#1 Posted by SneakyJB (44 posts) -

I booted up my PS4 the other day and started looking into some of the sharing/streaming functionality. It's all pretty cool but I've been struggling to wrap my head around why people are so into Let's Play and Twitch.

Why are people spending their time watching others play when they could be playing the game themselves? Is it because of the high skill or that they are funny? Or is it because they just want more insight into their favorite games?

If you watch Twitch or Let's Play who do you like and why does it appeal to you? I'm just curious what some will say as I am struggling to see the appeal despite tons of people enjoying it.

#2 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (450 posts) -
#3 Posted by xyzygy (9994 posts) -

I really don't get it either. I think it's absolutely one of the weirdest things to happen in gaming recently. I COULD see Lets Plays being useful for guidance or something in RPGS, but matching each episode to where you are would be tiring and unnecessary.

#4 Posted by SneakyJB (44 posts) -

@watchdog_gamer: I think the better questions is why are you here?

Here as in Off-Topic or here as in the website? I love video games, podcasts, Quick Looks, etc. I was just interested in hearing from Let's Play and Twitch viewers why they are interested. Not hating at all, just legitimately interested in hearing why people like it.

#5 Posted by SneakyJB (44 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

I really don't get it either. I think it's absolutely one of the weirdest things to happen in gaming recently. I COULD see Lets Plays being useful for guidance or something in RPGS, but matching each episode to where you are would be tiring and unnecessary.

Yeah that is the only time I've really watched them is if I am stuck and have played that particular section. I've been browsing around Twitch and it is so interesting to me that people sit down to watch other people play video games.

#6 Edited by Superkenon (1436 posts) -

@watchdog_gamer: Pretty sure this is what @rockyraccoon37 was getting at, but seeing as how you're here on Giant Bomb, you should at least be halfway to the answer already. It's hard to describe LPers or twitch streamers without it sounding like what the GB does/has done. Granted, there's a journalism lean to what goes on here, but most people come to this site because they just enjoy the personalities and want to listen to them gab over video game footage -- for entertainment. The most popular LPers are followed for the same reason.

#7 Posted by Animasta (14692 posts) -

@rockyraccoon37 said:

@watchdog_gamer: I think the better questions is why are you here?

Here as in Off-Topic or here as in the website? I love video games, podcasts, Quick Looks, etc. I was just interested in hearing from Let's Play and Twitch viewers why they are interested. Not hating at all, just legitimately interested in hearing why people like it.

The endurance run was a let's play in everything but name

#8 Posted by OtakuGamer (1237 posts) -

Some look for comedy, some look for skilful gameplay, some people watch it because they are interested in the game but don’t want to pay money for it yet. Others like watching people strategize in real time, watching them struggle and overcome against a formidable opponent.

Many reasons…

#9 Edited by Cerberus3Dog (336 posts) -

As a kid I used to watch my best friend play games that my parents wouldn't get for me. I really learned to love watching others play, especially if they were people I liked. I think that same mentality has carried over into the realm of LP's.

#10 Edited by wemibelec90 (1671 posts) -

For me, it's one of two things: I either really like the person's behavior/commentary as he or she plays the game, or I want to see more of the game in question before I pick it up.

I don't know why other people do it so much. I don't really spend much of my time watching streams/Let's Plays because, as you said, I would rather play the games myself.

#11 Edited by kindgineer (2725 posts) -

I watch people because they are funny, and I just don't have the time anymore to play games. It's a lot easier to boot up YouTube or Twitch, and watch for a little, and then be able to pause/turn off when my son needs to be fed, or I need to tend to my children in any way.

In a nut shell, it's not that I don't want to play games, its just that most of the games I play aren't really friendly to people that need to put it down in a timely manner.

PS: For example, I watch Jesse Cox (a personality on YouTube) play through Wolfenstein: The New Order. I really wanted to play this game, but 1) I don't have a computer beefy enough to play it, and 2) I don't have the time to put in order to make any meaningful progression without the fear of random interruption from the responsibilities as a father. Don't get me wrong, some personalities/teams such as PewDiePie, Yogscast, and a couple of others I watch as if they are my "television series." They are funny, the content they produce is adequate-great, and its just a good time. It's also, majoratively, real people. I'm sure I am not alone when I say that television is getting a bit out there. I'm getting tired of the sexual/violence theme a lot of series are undertaking, and the pseudo reality shows that happen. I mean, hell, they are designed to make you angry/spiteful towards the cast so that you can see them suffer in the next episode. That just doesn't sound like entertainment to me.

It's all opinion, I guess. I think a question like this is going to be way answered way to broadly to get a finite answer. It's 2014, and I think it's wonderful that people can actually make a living from their home doing what they love best. Not everyone needs to be IGN, Gamespot, or Giantbomb, and I think that is wonderful.

#12 Posted by SneakyJB (44 posts) -

@watchdog_gamer: Pretty sure this is what @rockyraccoon37 was getting at, but seeing as how you're here on Giant Bomb, you should at least be halfway to the answer already. It's hard to describe LPers or twitch streamers without it sounding like what the GB does/has done. Granted, there's a journalism lean to what goes on here, but most people come to this site because they just enjoy the personalities and want to listen to them gab over video game footage -- for entertainment. The most popular LPers are followed for the same reason.

Very true. I wasn't really thinking about how related the two are. I think I enjoy the Quick Looks because they are in fact quick and I enjoy the journalist slant you are talking about. The Quick Looks are about the only time I like watching other people play games because I love the staff here so much. I haven't actually watched any of the endurance runs though. I guess you are right and it's more of the personalities and less of the game itself unless you are watching Day9 or someone else to pick up tips.

Some look for comedy, some look for skilful gameplay, some people watch it because they are interested in the game but don’t want to pay money for it yet. Others like watching people strategize in real time, watching them struggle and overcome against a formidable opponent.

Yeah I guess you are right. I watch Day9 and some other Starcraft players because I am god awful at that game and like to see it played at a high level.

The main Let's Play stuff I don't understand is watching people play horror games. I enjoy Patrick's Spookin videos but he doesn't scream like half of the Let's Players seem to do.

Thanks for the answers. Maybe it is just a generational thing. I am 24 and my younger cousins watch Minecraft Let's Play all the time.

#13 Edited by RockyRaccoon37 (450 posts) -

@rockyraccoon37 said:

@watchdog_gamer: I think the better questions is why are you here?

Here as in Off-Topic or here as in the website? I love video games, podcasts, Quick Looks, etc. I was just interested in hearing from Let's Play and Twitch viewers why they are interested. Not hating at all, just legitimately interested in hearing why people like it.

Sorry was just being a little snarky. The appeal of Let's Play videos are similar to the appeal of watching the Giant Bomb guys, it's largely based on the personalities of the people playing the games.

#14 Edited by djou (875 posts) -

@watchdog_gamer: Honestly LPs and Twitch have taken the space that watching baseball used to occupy. When I'm working at home I often leave TwitchPlaysPokemon or Saltybets on continuously. I've never played either of these games. I also watch endless streams of Spelunky and Dark Souls despite having not player either for years. Its become the new sports, something that I half pay attention to.

Sometimes I watch LPs specifically for tips/strategies. Northernlion's LPs taught me how to play Binding of Issac, same with Bananasarus Rex's Spelunky streams. There is always satisfaction to watching someone skillfully perform something. When Titanfall came out I watched a ton of streams to figure out the best lines to run on maps. I haven't played a fighting game since Tekken 2 but I love watching fighting game tournaments for the player mastery. I

#15 Edited by Christoffer (1823 posts) -

I watch a lot of Dota 2 on Twitch because I find it to be a pretty interesting game to spectate. Also, it's a good way to learn the game. I don't watch much else in terms of Let's Plays and streams, except Jeff Green (cause he's fun as hell) and the occasional GB staff stream.

I mostly watch Draskyl on Twitch. Pretty knowledgeable and skilled at Dota. Also, I like his personality and the people he plays with. And he has good taste in music.

I don't think there's a simple answer to why we watch other people play games rather than play them ourselves. It all depends on what you want out of it.

Edit: Draskyl and crew http://www.twitch.tv/draskyl/b/535714518

#16 Posted by jaycrockett (451 posts) -

Sometimes you're at work and can't play games but can sneak in a video or two.

#17 Edited by Sin4profit (2933 posts) -

i'll watch a lot of Horror games being played because they have no real effect on me and it's fun to watch other people get the shit scared out of them.

Outside of that, i watch Twitch/Youtubers either because whoever's playing is funny, or because they're playing a game that intrigues me. GB does a good job of taking care of these things for the most part but they really don't venture into enough territory to keep up, so i have to go elsewhere for that.

#18 Edited by Pr1mus (3911 posts) -

You answered your own question by saying why you visit Giant Bomb. It's entertainment. Some people on youtube and twitch are pretty damn entertaining.

#19 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

Minimal effort for similar rewards, particularly for games like the Walking Dead. Spec Ops: The Line is one of those games that is good if you watch it and it's also good if you play it. In the case of something like Hearthstone, when RNG happens to you it's really annoying, when it happens to someone else it's hilarious. Personality/Production values matter, but there's still some appeal apart from either of those; as long as what you're watching isn't atrocious.

#20 Posted by meteora3255 (122 posts) -

I watch to either be entertained or informed. For example I like watching people build mega structures in Minecraft. I have no patience to do that myself but like to see the results and some of the work. I also enjoy watching games like Day Z and the like because of what can happen.

I also use videos as a buying guide. I can get more out of watching a few hours of gameplay with good commentary than a written review.

#21 Edited by Beforet (2922 posts) -

Well, one reason could be to experience games that you might otherwise not be able to, either from lack of money or from being unable to invest an indeterminate amount of time for a game (I can't sit down to play this 40 hour RPG, but I can schedule time to watch this 20-40 minute video).

Personally, I tend to watch/read Let's Plays of games I've already played. I'm not distracted by trying to pay attention to the game, so I can focus on the "oh oh, what's going to be their reaction to this?" feeling. It's very similar to showing a friend one of your favorite shows (except it's the internet and you're not friends and the analogy is a bit creepy but whatevs it fits my point). Sometimes, a good Let's Play also offers some insight into a game and gives me a better appreciation for it all together. The Drakengard and Nier Let's Plays from the Dark Id on Something Awful were like that. I already liked Nier, but the background he ended up revealing about its connection with Drakengard really made everything stand out.

As for what makes a Let's Play worth consuming, well it has to be entertaining, either by being funny or interesting, or both. And that I feel is the hardest to come by, especially with how the barrier to entry for making a Let's Play is zero (I could make one right now for any game I have). It's especially bad with people who try to do them with blind runs, and even worse when the LPer is solo on video. They're hard to come by, and I can say that the number of LPers who I can honestly recommend I can count on one hand because of that (Giant Bomb for video, Dark Id for text, I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting).

#22 Edited by Fattony12000 (7416 posts) -

#23 Posted by Marz (5653 posts) -

don't feel like spending money so i'll just watch someone else play the game... makes sense.

#24 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3369 posts) -

I mainly watch them for the entertainment and the personalities, same reason I watch the stuff on Giant Bomb.

I recommend checking out ChipCheezum and the Pokecapn posse. Most youtube LPers are garbage though.