It occurs to me that I haven’t done a Plugged-in Players for you guys in ages. This is my little segment where I try to teach you something gaming related you maybe didn’t know. Sometimes I forget that not everyone is up to speed on terms and such that I take the knowledge for granted. Today, I’m going to talk about Twitch.
It’s a word we hear a lot in gaming these days, but what is it and what does it refer to? I had no idea really until I bought my XBOX One and experienced it firsthand. You see, watching other people play video games use to be a ridiculous concept. No one wanted to watch when they could play it themselves. Somehow, YouTube changed people’s minds. Charismatic gamers took to their computer to embrace this new medium and we now have a slew of different game video genres, so to speak.
These genres (that I’m mostly making up, but you get the idea) include Let’s Plays where you literally watch someone play a game, comedy gaming like Angry Video Game Nerd who make fun of games, scripted videos using in game characters initially made famous by Red vs. Blue many years ago, How To videos, unboxing videos, and even videos of people shopping for games at flea markets. I’m sure there are many other types out there, but these are the ones that readily come to mind.
So how does Twitch fit into all this? It’s actually very simple. Twitch is a video streaming system that allows gamers to play video games in real time for a live audience. There are other forms of streaming content that don’t relate to gaming, but the majority of its content does. Some channels do live speed runs of games while others play for charity.
Who runs the channels? Anyone can! My XBOX One has a Twitch app that allows me to broadcast live. Users on Twitch.com can see what I am doing and choose to watch. Of course, it is easier to gain an audience if you already have a following of some sort. To make it easy, think of it like YouTube, but with live videos.
Can you get paid doing it? Yes, absolutely! I will post a link at the bottom of this paragraph for those who want to make a profit gaming, but the bottom line is this; if you can’t build a big audience, you won’t be getting paid. So don’t expect to open the app and start collecting. You’ll need to market yourself and to do that, you’ll need to find guidance elsewhere. This is a blog about gaming, not marketing.
That’s basically all you need to know about Twitch as a casual internet surfer. I’ve watched a number of my favorite YouTubers doing live streams and the best part about it, for me personally, is interacting with them. There is a chat room beneath the video and sometimes the streamer will react or give you a shout out. That’s awesome!
Of course, if watching others game isn’t your bag, then you can skip over the whole Twitch craze and you won’t be missing anything.