Twitch

Following my rocky year, I started to launch Twitch from time to time to watch games without commentaries.

Twitch is rather big. 35+ million viewers a month, fourth largest source of Internet traffic during peak times in the United States. Not rare to see people have over 30,000 people at once watching them play a game. Those players have endorsements, sponsors, sales, subscriptions. They sell in-game skins, give them away, accept donations and it’s not just about a dollar or two you can see people getting a couple hundred pretty often. Yes, to play a game in a bedroom.

It’s fascinating.

So at first I was just watching new games being played but then I switched to watching a game I know quite well. Very addicting. It’s my TV in the background. I’d rather not know how many hours in six months but uh… I’m only watching a dude -playing left handed- and you start seeing his style, his progress. You become the coach a little bit. I don’t interact but sometimes I kind of want to give him a buck for entertaining me.

What? Yeah. No wonder Amazon bought Twitch for a fortune.

With linear games, I don’t know if it will last it gets boring pretty fast. With competitive games however it never ends. The problem is fragmentation: very few people can understand and appreciate five different games one or two already probably means that you have spent hundreds, thousands of hours in them. On TV an average viewer can decipher plenty of ball-based games and enjoy a bit any of them. With computer games it’s not the case at all. Any novice is disturbed and thrown off by one game’s complexity. For enthusiasts though Twitch becomes the only place to go to, for years to come.

Of course while I’m writing about that Valve launches Steam Broadcast.

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