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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gaming without Twitch

It has been almost two weeks since I have stopped broadcasting my gameplay to twitch.tv and even though I have been coincidentally sick throughout most of the aforementioned timeline, I must say that I have been enjoying myself a lot more than I ever did before when playing my games. The things that always bothered me when I broadcast to Twitch was the back-seating and the people who couldn't help to impose spoilers into the chat whether directly or indirectly. Sure, I always wished to have someone to interact with me while playing my games, preferably my husband, but for the most part, the types of interaction I got while broadcasting were just annoying. Instead of commenting on what happens on the screen, they would comment on the upcoming part of the game and instead of reacting with you, they proactively set you up for that reaction. When I visit other channels, I like to focus on the broadcaster instead of the game. What this means is that I tend to get personal with the broadcaster, like asking about his or her life - nothing too personal of course - or the motivation behind a gameplay action while of course reacting with him or her with the things that are happening on screen. I would never comment on something the broadcaster is doing wrong in a game that I have played before unless I am specifically asked to do so. Even then, I sometimes don't even reveal too much details on what to do but instead just basic clues for him or her. But I understand now that twitch is not the place for thoughtful gaming companionship.

Twitch is a curious dichotomy because it takes away from full immersion to your
gaming time as a viewer while demanding others to do the same while being a broadcaster.

There was a broadcaster whom I thought was personable and interesting who had a small viewership and shared my own broadcasting values. Then one day, I saw with my very own eyes a light bulb went on above his head when suddenly he noticed that people stayed and watched when he allowed them to tell him what to do with the games he was playing and thus, he abandoned the no back-seating and no spoiler policy even though those things were still listed on his channel and even sometimes, his stream title. I stopped watching of course because I can't interact with him anymore since whenever I opened the chat, it was clogged with back-seating activities and people trying to hint spoilers to him. These acts were never punished so I was done. I am happy to have left Twitch and I believe that I have made the right decision. There were a number of times when the broadcast itch came back and I wanted to at least use Steam Broadcasting but I knew that I was asking for trouble. You see, unless you are playing in a tournament watch by millions, I now believe that live gameplay only belongs to the player and his or her closest friends. It just doesn't work with random strangers on the Internet. It's just not meaningful whatsoever. Perhaps when I have accumulated enough close gaming friends, then the broadcasting adventure can thus begin anew. But I seriously doubt that would ever happen.


Update Note - 04/26/2015: I am back on twitch.tv again. I know, I messed up. I am only human. I am approaching streaming more carefully this time around and remind myself of the benefits it provides me - the easy DVR-like functionality of potential interesting gameplay moments, both in terms of recording and editing. I hope this will all work out for me in the end.

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