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It occurred to me recently, when I was reading a press release about the billions of hours I’ve spent watching popular Twitch shows, that there is now a generation of gamers out there who may have spent much more time watching other people play games than they actually did.
It’s an idea that makes me feel about 400 years old – when I was a teenager, it would take several minutes to upload a single screenshot to a website via an intermittent phone modem. I was in my early twenties during the whole YouTube and Twitch phenomenon, working for IGN, the biggest gaming website at the time. I was one of the hosts of the first ever live stream, a 24-hour Dark Souls marathon that started with traveling to San Francisco to stay in the studio and ended up on the verge of missing out on my flight because I had slept in the middle of the day at the airport hotel.
This was around the time Twitch was becoming a thing and just a few years after YouTube’s Minecraft-driven boom in game videos, which I reported with curiosity. Who are these guys playing Minecraft for armies of young fans? Why do so many kids watch people scream into their microphones in front of Five Nights at Freddy’s?
It was a new way of approaching games, one that removed many barriers to accessing them; An 11-year-old might not be able to buy a console and all the games she wants, but she can watch as many YouTube videos or Twitch streams as she wants. I’ve now met teens who developed a passion for games primarily through second-hand experience, and I only continued to play more games when they were a little older and had more money and self-determination.
Live streaming is now, of course, an integral part of gaming culture for everyone under 25 and a lot of seniors besides that. I don’t mind admitting that I still don’t really mind it Get Twitch; I hardly have time to play any game, let alone watch someone else play it. But watching people play games has been an important part of my life. My brother and I have been scrolling our way through most of the classic games of the Nintendo 64 generation, increasing our playing time by sharing experiences. I know a lot of people in their 30s who started watching a friend or family member play Tomb Raider, The Sims, or Doom. Despite stereotypes, games are rarely something we do on our own. Games are experiences we share with each other, whether as co-partners, competitors, or as spectators.
I asked my readers a little while ago which games they like to watch rather than play. The responses reminded me that watching other people play games has been a part of gaming culture since arcades. Here are a few of them:
“I enjoy watching any of the Monster Hunter series when I’m part of a group of skilled hunters. For my part, I’m old and slow, and all I can use as a weapon is the hammer (basically, hit it on the head until you die). Other players use a variety of Sophisticated weapons and intricate technologies I sit and watch in awe.” Ian Noble
“I absolutely remember enjoying watching my partner play any kind of horror game (reminiscent of the early 2000s, when every YouTuber played Amnesia in front of the camera). Surprisingly watching her play through The Last of Us 2 ( before I played myself) It was fun too. I liked the story, some of the encounters were puzzles where we can either cooperate or confuse each other. I [already] He had a good mental map of the game, and this made it easier than playing blindly. Disco Elysium was also very interesting to follow. I was the first to get my hands on it – I started it after hearing me laugh so much – but watching her decisions, reactions and subsequent dialogue (some of which I totally missed) was so much fun! ” Nile
“I enjoy watching NetHack, which I don’t play because I find the Hunger mechanic too stressful, and Mega Man 2, because I get frustrated if I try to play – a challenging platformer is nothing. Ocarina of Time also works well as a spectator, because you can engage in puzzles and have fun In general, the atmosphere is fairly relaxed.” Nura
“I’ve been watching my husband play games for 11 years and before that he was my college mate. The BioShock, FEAR and Dead Space games were pretty cool back in the day. Lately, Detroit: Become Human has been entertaining because of the cinematic quality of its story. Likewise, Life has been Is Strange attractive (and easy) to watch. I’m not an experienced player, but watching someone else play it proves to be a lot of fun.” Gwen
“I’m a backseat player too – but my partner really enjoyed watching me play Persona 5 during lockdown, I think it was really cool and the music was soothing. It quickly became familiar to both of us. When we were on lockdown, this sounded like a relaxing escape.” Sufi
what are we going to play
shark card It is a nicely illustrated game about French aristocracy cheating in cards, which is just getting started but which I enjoy a lot. Here’s what our critic Phil Iwaniuk has to say about it: “Developed by the people behind the delicious swipe-right storyteller Reigns, Card Shark is a mini-game collection of 28 tricks, taught to you over the course of an exhilarating adventure against foundation that moves From a caravan in the woods to the king’s banquet hall. A simple one to get you started: scoop the discarded hands in the correct order until your partner ends up with the barbs. Later, you will discreetly fold the cards so that they rise to the top of the deck, and indicate the values to comte the way you hold the cup The most deceptive tricks are feats of memory – first load the deck with replicas, then sneak those cards before you deal again… All this beautifully brought to life with expressive selfies, scribbles, wine-colored backgrounds and a warm illusion-result Seriously suggesting there is a chamber music band lurking across the saloon.”
Available at: PC, Nintendo Switch; Devolver / Nereal
Estimated playing time: about six hours
what are you reading
I’ve been away for a week, so I’m on the news; If I missed anything, it was because I was completely off the internet – something I would enthusiastically suggest. Anyway, Blizzard Entertainment released their dungeon crawler Diablo Immortal on smartphones last week, which has seen a fairly good drop, except that everyone hates micro-transactions that require cash.
Sega introduced Sonic’s upcoming open-world game, Sonic Frontiers – but it didn’t go so well. Fans are calling for it to be delayed until developers can “fix” it. This is a lot more interesting than the usual “nicknamed fans explode on Twitter” story type, because it’s been the fans’ shocking reaction to Sonic’s original design in the newer Sonic movies that has led to a complete redesign of the character – and that’s certainly contributed to the success of the Sonic films. at the box office. Looks like the mediocre game won’t do that for this fan base anymore.
Pokémon Go, the viral phenomenon of summer 2016, has now made $6 billion — mostly in the years since its sudden heyday. He still has one of the friendliest and most active player bases in the world.
You’ve heard of Eve Online, right? It’s an MMO spaceship where players lead the game – so instead of the developer doing wars, quests and events, players create their own intricate web of corporations, conflicts, and power structures. The game has been home to some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from video games, including these incredible heists and these virtual murders. I spent a few years attending Eve FanFest, the annual gathering of Eve players in Iceland, and always found it fascinating to write about. Tom Reagan is back this year with a story about real-world powerful people — corporate types, military types, actual rocket scientists — drawn into the unscrupulous world of Eve to live out their imperial fantasies.
Welcome to Eve Online: the spaceship game where astronauts live out their imperial fantasies
Resident Evil 4 edition announced at PlayStation State of Play event
Card Shark: Cheating the French aristocracy in this shattered period – review
Why Silt is an underwater nightmare – Review
Grow your own virtual plant: Realistic farmer Dominic Diamond is trying to go around the online version
This week’s interesting question comes from Bigbird: What is your favorite unconfirmed theory about the game?
I love wild video game theory – especially fan theories, because sometimes it changes the way you look at a game. This is a good idea for anyone who has played Limbo, the classic black and white platform game from 2010: The game begins with a young child who wakes up in an underworld full of traps and monsters, and ends with him approaching a little girl under the tree house. After that, it goes back to the start. The favorite theory is that the entire game is the boy’s punishment for causing an accident that killed him and his sister – which is why he’s stuck in limbo. It makes me shiver.