Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gaming Alone

As I was getting closer to the climax of the final episode of The Walking Dead: Season 2 on the Personal Computer, a random person suddenly appeared on my channel and started to type a spoiler into the chat. When I saw it in action from the corner of my eye, I immediately banned the person thus removing both the spoiler and the shameless perpetrator completely from view and for the briefest moment the feeling of excitement and anticipation about the game left me but I shook it off quickly. I was left wondering though when I finished that broadcast session last week: Why am I here on Twitch?

It's time to fully embrace it.

There is this fancy ideal that I like to use as a reason behind me broadcasting on Twitch. I tell myself that it's a reliable and easy method to catch memorable moments from the games that I play, to later have them highlighted and saved for my own future reference and personal enjoyment. I know there is a deeper reason behind this and the period of crushing depression I experienced earlier this year hinted at the truth and the creeping feeling of loneliness that I have felt of late while streaming confirms it: I was looking for close friends and based on my prior revelation, it's a rather tricky and complicated subject to address. But yeah, I was hoping that out of the millions of people watching and interacting on, I would be able to find one or two like-minded gamers whom I can interact with on a daily basis to satisfy my need for gamer to gamer interaction. But apparently, I didn't realize that just like life outside the Internet, such a desire is not that easy to fulfill. How long have I been broadcasting on Twitch? I started doing it with consistency since late 2012. Every time I played a non-handheld game, I streamed it to Twitch without fail. I spent quite a lot of time streaming yet I am still unable to foster a meaningful friendship with anyone. I can only blame myself for this. I suppose I am not the friendliest of a person. It takes a lot for others to earn my trust. But I also know that I tried to make things work. I started off with just typing in chat before actually using a mic and then finally this year, using a webcam to see if it would help break down that invisible wall, that barrier I thought existed that separated me from obtaining a couple of good friends. I think that is perhaps my biggest mistake. Friendship doesn't just happen. I should have known better that Twitch is not a place to look for friendships. People go to the site to look for gaming-related entertainment.

The wrong place with the wrong chime.

I had wished that the spouse would entertain my pleas and requests to join me in my endeavor, to be there with me, to talk to me on the broadcast while I game but I should have known better that it was an unfair expectation and demand since the spouse is not even remotely interested in gaming. I tried to convince a small number of gaming acquaintances to also broadcast on Twitch in hope that I could strengthen our bonds and camaraderie but they just didn't see any benefit from such an activity. It just feels like I shouldn't even bother anymore. I just feel alone. It's a horrible feeling and doing this Twitch thing magnifies the loneliness tenfold. I am broadcasting for the wrong reason while risking things like getting my games spoiled and getting constant harassment from rude people while I play my games. Those last two things are easy enough to combat since I deal with those kind of people on a regular basis while playing League of Legends but that feeling of loneliness is quite unbearable. This evening, half-way into my play session of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls for the PC, I stopped broadcasting it and just played the rest of the session without the potential of anyone seeing me do it. And you know what, it felt better. I was able to just focus on the game without thinking about the social aspect of broadcasting. I was still gaming alone but at least I didn't keep my hopes up when the desired resolution is nowhere to be found and shouldn't even be on my mind.

Update Note: 09/12/2014 - I have decided to continue broadcasting just so that I don't have to use my own hard drive space to record my gaming sessions. I suppose one way to combat loneliness is to spend more time with it? I could be wrong though.

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