When I read this question, the first thing that came to mind was Twitch on the Xbox. For those of you who don’t own an Xbox 360 or an Xbox One, Twitch is an app which allows players to stream their gameplay online so that other viewers can watch it. Viewers (who have nothing else to do apparently) can then respond to this live play on ‘Twitch Chat’, which works pretty much like an online chat room on the side of the screen.
‘KSIOlajidebt’ (more commonly known as ‘KSI’) is one of the most popular streamers on Twitch. His Twitch account has over 318,000 followers who actively follow his broadcasts and write to him during gameplay. Viewers can also watch his broadcasts and take part in the conversation without subscribing to the account (making his figures amount to over 5.1 million). KSI also puts up some of his longer broadcasts onto his two YouTube channels which have a further total 16 million subscribers (one channel has 12 million, the HD version has 4 million).
Viewers can say things like “bro, take a left here” or “dude, see what happens if you chuck a grenade to your right”. The broadcaster then does as he is asked as his aim is to entertain and to please the audience. The entire experience is shaped by his willingness to listen to his viewers and to basically, give them what they want. Where would KSI be without his followers?
And of course, in return, KSI gets paid through donations. Those who subscribe are generally the donors and therefore KSI is more likely to respond to their chat during gameplay or even give them a shout-out as a way of saying thank you.
Viewers sometimes watch these programs simply to be part of the online community and to ‘take part’ but others can use it as to decide whether or not to purchase certain games as they get a good feel for what is involved in the gameplay.
On a more personal note, I don’t get the whole appeal. Watching someone open ‘Fifa packs’ for an hour is not my idea of entertainment. I would rather spend the time actually playing the games myself (I’m the sort of person who hates even waiting for my turn on single player games) but I do know many people who really love using Twitch.
Had you heard of Twitch before and do you think it sounds appealing? Would you give up your time to watch others play Xbox games and why?