I stopped watching Twitch and started enjoying video games again.

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Fruitcocoa

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Edited By Fruitcocoa

For the past two years it has been a struggle to come up with a year-end list of my favorite video games. I used to love making them and I am completely honest when I say that the struggle made me question if the time for my enjoyment of video games simply past.

I have been a paying member of Giant Bomb since the very start and I have been listening to the crew since their early The Hot Spot days. When the whole Giant Bomb thingy started, I got really into the longer videos and often watched them while playing different games. I am a big fan of sports and racing games and those games are almost made to have something on in the background to enjoy.

Two years ago, after a couple of rough months, I started watching Twitch to get the time go by. I started following streamers who played the games I enjoyed and at the start really learned a whole lot about the games I played and started to play them a bit more seriously. I am not going to lie – it added to the experience. The sheer excitement of watching people discovering new things in competitive games was awesome and I got a lot better at the game.

My newfound interest got me away from Giant Bomb. I still listened to the podcasts but the almost everything else I was skipping. I started to play less and less games because you know how it is on Twitch – everything sucks and people who play a different game than the one you are watching are confused. So, I skipped Assassin’s Creed because someone told someone that it wasn’t that good. I skipped Spider-Man, God of War and almost every game that wasn’t the ones I played while watching some of my favorite streamers.

I told a friend this past November that it felt like I just didn’t enjoy games anymore. All the fun was in these couple of games I was playing and watching at the same time. I returned to the different chats and realized how all the drama, all the negativity and all the highly questionable ways these streamers was trying to kick the dirt up to get even more views just made me not enjoy the games. I already knew everything sucked. You know, Twitch chat knows everything.

I unfollowed all the channels except for two and started playing Jade Empire again. It just ignited that flame of fun within me again. I actually played the games and didn’t just have it on as one part of something else I was doing. I went back to a lot of games I missed, and it wasn’t until these last couple of days when a video of one of those streamers I enjoyed watching popped up when I realized how extremely negative and drama driven almost everything is now. I went ahead and popped in to one of the streams I enjoyed and there the chat was fighting over how Fortnite players are lame and that everything about them sucks now.

I turned it on, went ahead and played Fortnite for the first time in months and had a blast. Just as with all those other games I missed during this time.

I don’t want to tell which streamers I followed, but I can assure you that this is about highly respected people and not ones that are truly problematic with a bunch of drama in their streams. Obviously, this was my experience and maybe I’m just weak who fell for all the negativity. However, when I see the console wars raging again and all the comments on different forums and posts, I see so clearly where they come from and it makes me sad. I am not saying that you should stop watching Twitch, all I want to say is that it’s easy to get dragged into all the negativity and video games should be fun. It should be about enjoyment and a good time, not a bunch of drama and hate because you like a certain game.

That’s all. Thanks for reading. <3

(Giant Bomb or any people affiliated with the sites are NOT part of the ones I’m talking about here. I’m very glad I found my way back here.)

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Arcitee

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I have only dabbled in watching twitch streams but the few times I did the chat was a trashfire that made me want to just turn it off.

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north6

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#2  Edited By north6

You speak wisdom. I'd go further and say I am pretty sure I can track a downward trend in how much I enjoy actually playing games that correlates inversely with how much video game streaming and enthusiast press I consume in general. Wish that weren't the case, but it do.

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FacelessVixen

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I never got involved with Twitch, so I still enjoy video games.

That said, there are a few notworthy people on YouTube where I watch their past streams from time to time, such as Ray Narvaez Jr/BrownMan and Pat of Castle Super Beast and formerly of Super Best Friends Play.

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Justin258

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When I want to watch videos related to games and I'm not on Giantbomb, I generally watch Let's Plays. And I'm not talking about the yell-y, Pewdiepie type, there are some good Let's Players out there. Gopher's pretty entertaining. Kikoskia's been doing LP's a really long time and he can be pretty entertaining. Generally, though, you have to be able to accept that sometimes people don't notice something that you feel is incredibly obvious, or completely miss mechanics that you'd think they would see. Hey, turns out that commentating and playing is pretty hard!

It's a good idea to do something else while you watch people play video games, though.

I did watch Twitch for a little while. I watched some MacieJay play Rainbow Six Siege while I was way into that game. It became a problem for me for a different reason - whenever I played the game, I would feel awful because my performance was terrible in comparison to MacieJay, King George, and some other streamers who are pros/retired pros/reach Diamond and Champion levels every single season and the best I ever did was lowly Gold III once. I have sorta stopped playing competitive shooters since, except for giving Valorant a try and not watching anyone else play Valorant, and I'm much happier about how I spend my gaming time now.

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NathHaw

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Twitch is a very big medium made of many types of people including the ones who don't like drama. I can watch someone play FFIV or Tactics, and it's very low key then immediately switch over to people around a table playing a board game. You make it what it is, but I agree in that Twitch has allowed many people to use it to their own detriment.

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billmcneal

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Congratulations!! You have ascended to the next level

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Undeadpool

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I find subreddits can also do this, especially (or specifically) with multiplayer games. They're always so insular, it always gets really weird, really quickly, even if it's not overtly toxic.

Congrats on redisovering your fun!

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csl316

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Since Giant Bomb became a Twitch streaming site (times are weird, I won't fault their decisions), I've been watching way less and playing more games myself.

And hey, turns out games are fun.

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Christoffer

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#9  Edited By Christoffer

I mostly watch a couple of super small Twitch channels. Two of them happens to be podcast hosts that I enjoy listening to. But since there are only 100-200 people watching the chat is actually fun to read and participate in. Maybe it helps that they are mainly known outside of Twitch so you rarely get the usual Twitch audience in there.

I used to also watch some of the bigger streamers and I can only agree with you, it slowly drained my enjoyment of games.

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Humanity

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Twitch is one of those places that makes me feel really old as I don't really get it. I understand the concept of course as I watch live content on GB all the time, but Twitch seems like another beast entirely. The one thing I can relate to is how your time can melt away watching others without ever doing anything yourself. These past several weeks have been great for content on Giant Bomb but a surprising side effect is that I've been playing a lot less games myself because there is always another stream around the corner or another archive I want to watch. I'm in a timezone that aligns the start of all the GB streams with the conclusion of my work day. So I'll often think all day of what game I want to play after I'm done working, only to settle onto the couch after work and watch a bunch of GB content without playing a thing.

So I guess it's important to find some balance in it all. Sometimes it's difficult to not watch something when it's happening Live but I've started putting off the Bombcast and Hotspot streams for when I go for a walk or something and using that time to actually do some gaming myself instead of just watching it.

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LikeaSsur

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I'm glad you broke out of your funk, but this seems like it was definitely a user error. Twitch can be as useful or as useless as you allow it to be, just like Giant Bomb. If you just consume, consume, consume, your hobby gets a bit dull when you're neck deep in it. It's always important to take a step back and realize Giant Bomb or Twitch or Gamespot or whatever isn't even close to the majority when it comes to games and the subculture in general.

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deactivated-611d8183a00c9

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I only watched twitch because of awesome games done quick, the occasional call of duty beta that I don’t have the right system or havent scored a code for yet, and pubg. Other than that streaming is very much the national enquirer for our hobby.

I tended to stick with mixer if I’m going to watch someone stream because I felt like they weren’t in it for the money because how could they be. Also I scrolled up from the bottom and only watched people with single digit viewers.

I even stopped posting to Facebook, Reddit, and just started appearing offline on all my videogame social services. If my dog could respond with just “yes” or “no” statements that would be infinitely more interesting than what other people think, suggest, or promote on the internet. It’s not worth my time. People in person all day long. It’s like when projectionist used to focus film in movie theatres. Look for the twinkle in somoeones eye and you know it’s in focus. Well in the internet you’ll never see someone’s twinkle.

I just signed up for GiantBomb because of covid and I’ve been able to have more leniency with second screens at work so this has been amazing and in future therapy I will point to signing up for this and just rolling through hours of games even with just audio as me maintaining my sanity rather than losing it and coming back as some other person. I cut my youtube consumption by 99% and by doing so I’ve missed countless liberty mutual ads.

Looking at some streamers that I would never watch during all this and how they just gernerated content was very informative. As awesome as all that they do seems. You realize that they are just behind some higher end rig. With some higher end camera. With business grade internet. But they were victims of their greedy choice. They still had to produce. Still had to have “fun.” Still needed controversy. But they still couldn’t leave the house. Though the most jerk types still did to generate content. The internet is a cesspool. Once this is all over I think I’m going to just get rid of all my consumption worthy stuff videogames, movies, and tech. At a loss or not. We’re still in the middle of it and it’s sucks to reach points in your life where definitive choices are mulled over and made and this is the first time where I can’t act.

I post here now because I enjoy the console wars. Gamers very much do put the corporations foot to the fire. There are marked choices that need to be heard that not everybody thinks of or knows and these little bar brawls of gamer wars reveal. Like:

Ps4 only allows Bluetooth audio or tv audio not both

Triggers on ps4 controllers will “trigger” if not delicately set on table

Both consoles back to ps3 have hdcp (privacy protection) so you just can’t stream them with an el gato. I’m not picking up an associates degree to figure it out. So PS5 not offering backwards compatibility is huge for legal and easy streaming

AirPods don’t work with Xbox bluetooth

Original Xbox didn’t have headphone jack. They sold an adapter

PS5 gets all this praise but they mentioned nothing or service which is the only reason to buy a next gen console at this point of being well past diminishing graphic returns. I don’t buy a new car for features. A car is a car. At this point a ps4 is videogames. PS5 or Xbox series x. Is the same.

Joycon drift even in the switch lite.

Etc. The console wars are important. I only post here because the threat of the ban is more real here and gives me and others more reason to pause on the toxic stuff. And honesty the TOS should say.. we reserve the right to take your personal information and expose you on Twitter.

Moral of the story. The internet is a trash fire. Only engage in GiantBomb.

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ThePanzini

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#13  Edited By ThePanzini

Twitch is really good background TV, but I never watch a game I'm interested in, same for GB.

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sweend

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#14  Edited By sweend

Keep enjoying. :)

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Lord_Anime

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There are a lot of ways to interpret what you were experiencing, but I'll tell you, you're not alone. I've gone through the same spell, myself, if for different reasons. Sometimes, it is best to stop absorbing content about games, and just enjoy games. You unknowingly make watching games being played compete with actually playing the games. And, by stop watching ... you can start doing, since if watching isn't the default, than playing is the next best option.

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PatchMaster

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Y'all know Dan Ryckert has a Twitch channel now, right? He mostly plays older games and the chat is always chill.

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Y2Ken

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It's funny because you often hear critics of GB talk about how they're "so unenthusiastic and hate most games" (none of which I believe to be true, they are just comfortable making jokes about stuff), yet I find coming here tends to make me way more excited for the average game than watching people on Twitch.

Personally I do still enjoy Twitch but I tend to only watch a very small handful of streamers and I tune in somewhat infrequently when I have some spare time, rather than having them on constantly like I used to.

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Captain_Insano

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@humanity said:

Twitch is one of those places that makes me feel really old as I don't really get it. I

Ditto. Nothing about Twitch or Twitch streamers holds any appeal for me, despite having been happy to watch GB stuff from the beginning.

I've watched a bit of Dan's stuff on Twitch - but that just feels like an extension of GB since he's left.

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Mezmero

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#20  Edited By Mezmero

I'm glad Twitch exists to some extent but it's never been something I'm super into. These days I'm definitely of the mind that I'd rather play a game than watch it, plus I have enough income to do so. Once in a blue moon I'll catch EVO or AGDQ or a Starcraft tourney. I'm generally such a laid back guy that I don't really find the need to see things live just for the sake of zeitgeist. If there's something I want to watch I'll look up an archive on YouTube and do so at my leisure. I'll say the most positive experience I've had with Twitch was a few years back when they were streaming a Yu-Gi-Oh! marathon and you see the chat reacting to the absurdity of that show and also getting weirdly invested in it. That was a rare instance where watching it that way enhanced the experience especially since I probably wouldn't willingly rewatch that cartoon under normal circumstances.

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Mishapr

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#21  Edited By Mishapr

Me the same, but I can't quit other social media as well. I just see social media as my very good friend. It helps me connect with my family, message my friends, and also even run a business as I actually do now. I have a business account on Facebook and Instagram with cool toys and this platform helps me run them simultaneously.

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Mamba219

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It's the video game version of Social Media. Best for your own happiness to unplug. Good decision, man.

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Efesell

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I just stopped watching twitch to watch vtubers instead.

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frytup

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@efesell said:

I just stopped watching twitch to watch vtubers instead.

Hey, if you're going to witness the end of civilization you might as well grab a front row seat.

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eccentrix

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I watch VTubers on Twitch.

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Efesell

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@frytup: Nah I’m not on that tip. It’s a really positive set of communities on the whole. Especially coming off of twitch.

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Ben_H

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I also have massively cut back on the amount of Twitch I watch. I used to leave it on all day in the background but now I just tune into something on it maybe a couple times a week. I'm now down to watchingthe odd stream from Nextlander, Dan, Abby, and a few very small (I'm talking like 50 or fewer viewers, usually like a dozen viewers) streams run by people I know from communities I'm in who are just streaming for their friends.

A lot of the big Twitch/streaming channels are not interesting to me at all. They always have this fakeness to them that puts me off completely. They always feel like the streaming equivalent of when you accidentally go to Youtube's homepage when signed out and see all those horrible videos with millions of views that have catchy names but little actual content to them.

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Humanity

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@efesell: the fascination people have with vtubers is a mystery to me but I’m guessing “anime” is a big circle on that Venn diagram

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FacelessVixen

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@frytup said:

@efesell said:

I just stopped watching twitch to watch vtubers instead.

Hey, if you're going to witness the end of civilization you might as well grab a front row seat.

Yup. A front row seat to anime girls talking about porn of women fucking gear shifts, ordering butt plugs that were bigger than they anticipated, breast envy, and Cooksie.

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Efesell

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@humanity said:

@efesell: the fascination people have with vtubers is a mystery to me but I’m guessing “anime” is a big circle on that Venn diagram

Hm, maybe. I don't actually give much a damn about Anime so I dunno. It catches all sorts.

But I do understand that if something like Twitch already made you feel out of step then I could see vtuber culture just turning you directly into grandpa Simpson.

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frytup

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FacelessVixen

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@frytup said:

@facelessvixen said:

Cooksie.

I'm not going to google this.

No Caption Provided

Not everything I mentioned was lewd and rude.

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sombre

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The problem I find with twitch is that they spend 50% of their time reacting to chat and not playing the game

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Humanity

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@efesell: I just don't really understand the mindset that "I don't like Twitch but I like Vtubers" which I've seen crop up more and more often. Vtubers are Twitch, it's just that they have a mocap puppet instead of a webcam feed. It's still essentially the same format. I've heard people say that Vtubers allow people to be liked for their personality instead of their looks, but I follow people on Twitch that don't have a webcam feed of themselves and I like them for their personality. So I can only assume the allure of Vtubers over regular Twitch streamers is the mocap puppet, which is typically a stylized anime girl with a voice filter. I'm not into that community so maybe there is a pretty even split between anime-girl and something that is not that like a dinosaur or a robot, but from the outside looking in it is a whole lot of anime looking vtubers.

@sombre: I dunno, I used to think this before I started regularly watching Twitch but now that I follow some people regularly I don't think it's that bad. Just tuning in once in a while it may seem like a lot of time is spent reading chat but I think the reality of Twitch is that a lot of people stream for 4 hours or more in which case the chat interaction side of it tends to spread out and average out with the gameplay. Also thats a real big part of Twitch. The whole parasocial aspect of it aside, it's being able to directly interact with the person you're watching that is appealing - although that is only really possible in smaller channels.

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Daavpuke

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@sombre: I highly prefer streamers who interact with you, over those that literally just sit there playing video games and expect their audience to do the community building, if any. That's why most of the channels I watch have 200 viewers or less. Big enough to be active, small enough that it's less likely that it turns into a cesspool.

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Efesell

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@humanity: I think a lot of why people might call it better is just that right now the vtuber community is sort of where the best parts of twitch can be found. In that even with the most popular agencies it’s a web of smaller communities and not giant twitch voids where chat and such is too fast to even comprehend.

Otherwise yeah it’s not fundamentally different or anything.

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alistercat

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I am sorry that it impacted you so negatively. That's why I quit social media. I watch a lot of twitch and find wholesome streamers who don't engage in drama and have well behaved, well moderated chat.

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infantpipoc

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@humanity: As an anime fan myself, I'm baffled by this Vtuber thing as well

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Humanity

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@efesell: That I totally get. The streams I watch have like 150-200 viewers and only about two dozen active people in chat so it feels like you can interact with the streamer unlike some of those channels with 5K viewers and the chat zooming past at lightspeed.

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Topcyclist

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#40  Edited By Topcyclist

@fruitcocoa: It's all clickbaity bs, the constant social media bandwagon of hate is great, all games suck when they come out...not just a bit of a problem here or there, no their trash. You'd think Fortnite was a dot on the screen the way people go on about how its so only for kids and is so bad, yet it has tons of modes, tons of free outfits, free game updates, the game is catered to beginners and experts, hasn't been this build athon for years that everyone complains about unless you want it to be. Shooting improved. Then you have people screaming to the moon COD is bad, Battlefield is BAD. you gotta remember some people are just playing a game and really have no affinity to its series so your taste may vary. The best option, I've seen what makes these people clap, and if you also dont care for what they clap for, why care for what they hate.

Also future guess, Halo has stayed under the radar and it seems it will somehow go from looking like the hated game during previews to the most liked shooter by virtue of people not playing it for a while and it going back to basics. Much like the fever for COD when it went back to WW from Future stuff. Now that COD and BF are kinda the same feelings from their prior entries and the fight on COD vs BF is ehh...Halo will sweep in and mop up competition.

Twitch and social media on games has become less about a game being fun and more about how it's marketed and the take on whether the political and social climate surrounding a game is good and I hate it. NO site is above this from what I've seen with plenty of opinions on a final game movie tv show or book falling into whether it did what I WANTED and not whether it did what it set out to do and if I enjoyed what it set out to do or if you as an audience might. It's all due to the move to influencers and less about discussions on how we enjoyed a game. They influence you to get a game and whether you will like it. Someone telling you over and over how bad something is and all the issues even gripes you don't care about or are nitpicky or have nothing to do with the game, leak into your head and make you dislike things sometimes. Doesn't help when people can use that SLOW-TALKING British voice and make youtube "essays/case studies" on why your favorite new hotness is flawed and you should rethink liking it since they're more informed than the person who just says a game or thing is trash and moves on. They both suck. RANT OVER

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swthompson

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I had this same problem, but sub out "twitch streams" with "gaming forums"

Forums are just sneering negativity. Nothing else. Nothing of value is posted, no joy is derived. My forum addiction was horrible and the discourse there poisoned my mind.

Just hanging out with casual crews like Giant Bomb helped me actually enjoy my hobby for the first time.

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knoxt

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@fruitcocoa: It's all clickbaity bs, the constant social media bandwagon of hate is great, all games suck when they come out...not just a bit of a problem here or there, no their trash. You'd think Fortnite was a dot on the screen the way people go on about how its so only for kids and is so bad, yet it has tons of modes, tons of free outfits, free game updates, the game is catered to beginners and experts, hasn't been this build athon for years that everyone complains about unless you want it to be. Shooting improved. Then you have people screaming to the moon COD is bad, Battlefield is BAD. you gotta remember some people are just playing a game and really have no affinity to its series so your taste may vary. The best option, I've seen what makes these people clap, and if you also dont care for what they clap for, why care for what they hate.

Also future guess, Halo has stayed under the radar and it seems it will somehow go from looking like the hated game during previews to the most liked shooter by virtue of people not playing it for a while and it going back to basics. Much like the fever for COD when it went back to WW from Future stuff. Now that COD and BF are kinda the same feelings from their prior entries and the fight on COD vs BF is ehh...Halo will sweep in and mop up competition.

Twitch and social media on games has become less about a game being fun and more about how it's marketed and the take on whether the political and social climate surrounding a game is good and I hate it. NO site is above this from what I've seen with plenty of opinions on a final game movie tv show or book falling into whether it did what I WANTED and not whether it did what it set out to do and if I enjoyed what it set out to do or if you as an audience might. It's all due to the move to influencers and less about discussions on how we enjoyed a game. They influence you to get a game and whether you will like it. Someone telling you over and over how bad something is and all the issues even gripes you don't care about or are nitpicky or have nothing to do with the game, leak into your head and make you dislike things sometimes. Doesn't help when people can use that SLOW-TALKING British voice and make youtube "essays/case studies" on why your favorite new hotness is flawed and you should rethink liking it since they're more informed than the person who just says a game or thing is trash and moves on. They both suck. RANT OVER

Buddy, I think you need a holiday. That's not an attack, it's me reading your post remind MYSELF, that I need a holiday. There's a lotta frustration goin on on in this post and I'm not sure I saw one positive thing said which..I mean, if that's your brand or whatever that's cool. I even agree with a couple statements you made, just kinda hope you don't carry this around in your head all the time, yknow? Anyway video games rule, twitch ..not as much, it's a culture I don't exactly identify with, but I like a video essay here and there. It's all choices and attitude, and in the end, as much or as little as you choose for yourself, and, playing video games is just better than watching someone play video games.

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@stangoff said:

By the way, I'm trying to figure out how worthwhile the goal of creating personal twitch channel and is it possible when I d like to stream MMO games. Are they popular now?

Yes, but as a new streamer you'll be drowned by populsar streamers. Two of the biggest games on twitch right now are FF14 and New World. Why would someone want to watch you when they could watch one of the professional clowns that streams it to 30k people? It's harsh but true

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I’ll only add that thanks to Twitch streaming I actually started gaming more. I had played Hollow Knight for a long time but then dropped it near the end and never got back because I just thought it would be way too hard after such a long break. After watching a streamer methodically make his way through Hollow Knight I was reinvigorated and picked it back up, beat it and even did some optional bosses getting up to 112% Completion. So it can also have a positive effect.