Are you a gamer or not? This question depends on the person being asked. Gamers can be lovers of a certain type of game or possess special hardware. “Gamer” is now understood in a broader sense: anyone who plays a game, be it Candy Crush or Call of Duty. But do these definitions really hold true in today’s gaming world?
In 2018, YouTube viewers spent more than 50 billion hours watching gaming content, with 48% of viewers saying they spent more time watching than playing. Twitch, the internet’s leading live streaming service, recorded more than 9 billion hours of views last year. If you’re watching a game, that means you won’t be able to play the game during that time, which is usually the case. Of course, we still have a lot of people watching YouTube and Twitch but still playing games in their own time, but now, the number of people participating in gaming culture without touching keyboards/mouses or controllers is increasing.
We have plenty of reasons to watch without playing games. The most common cause is lack of time. The game is now more and more demanding year by year, with AAA blockbusters that can take dozens of hours to complete. Specifically, there are many players who are still experiencing old games, released between 2017 and 2018, like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Part of that is because the world in the game is ever-expanding – and it continues to expand further with each update or DLC.
“Games as service” (roughly translated as a game as a service), is the biggest trend today. Games like Destiny 2 and Fallout 76 reward players for logging into the game daily. In addition, they also organize short-term events that are only valid during certain time frames. Game becomes one Workand the work takes time and energy.
Joaquin, a video game fan who used to play games like Counter-Strike, said his gaming habits have changed dramatically since going to work.
“I have money to buy games and computers, but I don’t have time,” Joaquin said. “Or not enough time to invest in the game,” he continued.
For others, watching games is also said to be an art. Gretchen, a veteran livestream viewer, identifies himself as a competitive gamer.
“I always wanted to win, and play the game well,” she said. After college, she no longer had enough time as before. Instead of giving up his hobby altogether, Gretchen started following Counter-Strike professionally.
“Watching someone play means I don’t have to invest my own time ‘to be good at the game,’” she says. “I’d rather watch a good gamer do it.” She estimates she watches about 5 hours of livestream a day, which sounds like a lot of time, until you realize it doesn’t cost as much as playing games. You can watch games while doing housework, like doing laundry. Or you can surf the web while listening to the stream running in the background. Some people even use Twitch to ‘sleep’, with streaming being seen as a modern lulling tool.
Melinh, a Zelda fan, watching games instead of playing is how they found this hobby.
“I was one of those kids who learned about games when I went to someone’s house and played a game on their computer.” Melinh remembers when he went to his cousin’s house to watch his cousin play and he was much better than Melinh.
“Cousin carries me at every level…”
Now, as adults, time becomes a very precious thing – and they realize that many good games can take a lot of time. Switching from playing to watching games became obvious.
“I think what’s fascinating about the game is its ability to hold you for a long time, rather than reading a book or watching a movie.”
“I am concerned that if I indulge in gaming, I will neglect my responsibilities, like preparing for the final exam.” Watching instead of playing allows you to enjoy your hobbies, while still being able to sit down to dinner without feeling distracted for long periods of time.”
According to my own experience, every time the author shares that he writes about games for a living, 60% of people will respond: “Oh, I love games too, but I can’t play because I will be absorbed in it. it lost!”
In the case of Melinh, the console has additional built-in features that allow you to enjoy the game more passively. They use PS4’s SharePlay to stay in touch with friends from afar. That person will play games while Melinh watches, or talk about his day.
“We stayed in touch about life and gave each other advice and support while she played The Witcher, Horizon Zero Dawn and Dishonour,” Melinh said.
Another common reason is not enough money or machinery. Video game consoles cost hundreds of dollars, and AAA titles often cost as much as $60. Paid online services aren’t cheap either – not to mention the cost of accessories, like handles. While cell phones open up hundreds of game genres, the phone itself doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars.
“Unfortunately, wallets are limited,” tweeted schreiraupeee. “But at least you can watch streamers play games.”
Children, who often do not have as much money as adults, can enjoy free games on YouTube. In this case, games like Minecraft or Grand Theft Auto V are no longer open-world games, but rather an alternate animated show every night. In other words, video games are more extensive than what you see on TV: characters appear from all over, or anything can be built by gamers. Spider-Man can hang out with Elsa in Frozen without any problems.
YouTube and Twitch also make certain genres of games more popular. For example, you often watch horror games on YouTube, but never dare to play because you are too scared.
For others, watching but not playing games is not a matter of time or money – but fear of being judged. Viktor, a fan of Slay of the Spire, said that people around him often judge his interest in the game.
“Most of the family members react very negatively when I play games,” he said. But strangely enough, his family is fine if we just watch games, and that’s how Viktor enjoys his hobby.
A lot of gamers pride themselves on their game knowledge – can you do that? Do you know about this? But strangely, many viewers know very well about their favorite games, even though they have never played them themselves. Some people seem to know more about games than those who actually play them every day, because their passion completely revolves around knowledge of the game.
This phenomenon is not only limited to game viewers. Thanks to games like Overwatch and Fire Emblem, which feature massive characters and realistic animated worlds, video game fans also include artists and cosplayers. Every time new characters are introduced, often the developers also give out character tutorials to help people learn how to draw or dress up like them. Game festivals are never without fans wearing cosplay. This action doesn’t mean they played the game – they simply liked the character design, or the drawing style of the game. But these people’s passion is no different from gamers playing The Division 2 every day. We are living in the same ecosystem.
Maybe this new generation of video games is inevitable. The author still remembers when he was a kid, constantly flipping through game magazines. The author reads it all, page by page, fantasizing about games he’ll never get to play. Then go home and debate the game with the other kids.
YouTube and Twitch didn’t exist before, but if they appeared at that time, we would probably be as addicted to them as we are now.
According to Polygon
Source link: People who watch games but never play games