Words by Greywolfe
A few weeks ago, I started talking about how YouTube and Gaming went together hand-in-glove. I promised in that article that I had more to say and then got summarily derailed by chronicling my four favourite games. Whoops.
So, I'd like to return to the piece I originally did and suggest a few more reasons why gaming on YouTube [and Twitch and Ustream] are good for everyone and not as weird as you might think.
The Nostalgia Is Real!
People play all sorts of games on YouTube - from modern blockbusters like The Witcher 3 all the way through to retro games that were made for the Magnavox Odyssey. The thing about the Odyssey, though? It was a console made in the early 70's. It would play on a pretty ancient TV. Good luck finding one.
So, sometimes, we watch other people play these games because they remind us of our past - maybe they have exactly just such a set up to capture those games. Perhaps you have a place in your heart for those bits of software. So if those two things collide, how can it be bad? Especially if you don't want to go to all the trouble of sorting through cables, finding a TV, hoping your Odyssey still works and finally setting aside some time to actually game.
YouTube, in this instance, has come to your rescue. Sure, you're not actually playing the games, exactly, but you can revel in someone else's experiences. Moreover, if you're trying to play those games as a fist timer and you're stuck, a little helping hand in the form of a visual walkthrough can sometimes help things along.
Why Hasn't Someone Invented A Thing That Would Let Me Watch A Bit Of Game Play So I Didn't Have Buyer's Remorse?!
I bet you've had this exact experience before. Or, if not, you will have it in the future if you're a new gamer: Outlets like Steam or Gog [or, really any other web-based store front] might be having a "ilghtning" sale. Typically, in these sales, a featured game only goes up for a handful of hours - maybe two [sometimes less. Gog had a "lightning sale" known as the Insomnia Sale. In that, there were limited quantities of a given game - and it was quite easy to miss out if you weren't religiously watching the website] - and in those two hours, dependant on what you know or don't know about the game, if you're intrigued, it's a lot simpler just to find video footage of the game so that you can tell whether or not you're going to want to buy in.
This has saved me from many an irrational purchase: I'll look at the name of a game, think "oh! That sounds interesting!" And then go look up gameplay footage. YouTube has saved me, yet again. That game which seemed so promising has turned out to be a shooter - a gaming type I'm almost completely averse to - and now I don't have to worry about having buyer's remorse.
Apart from this, it's not always easy to understand if you're going to like a game from a written review. You might think "well! This sounds like exactly the sort of game I'd like!" But when you get home, perhaps the action is too frentic or the story is a bit thin and - once again, if you've done some research about the game - including a look at footage - then you will be more informed and make better buying decisions.
Sometimes You Are Helping Charity
Contrary to popular belief, not all gamers are terrible human beings who constantly interact with each other at the twelve year old level while sniping each other from buildings in a first person shooter. At least some of the time, gamers are reasoanble, decent human beings and - when they're being reasonable - they sometimes like to give money to charity.
In the last few years, charity events that basically amount to people livestreaming games to help people in need have become a part of our gaming landscape. The most prominent example of this is an organization called Child's Play. Some decent human beings have showcased gamesthat they love through Twitch, YouTube and other such services while asking for donations from viewers.
This, in turn is a great gift to those who cannot actively help themselves.
There's more, of course - and I could go on listing other reasons why these two things work so well together, but if I did that, we'd end up at part 37 with still no resolution in sight. Suffice it to say that I believe that - while the models aren't always great [I'm not a huge fan of advertisiing in situations like these, but this is how people make money] - the idea of watching games while other people play them certainly has merit and will be with us long past the current YouTube/Twitch duopoly.
Pictures Courtesy of Pixabay: