Why Are Millions Of People Spending So Much Time Watching Others Play Video Games?

Amazon just spent nearly $1 billion to buy, the world's most popular game streaming platform. Every day, millions of users tune in to Twitch to watch competitive online games (also known as eSports) played by professional gamers for prize money, sometimes totaling millions of dollars.

These gamers aren't alone. The average American adult spends a whopping 11 hours a day with electronic media, according to a recent Nielsen study. But as we spend more time connecting online and less in person, the question remains: What, if anything, are we losing? Is all this emailing, chatting, texting, gaming, browsing and sharing harming our actual social connections?

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Thatguy-3101495d ago (Edited 1495d ago )

Watching others experience something you enjoyed is always great to see. Then you can also add the goofy commentary and deep talks about the material.

dasbeer881495d ago

I've learned to play DOTA 2 well all thanks to professionals streaming their playstyle on Twitch.

XBLSkull1494d ago (Edited 1494d ago )

Because it is generally better than most stuff on TV.

People have been spending a ton of time watching people play games for years, see NFL.

Huffington Poet though lol, didn't really expect anything other than complete ignorance and nonsense.

kratoz12091495d ago

Same reason as why people like to watch sport

Magicite1495d ago

I only watch youtube game playthroughs when I need help myself, when Im stuck in certain place, but Ive never watched twitch.

CerealKiller1495d ago

Because its entertaining and free.

Why do people spend so much time watching others play sports?

teknx1495d ago

I've never heard it put that way before, but it's a great analogy.

ElementX1495d ago (Edited 1495d ago )

Comparing somebody playing Minecraft or Zelda single-player doesn't remotely compare to watching a sports team, it's a piss poor analogy. If you're talking about competitive gaming then it's a little different.

Personally I have no interest in watching others game (unless I'm there with somebody) and the same goes with sports. I have literally hundreds of games to play and I don't have time to sit around watching somebody else do something I love, I'd rather be doing it. Yeah I can see people streaming and fans having discussions and that's one thing but just watching clips of somebody play doesn't interest me unless I'm looking for a strategy or hint.

@below I said competitive playing is a little different

dasbeer881495d ago (Edited 1495d ago )


And? video games also have teams to represent their own countries! Let's look at a game called League of Legends.
In North America, there are popular teams like Cloud9, TSM, Evil Geniuses.
Europe has professional teams like FNATIC, Gambit Gaming, Millenium.
Korea has professional teams like SKT T1 K, Naijin Black Sword, Samsung Galaxy Ozone.
China has OMG, Royal Club, Taipei Assassins, LMQ.
Again all of these teams (there are hundreds of others which I might've left out) represent their own countries and they eventually come together in the World Championship Series to determine which nation has the best team for the season.

TomShoe1495d ago


No need to go putting others down because they like something you don't like.

Dee_911495d ago (Edited 1495d ago )

Umm they both are entertainment? how is that for an comparison ?I don't think he was comparing the competitive nature of sports to watching people playing games.How about this.. I would rather be playing football or basketball than watch it.. but that doesn't stop me from watching it...Same with games.I watch games and I play them, I watch sports and I play them..

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Highlife1495d ago

No it's not it's more like watching someone watch tv it's freaking boring as hell. Would much rather watch sports.

Dee_911495d ago

no you're wrong

HappyWithOneBubble1495d ago

Agree. I'm a gamer and like watching others play games. Nothing really good on TV anymore.

Sometimes it's not about watching the games. The streamers are entertaining and have good funny conversations with their viewers.

Outthink_The_Room1495d ago

Ummmmm, what? Watching others play sports? Good Lord, are you joking?

People watch sports (myself included) because we can't participate in what we're seeing. I can't just spend $60 and suddenly play in the NFL on Sunday. Or every 4 years, get the ability to take penalty kicks in the World Cup, because I bought some DLC.

But, whatever game you're playing, I can digitally download and experience it for myself.

Dee_911495d ago

but you can still play those sports.. rather it be on a professional level or not is completely irrelevant.

Outthink_The_Room1495d ago


Then it's not the same as what I'm seeing on TV. The question posed was, why do people watch others playing sports.

The idea that what I'm seeing on Sundays watching the NFL, would be the same experience as I would have playing Flag Football with friends at a park is VASTLY different.

The fact is, I can literally go through the same levels you do in LBP. Hack the same towers you do in Watch Dogs or even drive the same cars you do in Forza/DC.

My experience to what I'm seeing on Twitch CAN BE REPLICATED. My experience to what I'm seeing on TV CANNOT BE REPLICATED. They are two very different things.

Dee_911495d ago (Edited 1495d ago )

You're over analyzing it buddy. I get what youre saying but still.. youre over analyzing it. There is a distinct difference between watching and doing regarding both sports and games. I can watch a guy breeze through a level on LBP but when do it myself it may take me 10 retries for instance. And still theres the entertainment factor others ( millions ) enjoy when watching someone else play a game.

Outthink_The_Room1495d ago


You're still participating in the same thing the person on Twitch is participating in.

When it comes down to sports or events like that, the experience changes. I can not replicate nor can I participate in what I'm seeing in the NBA or NFL on TV.

And you're right, the entertainment aspect is one thing and something that shouldn't be overlooked or looked down upon.

But that's not what I'm responding to. I'm responding to the idea that watching someone play a game that I can also play, is similar to the idea of watching the NBA on TV because I can go to Foot Locker and pick up a basketball and go to a park.

Why o why1495d ago (Edited 1495d ago )

Say if you don't have the money to pay for that said game/platform, you're faced with other barriers or you just want to see what a game is actually like (warts and all) instead of what reviewers portray. It can still be a form of entertainment. After the "leeroy jennnn-kins" WoW clip went viral I watched a few sessions of the game... I had no real desire to purchase or play it, I was just intrigued at the time and wanted a sample.

@ elementx
I do not think the sports analogy is a piss poor one at all. You're almost implying professional footballers dont watch football on tv because they can actually take part.... Twitch or any similar entity wouldn't be as popular if the majority of users conformed to reasons you gave.

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badboyz091495d ago (Edited 1495d ago )

Ain't ship on TV like it was back in the 90's!

I only watch Youtube and Netflix.

badboyz091495d ago

Ain't nothing on TV like it was back in the 90's!

I only watch Youtube and Netflix.

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Starbucks_Fan1495d ago (Edited 1495d ago )

To get opinions and see gameplay of a game I am interested in.

And for entertainment of course.

LightDiego1495d ago

I just watch to see gameplay or when i have difficulties in a game, but also avoiding spoilers.
I really don't think it's fun to watch someone playing, but that's just me.

vega2751495d ago

I watch it to decide if im going to buy the game or pass. Its good to see games i would have normally passed on make me change my mind and purchase cause it looks good and fun. Sometimes the games you most Hyped about turns out to be a dud (destiny)

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