“Why the hell would you want to watch someone else play games, when you could be playing games yourself?” That’s a question I got asked a lot by friends when they discovered my Twitch addiction. It’s also a question that I had to give a bit of thought to before I came up with an answer I liked.
For those uninitiated, Twitch is an online site where you can watch almost any game being played by people passionate about what they do. Whether it’s watching pro Call of Duty players, or someone just building their hours away in Minecraft.
But why after a long day’s work would I want to come home to sit on the couch and watch someone else have fun? The answer is probably the same reason I’m a gamer myself. It’s enjoyable. It’s the entertainment of watching someone else share in a hobby that only we can know means to us. It’s like catching up with a friend, and hearing them talk about the stuff they love.
It’s something akin to watching a television series you love, but it’s one that we’re connected to more intimately through common interest. You’re watching it with sometimes up to 5,000 other people, and you can discuss what’s going on in the channel’s chat. These are discussions the caster can see and more often than not comments on.
Even as just a watcher, you’re a participant in Twitch even if the reason is ‘I love this game’. Somewhere along the way though I went from watcher, to chatter, to supporter, to broadcaster. A little on six months ago I fired up the relatively simple software and went online for my first stream. I played Minecraft for about 4 hours. Most of my viewers were workmates. Now I have regular screening times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including a classic gaming night. Even then I end up broadcasting most nights regardless.
The reasons behind why I wanted to stream on Twitch were a lot of the same reasons to why you would want to watch someone do it. It’s the fun of gaming, but it’s the fact you’re doing it with other people. It’s the community that builds up around you and that you interact with.
With about six months and 100 broadcasts under my belt I’m still very much young in terms of some of the streams out there. I think my points of difference from the casts out there are firstly that I’m from New Zealand. We can always use more representation of local gaming. I’m also someone who grew up on games that I think are still fun to play even today. I think my cast can shed some light on those classic days of gaming.
See you in the chat!
KINGKRU broadcasts regularly from Auckland, New Zealand Monday to Thursday nights starting 7pm local time.