Because you just want to get to the good part…

Final Fantasy X, the first in the long line of FF games to offer a sequel to any of it’s storylines, had perhaps (after FFVII) one of the most romantic character driven story lines in the RPG genre.  (I’m female, so I’m allowed)  And just like any person, sometimes you just want to go straight to the good parts.

 

…Because they aren’t available anymore.

You know there are just some classics that are no longer available anymore.  You’d love to play them, relive some of the mores awesome moments, but you just can’t.  Some folks have rectified that by uploading their play to YouTube.  For instance, the original Silent Hill (before the franchise turned beyond weird) in the video above.

 

The fact is, video games aren’t just about interactive play anymore.  They are as much about the story lines that keep the audience entertained and vested in the characters, much like a good book or movie. Trust me, there’s a reason why Amazon spent so much for something folks would think is trivial.

Wait a few years and you’ll see what I mean.