I really don’t get the fad of watching online videos of people playing video games.

I know this isn’t a new thing, and I haven’t just heard of it.

My daughter got her tablet more than a year ago and became instantly addicted to Minecraft. Being an Involved Dad I had some monitoring software installed. At first I could see nearly all her time was spent playing MC. But then something interesting happened… Gradually the percentage of time spent in MC lowered while the time spent in YouTube went up. I investigated (which of course I would do) and found that now instead of actually playing the game she was watching videos of other people playing the game.

Let me restate that: Instead of playing the game she was watching videos of other people playing the game.

When I was a kid we would flock to the house of whatever lucky kid actually had a Nintendo. This was the dark ages so there was no idea of multiplayer like what we have today. So basically a couple of kids sitting there watching as one other kid played the game. It sucked being a watcher. Even worse was the fact that every group of kids had “That Guy” who could play Mario for what seemed like hours without losing a life. Usually it was the person who owned the game (which sucked further because you couldn’t just ban them from playing).

But now kids are actually going out of their way to NOT play a game and just WATCH other people play instead?

Don’t get me wrong… I am full blooded #geek and in a past life I was a total gamer. Even today I still play to a certain extent.  I can also see the utility with watching someone beat a level or boss. I’ll admit that during my ongoing quest to beat Halo 1-5 I’ve done some online research.

I just don’t get the entertainment value. It would frustrate us as kids to be itching to play and not be able to. Now there are huge amounts of Twitch live feeds of people just playing video games.

I can see that this is a way to become an Internet Celebrity. Everyone from the Millennials onward dreams of “likes” and “views”. The YouTube market is saturated with people looking to be the next Justin Bieber or Selina Gomez. So considering how huge the video game market is it’s understandable that this would be happening.

But still… I don’t get it.