A few nights ago I stumbled over this video on YouTube, wasn’t even sure what I was watching before that, but for once the “you might be interested in this” was accurate.
So I watched a Diablo 2 speedrun and thought: I might like this, let’s check some of this guys’ other videos. Then the next day I watched another recording of him doing another speedrun (Assassin) and then I noticed: No, this doesn’t really interest me at all. The speedrunning itself was quite interesting once, but zero interest in watching a third run. The guy seems ok as well, but apparently the first video being live at an event was really good, and when he was doing it with his usual home setup I again noticed that streaming is just not for me. And by that I mean watching, I have no plans to do it myself, it would also probably label me as a proper hypocrite 🙂
First of all I guess it’s people just narrating what they’re doing on stream. Yes, I do sometimes watch Let’s Plays if I’m interested in the game. But unlike with other videos I’m skipping all the time, I’m only doing this for the game and the host needs to be ok. Don’t think I’ve found someone yet who I find awesome.
But I think most of all I really disapprove of this kind of hero worship with people becoming fans (in itself a good thing) but then kinda seem fighting for attention of the host in chat most of the time? Also I mean, sure, give them your money if you do want to support them but if I was sending money or even just subscribing I sure as hell didn’t want to be called out on stream. Take my attention or take my money, but this isn’t giving alms where I expect or even want a huge thanks. Maybe that’s me being weird though.
Another point might be though that I’ve been part of various open source communities and sure, some people who started or lead popular projects are kinda in the spotlight, but I’ve mostly seen them all as peers all the time. They contribute, I contribute. Sure, it may be their project and I just file a bug or fix a typo or even do a feature, but there’s hardly any “Senpai noticed me” going on (not only for me, I know many people see this). So yeah, maybe I’ve grown old and grumpy and it seems I don’t get fandom anymore. This might be true in the case of sports clubs or fainting at a concert because I see the boy group live 😉 I like and even love a lot of things and I’d even sometimes say I’m a fan of X – but maybe I’m just not a rabid fan of anything or elevating any podcast hosts or streamers to any heights and I feel so out of place when watching Twitch channels. Much more because of the viewers than because of the streamers.
Maybe a valid criticism is that I just need to “git gud” to grasp on what high level some of them are playing, but I just don’t care. I know that everyone who even wins at a backyard tennis/soccer/curling tournament is better than I am, but I don’t see a point of accepting their stardom for it? Not sure, maybe it comes back to being involved so much in open source communities.
End of rant, but I’m still confused all around. People did tell me a few times in the last few years I seem to be not so easily amazed by anything. I guess that’s true, but there’s still a lot of things I like doing, and certain games I like enough to be playing them several times per week, and not just because I didn’t think about it and never stopped the routine. I guess I was there with WoW somewhere between 2009 and 2014, just logging in because you log in.
I see this a bit the same with podcasts, but it is kinda different. I try out a lot of different ones and stick to relatively few ones. I seem to be very, very picky about topics, the hosts, and their voices. Any people who know me from Twitter and who know I listen to their podcasts are of course the exception, and I’m not saying that because I’m a nice guy but because I might have known one or two of the hosts even before they started their podcasts, liked the podcast and then also followed and interacted with the other hosts. Also I wouldn’t compare them to celebrities like the big streamers.
One final point, I hate watching e-sports as much as watching normal sports – but not more. I’m happy for people who like it, but if I could mute all your tweets about e-sports in a sensible way, I would. There are a few occasions when I do watch sports. That is the world or European soccer championship, if I am in the mood. One month per 2 years is exactly the healthy dose. I am not rooting for my team at all, but for a different one, fwiw. Also I sometimes used to watch ice hockey, but that’s getting less and less and involves a lot of frustration about the team licenses in the German league. But I’ve been to a lot more live hockey games than soccer games. (5 versus 0 in the last 15ish years).
PS: MrLlamaSC was just an example that happened to make me realize some things. His knowledge of the game is astounding and I can see how you can be a fan and watch him play and be amazed how he’s mastered the game. I wouldn’t even say it’s a less cool skill than playing the world championship in any accepted sport. Probably a lot less profitable, and depending on your view on life, thus a lot less useful 😛
PPS: I also did watch Kripparrian for quite a while a few years back, but I think that was his earlier phase, still playing WoW, and that was mostly YouTube videos with commentary, edited – not real live streaming, but going into the direction of vlogging. Once he went full on streaming and vlogging I kinda checked out pretty soon, but that was also when it was more about Hearthstone and other things (D3 was still kinda ok).