For disabled players, Twitch offers community and a second income


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Due to extreme old age, I simply don’t understand watching somebody else play a game. Otherwise, go Mackenzie!


Is it really that different to watch a real-world sports event on television? Personally I’m not interested in both, but I can kind of understand the motivation.


Some people like the experience of playing a game, but don’t have the time or patience to get too involved. For example, I can spend a few hours a day practicing and getting really good at a game, or spending a lot of money on specialty items. Or, I could just watch someone else play that particular game, while I play a different game that I’m already good at.

Similarly, some people like watching others play for tips and strategies for their own game. This is especially true of card games and multiplayer RPGs, where, again, it takes time and money to implement new strategies or ideas. Again, if I played a game and was always getting defeated by a certain strategy, I could watch someone who is actually playing that strategy to see what they’re doing.


It’s much less like watching TV or sports; it’s more like sharing a physical space with a friend, which sounds odd, but I said it anyway.

I have only dabbled it Twitch streams, and only then for Hearthstone streamers, but there are some definite positive things. For example, one of the most popular reason people tune into these channels is simply to see someone else playing the game and explaining their choices, so there is definitely an educational aspect.

Many streamers are also just entertaining people to watch. They are careful about their music content, will even invite guests into their streams, and use the live chat to interact with viewers, making it pretty entertaining, too.

The last thing that stands out for me is that it is very easy to pop open a streamer on a side monitor, or any second screen and play the same game on another screen. I’ll often find myself throwing together a deck similar to what the streamer is playing just to learn more.

…and then when you throw in the additional stuff from the post above, well, it’s a pretty neat phenomenon, and much deeper thank simply watching other people play games (and even if that is all that it was, there still isn’t anything intrinsically odd about that).


There are streams that are very much like professional sports, too. League of Legends pulls hundreds of thousands of people to watch bit tournaments. Even Magic: the Gathering which is not exactly top billing on Twitch will get ten thousand simultaneous viewers for pro tours and world championships.

I mostly watch streams where I don’t feel like the streamer is trying to connect with me because I can’t take that (hey, it turns out I don’t like most people!). There is definitely a lot of variety.

Plus, watching friends and siblings play video games is how I grew up. You have to wait your turn to play The Legend of Zelda, it’s not like you get to save your place in line if you leave. It’s a social activity, and seems like a pretty natural thing to do to me.


Finally, a soul mate - if we ever meet in real life I’m sure we’ll dislike each other!


Explain away. My son has his own Youtube channel. I still don’t get it.


“for ATTRACTIVE disabled players” <-- fixed that for you


You don’t have to be attractive. You can also me male.

I find the phenomenon of face cams on Twitch really weird. I honestly don’t care what the person streaming looks like, and I’d rather they didn’t use up screen real estate on that when they could be making the game itself larger. But the wisdom is that face cams make a big different for the success of streams. If you want to actually get any income then it seems like you need one.


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