Watching Other People Play Games

When I grew up, Youtube wasn’t around. Sure, we had the internet, and we even got high-speed internet (DSL) when I was in high school. But of course Youtube wasn’t even a thing yet. Downloading video was a huge hassle at all; streaming anything just wasn’t on the table.

Then, many years later, my youngest brother is growing up. To put this into perspective, he says he has literally no memories of me before [I was in] university. So there’s a bit of a generation gap there. He, unlike me, had Youtube by the time he was caring about video games. And he didn’t have access to a good computer. Nor, it turns out, the inclination to play too much himself.

No; to my infinite frustration, he would watch other people play video games, instead. I would always wonder, why not just play the games himself? Where I would spend hours playing games, he would spend those hours watching someone else play. Now, if he were watching someone play particularly well, or someone otherwise entertaining, that’d be one thing. But he wasn’t: he was watching normal people play normally (or even badly – but not entertainingly badly). There might not even be too much commentary. And the thing that got to me: a lot of those games he was watching were games he had access to, himself. I had those games, he could just ask me. I usually played on PC, but he was mostly watching console games, especially the Zelda series.

So I was turned off to streamers for a long time, because of him. Sure, if there was a situation that I needed a bit of help, I’d look up a guide, and some of those were videos. But I didn’t just watch people play: I have games myself to play.

But then I got a job. A job with potentially a lot of time in the office, not doing a whole lot for decent stretches of time. Where I could multitask. Where I could be way more efficient, apparently, than other people I’ve replaced, but still had the same work to do. But, can’t really play games on the job, either practically or ethically. So I needed things to do. (And, when I’m eating and stuff, it’s hard to play games.)

Eventually, I found some Cities Skylines streamers. At first it was just traffic tips, or which mods to get. But then it expanded to actual gameplay. And Youtube is going to suggest things. I saw other streamers. Most weren’t for me, but I did find a few.

Just for fun, I’ll link some of the ones I watch:

3 thoughts on “Watching Other People Play Games

  1. Have you asked your brother why he preferred to watch people playing rather than playing himself? His situation sounds very different to yours, where you would presumably prefer to be playing and only watch others play because of your specific circumstances. He could have played but chose to watch instead, which is fascinating.


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