I get stuck in games easily. I get stuck on what people might see as easy levels and after a few tries, I have a tendency to give up. I think it happens to the best of us, doesn’t it? We get stuck on a level and leave it on a dust. But now, instead of not knowing what happens next, we can watch someone else play the game and beat it without having to do anything. All we have to do is watch. Let’s Players make up a large part of youtube that play games for the entertainment of other users. They offer tips on how to play the game and sometimes provide funny commentary. Watching Let’s Plays almost makes it feel like you’re playing the game, but are you losing the experience by watching instead of playing?
Part of what makes video games interesting compared to books or movies is that you’re actively doing things. You make the choices and you call the shots. Some games are more guided than others, but a key part is player control, which can result in a game over screen. It’s one of many components that makes games what they are. Some games are interactive, but they often provide challenges and end goals that make them interesting.
Let’s Plays can appeal to more than just gamers though, someone that doesn’t have the time or money can watch a Let’s Play of that game and feel just as informed as someone that plays the game. This raises issues in the game community though, some might feel threatened that those that watch Let’s Plays aren’t part of the game community and they aren’t gamers.
The thing is, game manufacturers know that people like watching a game before they play it, Many game companies will give streamers early access to the game before they give it to the gaming community to raise hype. This may be a marketing move on behalf of the company, but it encourages the world of streamers and Let’s Players.
Watching Let’s Plays may take the game experience away from the user, but manufacturers and large industries like Amazon and Google have seen the potential of using Let’s Plays and game streaming for monetary gain.