I Like To Watch

Posted: September 30, 2012 in I LIke To Watch, Let's Play A Game
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve started watching people play games either via Youtube, or live streaming through Steam. With the advent of the youtube video app on Xbox360, it’s never been easier to watch youtube on your console (although inexplicably, navigating youtube has never been harder #firstworldproblems).

I totally found this skull without any help because I am 1337.  image credit: www.coolbh.com

It used to be that i’d only venture into gameplay videos on Youtube if I was stuck on some difficult and obscure task like finding that one elusive skull in Halo, or to laboriously track down all those goddamned pigeons you had to cap in GTA4.

Thanks Youtube! image credit: www.fhm.com

But lately, i’ve been finding myself watching Youtube videos of games that I don’t intend to play, or can’t be bothered playing, or maybe started playing years ago but then had to abandon as work commitments, study, or life in general intervened and sapped my precious gaming time.

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I’d stumbled onto a gamer named PewDiePie’s Youtube Channel a few months ago at a friend’s place. We were drunk and bored, and about to watch our 3rd hour-long ‘Fail Compilation’ video when I noticed a video entitled “Top 10 Scariest Moments Of Gaming”. I clicked the link, and hilarity ensued. Most of the people watching were non-gamers, but you didn’t need to be familiar with any of the games in particular to laugh at Pewdie’s high-pitched girly screams as he shat himself through games like Amnesia, Ju On The Grudge, and Penumbra, among others:

For those unfamiliar with him, Pewdie’s ‘kind of a big deal’ on the youtube gamer scene. He recently hit 2 million subscibers and is living the gamers dream of playing games all-day, everyday thanks to youtube revenue.

I recently watched Pewdie play The Walking Dead  game after it got a particularly bad review on ABCTV’s Good Game (www.abc.net.au/tv/goodgame/stories/s3498214.htm). In hindsight, I actually wish i’d ignored their review and played the game myself, as I was blown away by how good the storyline is.

I should preface this by saying I absolutely loathe the Walking Dead TV series, and haven’t read the comics (or ‘graphic novels’, as the cool kids call them). Without going into it too much, while i’m a hardcore fan of 28 Days Later and the related comics, and intricate character-based TV shows like Lost, after watching the first season of The Walking Dead I was simply not impressed.

The great thing about The Walking Dead game, and the appeal of watching a play-through on Youtube, is the episodic nature of the game play; Telltale Games released this game in installments, and for the player (or viewer) it comes off as an interacticve TV series… and a good one at that.

image credit: www.imdb.com

I guess in some ways it reminded me of the  the awesome Watchmen “Motion Comic” that ran on TV here in Australia last year. (If you’re a Watchmen fan and haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it).

While the two are nothing alike in either content or style, both got me excited about the ways in which traditional format comics could be adapted to either TV (in the case of Watchmen) or games (in the case of The Walking Dead) and really revitalise the genre, bringing comic books ‘back out of the basement’ so-to-speak.

Anyway, back to The Walking Dead – after watching the play-through of all three available episodes, I was actually quite eager to begin the fourth – and that’s when I found out it isn’t available until next month. Gah! It’s just like waiting for a TV series to return so it can address the cliffhangers from the last series…

I will probably do another blog post on The Walking Dead game as it contains many elements that i’d like to address, but it feels all sorts of wrong to write about a game that I haven’t even played yet.

So, what are your thought on watching games vs. actually playing them? I’d be interested to hear what game-specific Youtube channels you frequent, and why? Is it the host, the humour, do you only watch tutorial videos or are play-throughs your thing? I’d love to hear what you think, so if you read this far, please leave a reply!

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First episode of “PewDiePie plays The Walking Dead” for those interested:

 

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