I have more conversations than expected about why gameplay videos are so entertaining. It’s mostly been from coworkers and/or friends with younger children who spend most of their time on YouTube or Twitch.TV. I think it’s because I don’t see the difference between watching friends play a single player game as I wait for my turn. You’re learning the mechanics of the game–strategizing how not to make the same mistakes as the current player, studying the quality of the graphics themselves, see how a game I’m too scared to play goes, etc.
Take Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 linked as an example above. I know most people are beyond done with seeing these videos on YouTube, but it’s an addictive series. Jump scares are my weakness. I know that it’s going to happen and I know that I’m going to freak out. Somehow, watching someone else in a gameplay video alleviates the stress that builds up. It’s hilarious to see how different or similar another gamer reacts in comparison to yourself. Since storyline is my biggest draw–more than even the graphics–being able to watch a gameplay means I can focus on the script and work backwards.
Does that mean I don’t enjoy sitting down to test things out myself? Of course not, but gameplay videos are another way to expand on the universe and connect with other fans.
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