A video game, by definition, is an electronic game that involves human interaction with a user interface. Human interaction; this is the factor that separates video games from movies or books. However, a new trend seems to be setting in now. Gone are the days when people only enjoyed playing video games; now it’s all about watching other people play. Yeah.
YouTube gamers (gamers who record themselves play a certain game and put up the video on YouTube) are rapidly becoming a huge hit on YouTube. The reason? It’s because more and more people are beginning to find watching other people play their favourite game very interesting. But is it more interesting than playing the game itself?
Video games have progressed a lot in the past decade. Video games aren’t just about giving the gamers a good time anymore; they are more about delivering a solid and memorable experience to the gamer. Games these days do a lot to gamers than they ever did; they connect with the gamers on a higher level, making them jump out of their sits out of fear, or making them all teary eyed with their emotional touches. Whatever be the genre, games have found a way to affect the gamer in ways few books and movies do.
And this is where the curiosity factor comes in; after having an amazing experience with say, a horror game or a heavy narrative game, one goes on to think “Am I the only one that reacted like this?” or “I wonder how others might have reacted to this scary moment.” This is one reason why people like watching others play because they are curious to see how different people reacted to a particular game or a particular scene/mission in a game. Another thing to be noted is that, most people like to watch youtubers play horror games. Well of course, there is nothing more fun than watching someone get scared the hell out, is there?
Amnesia, Heavy Rain and The Last of Us are good examples; Amnesia was an amazing horror game and people loved to watch other people/youtubers play it as the game had a tendency to scare the shit out of anyone who played it. Heavy Rain had a non linear storyline which led to many gamers search YouTube for walkthroughs of the game as they were very curious to see what choices others had made. And The Last of Us was a narrative masterpiece and people wanted to see how other gamers had reacted to the highly emotional and deeply touching story of the game. The simple curiosity of how others may have reacted to a certain something fuels the rising trend of YouTube gamers.
Youtubers like PewDiePie, Tobuscus and theRadBrad are some of many famous YouTube gamers who have made a living out of recording themselves play different games. Their unexpected and hilarious reactions to the games they play have rightfully earned them a large and loyal fan base.
But how is this trend going to affect the gaming industry? Is it a good thing for the industry?
In most cases, YouTube gaming acts as a very good advantage for the gaming industries as this a form of free publicity. YouTube gaming introduces many new and indie games to a wider range of audience. It also helps gamers get a short honest preview about the game, helping them decide whether they would like the game or not. Many youtubers now receive copies of games weeks before the release date and if the games turns out to be good, then it is a huge publicity boost for the game. However, if the game turns out to be bad, it’s a whole different story (insert Ride to Hell: Retribution puns here). YouTube gamers are turning out to be modern-day vigilantes for the gaming community, protecting innocent gamers from the once in a blue moon horrors like Ride to Hell: Retribution or Day One: Garry’s Incident.
Technically, YouTube gamers are doing a favour to the industry by freely publicizing the industry’s games. However, the industry hasn’t been so warm towards the tubers; in many cases, many youtuber’s videos were taken down by game developers just because they had given honest negative reviews about the game. A very famous YouTube gamer, TotalBiscuit, was hit by a copyright infringement strike by the developer of “Day One: Garry’s Incident” because he had given a highly negative, yet legitimate, review of the game (click on the video below to get to know what exactly happened). There have been innumerable cases like this. This is stupid and downright unacceptable. Trying to curb any kind of negative review is nothing but censoring the thoughts of gamers who are the very people that make the industry run. Although, not all companies do this but still everyone must be more open to criticism and try to learn from it rather play tyrant and stomp on innocent youtubers trying to play the company’s games for a wider audience.
The above video is actually available, do not let the thumbnail fool you.
To conclude, YouTube gaming is growing at a very fast rate and is attracting more and more people to try out different types of games. Hence, the gaming industry needs to wake up and start playing nice and encourage this rather unexpectedly growing trend; I mean, seriously, whoever thought that watching would be so fun?(pun intended)
A special shout-out to TheGirlFromAus for her amazing videos; you always make my day, thank you for that!! Check her out here (no pun intended):
Who are your favourite YouTube gamers? Let us know in the comments below.
Also let me know in the comments below what you want me to write about in the future!! Have a wonderful day folks!!