We all know reality TV.
Seemed silly when people started watching it to begin with, but now some of the biggest rating shows on television (Australian TV at least) are reality TV shows. Shows about people cooking things, people getting lost in the jungle and even people getting married (as if going to a real wedding wasn’t enough).
All the while there has been video games. Everyone remembers the old faithful Nintendo Entertainment System from the early 90’s and the swathe of consoles, both fixed and portable, that came from there.
Video games have become mainstream entertainment. One might choose either to sit on the couch and watch a television program or play a computer game. These are equated on a similar level.
What if you combined the two? Seriously… Who would think to do that?
Well, welcome to the 22nd Century, because now, with the help of the online streaming platform Twitch, you can now watch anyone around the world play their video games online. Yes, that’s right, you can watch some random guy or girl, from another side of the world play yours OR their favourite computer game from the comfort of your own couch.
Why would you do this? Computer games are increasingly complex so watching someone else play it can be as entertaining as actually doing it yourself. If you want to see the game and see all the excitement and beauty that is built into it, rather than sitting there and doing it all yourself for hours, you can watch someone else do it. You get the visual enjoyment without the investment of countless hours to ‘get to that point’ in the game.
Why would I stream?
Why do you take photos of your meal and post it on Instagram? It’s the same thing. You build a fan base, people will come back and watch you over time, you build your own community, your own style, your own empire. Over time, you might even get paid for it. People can donate money to support your cause, which may be as simple as paying for you to play computer games all day.
The point of all this? Yes, well I’m sure it’s all still niche; there’s only a select few people in the grand scheme of things that actually use Twitch and watch other people play video games. But, this is indicative of a broader trend – entertainment is changing. The way people consume entertaining content is changing – we’ve seen that coming for years – but now the very definition of what is entertaining content is changing. And that’s REALLY exciting.