GameSpot Reports: Spectator Gaming

Spectator gaming is a growing trend, but why on earth would people watch other people play games? Jessica McDonell gets some perspective from a live-streamer, a viewer, and a developer.

Discussion

56 comments
blackwing55
blackwing55

I watch to observe and to improve my own skill

EPaul
EPaul

As a "Stream Monster" watching pro -players like Tokido and Pongoko is exciting and educational at the same time

jhonel83
jhonel83

You never watched over someone's shoulder in an arcade while you were young? Why? It's pretty much a no-brainer for me -because it's enjoyable? You get to criticise, rant, compare it to your own skill (and smirk when they worse) and so on...

oldschoolvandal
oldschoolvandal

I can understand the idea of watching someone else playing locally...you know...when there are more than one people in the same room and all the REAL social aspects that come with it....

 

That may be mainly because I have no interest in professional gaming and still like to do things by myself...but that's just me.

Serpent17
Serpent17

Hmm... I'm not consider myself a "spectator" but there is some games I like to watch.

  One of them is "Minecraft" - I just love to watch how groups of people build something amazing together. And I learn many useful building tricks watching that. One of my favored clips on YouTube is where some guy trying to light a fireplace in a newly built home made almost entirely from wood (and guess what happens :) ).

  Fighting games also a fun thing to watch (especially full playthrough) for me, mainly because I never was any good with fightings...

Yeah. There ARE some fun in spectating. : )

Although I prefer to play myself than to watch someone playing. : P

deathdemon89
deathdemon89

This is exactly the reason I love Giantbomb's Quick Look so much.

rambhatm
rambhatm

Atleast they are more interesting than the shit on TV.. How about spectator gaming wit pro commentary? As in, as a player I can just play and stream. Some other dude will comment live.. 

Octaaf7
Octaaf7

I love spectating games, because you can learn from it and its fun yeaahaaaah:D

The games I spectate are commonly Diablo 3 or League of Legends!

 

markvons
markvons

I've always enjoyed watching people play games.  My first experience with video games was when my older sister got a NES with Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt for Christmas when I was about 4 or 5.  She never gave me a turn to play so all I could do was watch, but I still had a great time.  Now days I watch other people gaming for many reason. I watch old gameplay for nostalgia.  It's useful if you get stuck in a game, for strategy, or if I just want to see how other people approach a certain situation differently.  It's a good way to get a feel for a game before you decide to buy it, I got hooked watching people playing Dark Souls on YouTube and ended up buying that game and loving it.

Hail23
Hail23

I normally only watch people play a game online if I have it too so I can then ask to join in... or watch a bit of a game I really want to get but don't know what the game play looks like.

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

normally i only watch streams of games i'm interested in, games i've have never seen before or games that are challenging thus fun to watch. the only time i watch games i've already played is to help someone else or explain stuff to people in the chat.

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

I think its a fascinating trend that all these people are watching games now.  I do remember watching great Street Fighter 2 matches at the local arcade years ago, and as grown adults we used to have regular get-togethers where on person would play through a thriller like Eternal Darkness or Fatal Frame while the rest of us watched and shrieked.  Good times.  But in general I have such limited time to game I would rather spend it playing than watching.  Still happy to see it taking off.  The bigger the industry grows the better.

Benifited
Benifited

i like to watch games that im having a hard time beating so i could learn how to get good at it. and games i dont intend on buying, but would like to see wat they are about.

zyxahn
zyxahn

Some of them have awsome voices, like human Ambian or something.  Very relaxing.  Crowley9 rules btw.

mekentosh
mekentosh

I love spectator gaming, I like to watch Let's Play's of games that I don't enjoy because of fear. Like Silent Hill and Bioshock (I know, I'm a wuss)

Exquisite
Exquisite

I mostly watch Starcraft, because it's a great game to play, and watching the best in the world play it is also fun.  This is exactly the same reason I watch soccer; I play and it's fun to watch the best.  As for other random streams, I will watch to learn something about a game that an official review (e.g. Gamespot) won't reveal, and which may persuade me to buy it.

FragRaptor
FragRaptor

Great report gamespot, puts things in a great light and it seems like most people responding approve of the idea :) <3

B_ond
B_ond

A good Starcraft 2 match up is great to watch, but on the other hand, I would rather watch an RPG being played.  Interacting with the person playing the game or the people watching with you, even when they're thousands of miles away, is always more entertaining than watching something on TV,

Silos911
Silos911

I like watching people play games. More comptetitve games or speed runs is what I personally like watching. (Siglemic on Twitch for example for Mario 64 speed runs or Flamesword for Halo). But I'll watch whatever I'm in the mood for, marathons are also fun to watch.

Zonno
Zonno

It's only interesting if the one you're spectating has any idea what he's doing, or when it's an operational team. There were some great Battlefield 2 games of that.

I also check the killcam when available to see what not to do next time or to check if someone's using hacks.

7C7R7N7
7C7R7N7

Is it possible people watching me live while I play my PS3?

dapman418
dapman418

I watch games played by GameSpot and Giantbomb because I look up to the staff as critics and as people. It's always interesting to hear their reactions to games as they play them and learn what the knowledge they have to share in terms of games and games criticism. Not to mention they're often as hilarious as they are insightful. In terms of what I like to watch, I prefer watching reactions to strange, hectic, and over-the-top games like Deadly Premonition, Noby Noby Boy, and plenty of others. 

7C7R7N7
7C7R7N7

I wanted so much to be a professional game player...

d3chu
d3chu

Sometimes I watch because I just want to see the game to see if I like it, but generally, I watch for the personalities.

Nick_Fury_Shine
Nick_Fury_Shine

I want to be honest, I watched one of my friends Play the entire Diablo 2 through. Only after he finished I wanted to get the game. And I did 2 years later lol.

 

But in general spectating is something people tend to do, it's better than TV because it is live and because you feel more like you are part of the gaming  experience without lifting a finger and yet the whole thing still feel interactive. This does not apply to FF 12 where you were basically watching a movie 3/4 of the game -.-.

 

It is the fact that someone else is playing, you get to judge or agree with him, learn what he knows or how much he doesn't. It is easier to see and hear about the game from a fellow consumer, than to read the prepaid game review in a website.

 

In general it is entertainment and people enjoy it.

cryingdevil63
cryingdevil63

I do have my fair share of spectating games,especially competitive play,but mostly I like playing them myself instead of watching somebody play it.

maderrin
maderrin

I for one prefer to play games rather than watching someone else doing it, which only makes me more thrilled to actually try it myself. Although I occasionally watch people play old games, from the 90s for instance, which makes me feel nostalgic.

KeeseKiller7
KeeseKiller7

I love watching people play, but only if they're talking. I can't enjoy just watching someone go through the game. But if someone is bringing up good points, being funny, or actually talking with me, I can have almost as much fun as playing by watching. I think that's true for many people, and why Let's Playing is as popular as it is.

diabolik_023
diabolik_023

@tempertress

 

- first : looking beautiful as ever !!!

- second : YES, i do spend time looking at other people stream gameplay

- third : i kind of watch all gameplay streams from gamespot even if those games are on xbox or ps (i do not own a console)

 

- taking a look at other people's reaction and game-experience makes me try those games too.

 

Have a very nice summer, beautiful one !

gamespot2DBOne
gamespot2DBOne

wolfenstein on the xbox360 is fun to watch others when ur dead,,same tf2

gamespot2DBOne
gamespot2DBOne

counter-strike is mostly fun t owatch when ur eating,,smoking or just in general relaxing:D

gamespot2DBOne
gamespot2DBOne

counter-strike is mostly fun t owatch when ur eating,,and resident evil wii games i can just sit and watch other person play it,,bcoz i so much like that particular game,,but some friends all they do msotly just like to watch,,and others dont like me to watch them play,,some games must play alone the ysay

Dafama2k7
Dafama2k7

Yes, its great, i enjoy so much not only playing FPS games, but also following them and scary games like this even more, i like this, of course ! :D

Carreau13
Carreau13

I watch a lot of DOTA 2 games with their live game streaming feature built in to help learn new tricks and builds.

tightwad34
tightwad34

It kind of sucks when you have a friend over and all you want to do is play a certain game and you know they don't want to watch you play it. It's a good thing I'm a nice guy.

tomkat69pc
tomkat69pc

since there's hardly anything good on tv i rather watch gameplay vids on youtube .. and until the price drops i watch walkthroughs for new games ..

tempertress
tempertress moderator staff

 @Serpent17 Minecraft is fascinating to watch being played. Even when you don't actually play yourself like me!

tempertress
tempertress moderator staff

 @B_ond It is so dependent on the game. I tried to watch TF2 being played the other day as opposed to playing it myself - not so fun.

FragRaptor
FragRaptor

 @Zonno that isn't true. That depends on what type of engagement you want. If I know things, I want to learn about it or make fun of what he is doing. But I watched day9 play amnesia and others stream other random games that I didn't know anything about and it was fun all the same. It all depends on the personalities behind the screen, not necessarily what you know about the game. I would say it would be more interesting to know more if celebs that didn't know anything about it played at least a little seriously. However if they play as a joke that they don't know anything about the game and sell it like that (IE Being honest) then they will get a high level of engagement. 

FragRaptor
FragRaptor

 @7C7R7N7 Soon enough I'm sure. I know twitch is coming to xbox eventually, not sure about PS3 though... Although I'm sure it will be soon to follow

FragRaptor
FragRaptor

 @7C7R7N7 lot of competition up there, you'd be sacrificing a lot to try and do that. 

Zonno
Zonno

 @FragRaptor I suppose the one behind the screen is very aware of the fact that he makes a video for comedical purposes in that case.

 

I didn't mean it in the sense of the player being proficient in the game, I meant it in the sense of the player being proficient in the use of the medium, either in the way of serious explanatory gameplay or entertainment.

FragRaptor
FragRaptor

 @Zonno As kids grow up it will be easier and easier for most people to relate to every form of gaming. I started out playing FPS, but I can relate to many other genres. Maybe now it is at that stage but the future only means growth.