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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.

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"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.

Patrick Klepek on Google+