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Twitch Removes Playroom From Stream Directory

The unexpectedly popular app has seen both wonderful and terrifying uses.

It was fun while it lasted, but for the time being, Twitch has removed Sony’s Playroom application from its directory of Twitch streams.

"We removed Playroom content from the directory because a majority of it was non-gaming related," the company said in a statement. "We will look into adding it back as PS4 owners become more familiar with the games-only focus of Twitch content. In the meantime, you can view all of the amazing gameplay from PS4 broadcasters in this directory page on Twitch."

This doesn’t mean you can’t stream from Playroom anymore, of course. It just means it’s harder to get discovered.

How we arrived at this moment was a bit of a happy (and, eventually, not-so-happy) accident.

Streaming has proven one of the cooler new features on PlayStation 4, and people discovered it was possible to stream from Playroom, an application with cute mini-games built around PS4’s optional camera. Playroom users started hosting impromptu talk shows, including the spontaneously popular The Spartan Show. That show caught on, with thousands watching The Cutest Couple Ever dealing with sudden Internet fame, and they did so, so great. Sony’s Adam Boyes called in, and so did I. It was a great moment, and crystallized what a mistake it was for Microsoft to let streaming get pushed into early 2014.

But, sadly, it got gross. A different couple got drunk on camera, and the woman not only passed out in front of viewers, but she was exposed without permission. These and other episodes prompted Twitch to issue a statement about its terms of service, and it’s lead to today. It’s unclear what might prompt Twitch to bring Playroom back into its streaming directory, but maybe it’s after Sony (and Twitch) figure out how it might want to handle a potentially disastrous mainstream news story about kids exposed to horrid Internet content.

And before you ask, I'm with you. Yeah, it’s not any different than kids being exposed to terrible things on the Internet through a web browser, but this is a youth-targeted consumer device that’s going to be a hot purchase during the holidays. I hope it doesn’t prompt Sony to make any rash decisions about streaming on PS4, though, and this is soon seen as just an unexpected blip in uncharted territory for consoles.

104 Comments
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Posted by Matthew

Bit of a bummer, but you can't count out human nature to act like this.

Edited by TrafalgarLaw

"A couple got drunk on camera, and the women not only passed out in front"

Don't give the guy too much credit @patrickklepek, it was only 1 woman.

Posted by patrickklepek

"A couple got drunk on camera, and the women not only passed out in front"

Don't give the guy too much credit @patrickklepek, it was only 1 woman.

Thanks. :)

Posted by EveretteScott

@matthew said:

Bit of a bummer, but you can't count out human nature to act like this.

I always wonder with comments like this. Me not wanting to do things such as these people, am I less human?

Edited by TrafalgarLaw
@everettescott said:

@matthew said:

Bit of a bummer, but you can't count out human nature to act like this.

I always wonder with comments like this. Me not wanting to do things such as these people, am I less human?

well, I'm glad it didn't escalate and stayed at a horribly pixelated breast. It is still a disgusting move to expose your own wife on the internet but at least no full on Uno-like incidents.

Posted by FoxMulder

There's always one person who has to ruin it for everyone!

Edited by Counterclockwork87

This actually sounds like a decent solution. Not going too far and not overreacting.

Posted by Cozmicaztaway

This is why we can't have nice things!

Posted by Hailinel

It's a smart move for now. Streaming through Playroom could easily be abused in many, many ways that I'm sure no one at Twitch wants to deal with, and it's probably making Sony do some rethinking, too.

Posted by Solh0und

This is why we can't have nice things.....

Posted by Mistzero

This is why we can't have nice things, few ruin it for the many.

Posted by Axiomatic

I'm so glad Spartan Show took off initially before the bad stuff did .

It can be so easy to forget all the good things about the Internet and the services we enjoy because of it when we're exposed to so much of the negative it can also bring - Spartan immediately showed and continues to show why such a feature is worthwhile.

It's a shame that all the good things to come out of Swapnote didn't save it, but I'm also not entirely sure what Nintendo could have done any differently when faced with what happened.

Edited by OllyOxenFree

You people disgust me.

Carry on.

Posted by TheStimpinator

Just read today's Penny Arcade and now I understand it haha, thanks Scoops!

Edited by Mystyr_E

and now...........it's the Kinect's turn.

Posted by Stimpack

It's such a shame. Also I find the fact that nothing seems to have happened with Uno on the 360 very disturbing.

Posted by DasaKamov

@matthew said:

Bit of a bummer, but you can't count out human nature to act like this.

I always wonder with comments like this. Me not wanting to do things such as these people, am I less human?

Of course not. The people who DO want to do things like forcibly expose their unconscious partners are in the VAST minority -- it's just that, with a literal world-wide web, their shitty actions are viewable by all.

Posted by abrasion

I tried calling in to the Spartan Show from Australia but no luck :/ I actually wanted to talk nerd with him (I prefer the DS3 sticks to DS4) and that was the whole point of his episode! Stick swapping.

Edited by ProfessorEss

I'm all for both Sony and Twitch airing on the side of extreme caution.

Despite the fact that it's maybe "not for me" this is a great new feature and if these companies have to slow things down to make sure they don't get villainized and subsequently axed I say "take your time and figure it out".

I'm less concerned about "kids seeing horrible internet stuff" and more concerned about someone seeing themselves on the internet. We all know this won't be the last or worst case if things aren't moderated in some way.

Posted by Ghost_Cat

What a shame, but not unexpected. The idea of streaming made easy was so fascinating that I was going to give it a try myself, but people had to ruin this, of course. Good on Sony for reacting quickly to the situation.

Edited by Chtasm

Too bad. Playroom is probably the best thing to come out of this new generation of consoles.

Edited by Evilsbane

The things we do "for the children"

Edited by Vaancor

Was expecting something like this to happen, glad they've said they may come back to it eventually. While it's a very cool idea and lead to some neat things, like the Spartan Show call in show, I've noticed most of the super creepy stuff seems to keep popping up to the top, such as the most popular channel a few nights ago being nothing but a girl commenting on the rude comments chat was flooding her with.

Posted by HatKing

@everettescott said:

@matthew said:

Bit of a bummer, but you can't count out human nature to act like this.

I always wonder with comments like this. Me not wanting to do things such as these people, am I less human?

Of course not. The people who DO want to do things like forcibly expose their unconscious partners are in the VAST minority -- it's just that, with a literal world-wide web, their shitty actions are viewable by all.

It's easy to blame garbage people for ruining this for the rest of the world. But the forum was created by Sony and Twitch. Them not seeing this coming a mile away is blind to a worrying degree. It highlights a feeble understanding of the internet, and people in general. And their solution is to burn the whole thing down as soon as it gets a little bit dangerous. They had something potentially interesting on their hands, too bad.

Edited by Deathpooky

I don't understand why Sony completely pulled the plug on a cool concept. Why doesn't Twitch or Sony just pull down, suspend, or ban streamers with nudity or other TOS violations? You can just as easily stream a PS4 game with your dick in the corner. Or just stream on your PC doing whatever you want, gaming related or not. If people are abusing it or putting up inappropriate stuff, you ban them.

Hopefully this is just temporary while they work out some sort of curation, community policing, or monitoring/reporting system and respond to how people are using streaming and stream watching services.

Posted by Shortbreadtom

@deathpooky: Sony didn't pull any plug, this was all Twitch. Sony has remained pretty quiet on the whole thing

Posted by GalacticPunt

@patrickklepek "But, sadly, it got gross." may be better expressed with something like "In a separate incident, things got gross."

For people reading about this for the first time, the current phrasing may make people think that friends of the first, adorable couple came on The Spartan Show and exposed themselves. And the first couple are already indelibly linked enough with the skeezy couple without that.

Edited by SomeJerk

Sony are not behind the non-archiving of Twitch streams either. Twitch are. And this is a non-issue. Twitch have banned and blocked people of non-huge names and associations for running a few minutes looking like a non-game stream.

If they block and ban when somebody airs a PlayRoom pong championship, then we're talking dumb things.

Posted by Deathpooky

@shortbreadtom: Well then same question for Twitch, probably even worse. People can stream garbage on Twitch through other means just as easily as they could on Playroom. Not sure why they pulled the streaming entirely instead of just suspending the offending accounts and letting people know that inappropriate content will result in bans.

Posted by Woocifer

Ever wonder why nice guys are single and guys who expose their drunk wives on public internet broadcasting are married? I wish women would make better choices...and guys would smarten the f@ck up...

Edited by Shortbreadtom

@deathpooky: If I'm understanding it correctly, they still haven't pulled the plug. All they've done is removed the "so-and-so is now streaming Playroom". You can still stream Playroom, it just won't be listed as such so it's nigh on impossible to find. For what it's worth, I agree with you though. I don't see how this is different from people just webcam streaming porn, and I think that account banning and suspending is a much better solution. My completely uninformed thought would be that this is just temporary until they either find a better solution, or the next generation is no longer the centre of attention so they'll be under less scrutiny.

Posted by Victor018

Guess the fun's over. The Tika drama was one of the most amazing things I've seen on Twitch.

Edited by Allison

@woocifer said:

Ever wonder why nice guys are single and guys who expose their drunk wives on public internet broadcasting are married? I wish women would make better choices...and guys would smarten the f@ck up...

As a nice girl who has never been in a relationship?

No. No I don't wonder.

Posted by iAmJohn

Seriously though, what kind of scumbag thinks that stripping their unconscious significant other on camera while it's being broadcast to the Internet is a good idea? Being drunk is not an excuse for that shit, and the fact that removing your inhibitions would take you there says a lot about how mental you must be. If I was that guy's wife, I would be seriously reconsidering this relationship.

Edited by schizogony

Why would anybody want to watch video games being played by anyone but Giant Bomb?

Posted by Rirse

Bet the person who decided to remove it was Horror. Even on the way out he ruining fun on the internet.

Posted by Sessh

Well, something like this doesn't really come as a surprise. I doubt that Playroom streams will actually make a comeback.

Edited by rachelepithet

Luckily they nailed that Lostprophets band guy before PS4 came out

Edited by Bane122

Hm... a question, @patrickklepek : do you really think the PS4 is a youth-targeting device? Sure, kids will be getting them but it seems a lot off games marketing targets people in their 20's and 30's.

I think the bigger deal is that what went down was just really bad, period.

Posted by l4wd0g

So. it's kind of like when Reddit got heat for looking using the photobucket exploit and just moved it to another subreddit.

Posted by FreedomTown

Parents, no where to be seen anymore. Anyone old enough not needing supervision, naked people, who gives a F.

Posted by Seeric

I really don't see how either Twitch or Sony could do much to prevent the 'bad stuff' other than to give harsh punishments after the fact. The very nature of streaming means that anything which happens occurs live, in the here and now, when it first makes it onto Twitch and something like this could have (and likely has) happened long before PS4 integration since all it takes is a webcam.

The only solution I can really think of to this which would not be meaningless nor possible to abuse would be to have Sony and/or Twitch hire 'Playroom Moderators' to jump between streams specifically for Playroom to make sure nothing is getting out of hand, but even this only takes a single moderator abusing his/her power to shut down a stream for little or no reason or a moderator being too lax/careless and not shutting down something which definitely should have been and the entire Internet would go up in a firestorm of rage.

Stepping back a bit for the time being is still definitely the best move, but I can't think of much that could be done to keep people happy and keep streamers in line.

Posted by RockGrumbler

Is there something about the PS4/Twitch setup that doesn't allow a user account to be banned if they are not living up to Twitch's TOS? It seems like throwing the baby out with bathwater, the bathtub, and the entire line of similarly branded bath accessories over a problem that his a simple 1 to 1 violation solution.

Posted by jimmyfenix

I will just leave this here. Goodbye, Sweet Memories.

Also @patrickklepek "uncharted" territory i see what you did there.

Posted by audioBusting

That's a surprisingly reasonable solution. They don't lose the feature, just the exposure (har har).

Edited by breton

Hell one guy getting his wife naked on cam isn't why they removed it. Nudity was a pretty rare case in the whole course of things. It's because those streams were bumping into massive viewership with content that was essentially a live chat while the streamers kicked some robots around. But then looking at the wider scope of twitch I don't know why people aren't pointing out the hypocrisy of the decision when a good chunk of popular streamers consist of a camera pointed at a woman's cleavage while a game goes on in the background. Moreover there's absolutely no sense to champion the Spartan Show who, in turning it into a damn call in show, was they the biggest culprit of it all.

Posted by Brodehouse

@matthew said:

Bit of a bummer, but you can't count out human nature to act like this.

I always wonder with comments like this. Me not wanting to do things such as these people, am I less human?

It's not a part of a human's nature to want to do a specific thing, it is part of the nature of living with humans that someone somewhere will do that specific thing.

It is not human nature for you to want to do this, it is human nature for this to happen.

Edited by Gunharp

The piece didn't cover this, so I'll ask.

Does Ustream allow Playroom streaming?

Posted by Axel_IX

At least Ustream is still around, I hope that couple does more of the Spartan Show, I really wanted to see it.

Posted by AlmightyBoob

The best playroom stream was the guy smoking joints and talking about life while the little robots cheered him on.

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