I love playing games. I love watching other people play games. Basically, I’m a fan of games in pretty much any form.
I’ve historically watched my partner play many games (the Assassin’s Creed series, and various entries in the Legend of Zelda series among them) and enjoyed those experiences. I’ve also (in the last five years or so) watched Let’s Plays online, but only in a limited form. I’ve stuck exclusively to Game Informer’s Super Replay series (where they play an older game all the way through), and only occasionally seen them play through a somewhat current game. Most of the Super Replays are of games from previous generations, and often games I wouldn’t have gotten to myself.
Someone I play games with online on a regular basis watches Let’s Plays for a ton of current games.
I am not on board that same train.
If a new game comes out that I’m interested in, I want to get my hands on it and play it for myself. The idea of watching someone else play through it seems odd. Games, to me, are interactive experiences. To watch someone else play it when I want to play it myself feels disconnected to me. In the cases where I’ve seen someone play a current game, I find myself wanting to play it (for myself) less.
I never thought much about it, until I mentioned to him this week that I recently bought a horror game called Emily Wants to Play. He immediately told me he had seen someone play it. I was like, seriously? It just came out? But yes, he had.
I don’t begin to judge anyone’s gaming (or viewing) choices, but I did take note of the difference in how we approach the subject.
Last year I wrote about a similar topic, but it was focused a bit more on when you see someone else play a game in person (though now, through Share Play, it can be done remotely). I talked a bit about seeing my partner play a game and feeling sated enough that I no longer felt the need to play it for myself.
Of course, my online gaming friend has also watched me play games via Share Play (and helped me find certain things in No Man’s Sky when I was thinking of giving up on the game), and I think Share Play is one of the coolest features of the PS4. I’ve Share Played Destiny to show it off to my brother. I’ve Share Played a god awful survival horror game to my online friend (really, it was the worst). I love the functionality and hope to use it more in the future.
Back to Let’s Plays.
I know there is a huge audience for them, and I’m glad they exist for the folks who are either on the fence about certain titles, the people who perhaps can’t afford to buy in to every new release yet still want to have the experience (even if it is hands off), or the people who just like to watch them in general.
So, while Let’s Plays of current games may not be for me, I understand their appeal. With that I ask, how do you feel about Let’s Plays of new releases? Do they affect you wanting to play the game for yourself? Do you watch them for new games or old games or both or neither? I’d love to discuss it.
With that, I wish you a safe and excellent long weekend, whether you are watching games or playing them. Cheers, friends.