I’ve always been a fan of video games. Back in 1986, when I was five, I had an apple IIe in my bedroom and played this game where a super pixelated blurred out Sesame Street character would block by block come into focus and the quicker you guessed who it was the better. Since then, I’ve been a serious fan of casual games. Never was a big first person shooter fan, and didn’t get into Online multiplayer games, but Tetris is my jam.
Early on in the world of YouTube I remember seeing video game run through and just didn’t get it. Why would I want to watch someone else play? What do I get out of it?
Almost seven years ago my boyfriend introduced me to Desert Bus for Hope, a video game themed charity telethon mostly brought to you by the Canadian internet comedy group Loading Ready Run (LRR). Don’t worry, in November you’ll be hearing a LOT about it from me. The rest of the year they made really funny videos for the internet, many of them about video games.
Several years ago, LRR started streaming video games on twitch. There’s several people in the cast and crew, so it was a wide variety of video games. My boyfriend started watching, and I still didn’t get the appeal. But sometime in the past few months I’ve become hooked.
Before then, I would watch occasionally, mostly if there was a specific game I was intereted in and wanted to know if I should buy it. Although I like the LRR people, as well as several people on twitch that are tangentially connected to them, I just wasn’t interested in spending time watching them play.
Months ago I started watching Kate Stark (twitch.tv/Kate) some nights when falling asleep. An occasional participant in LRR activities, she’s nice and engaging to watch and really cares that people in chat feel welcome. I watched several nights of Overwatch and Stardew Valley, when Kate started playing a new game in early release: PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG).
Pretty quickly it became the only game she was playing, and I was watching it every night that she played!! It’s a fast pace game that you can play alone or in groups of friends, and it’s so much fun to spectate. Many others in the LRR crew have played it too.
I’m not sure I understand the why of it, but I can’t stop watching people play this game. Something about the live unpredictability of the game, and the fun chat by good players, makes for a happy me.
Two of my favorite videos inspired by PUBG are below. The first one, made in part by my crush Mikey Neumann, is a fun improv narration over game play: https://youtu.be/dSTweXVhs5U
The second one is the LRR crew playing the game in real life with nerf guns: https://youtu.be/-bd2XWbjDOM