What is twitch-ing indeed? No, I am not referring to the bodily movements experienced after having too much diet coke in a day, but I am talking about this little discovery that saw me fall fast into the black hole of time suck-age http://www.twitch.tv/middleditch
Twitch is kinda popular and about 45 million odd gamers gather every month on Twitch to broadcast, watch and chat about gaming. There is also the opportunity to subscribe/donate to nominated charities or causes as per the gamer you are watching.
I wouldn’t call myself an elite gamer however if time permitted I most certainly would be close. I just can’t seem to carve out the dedicated chunks of time needed to immerse myself wholly into the experience. (You can see my previous post on RPG games and my innate love for that.)
Yep so here you have it, yet another addiction to add to the list which already includes excessive diet coke consumption, the quest for a decent mascara, Tyrells sea salt and cider vinegar chips and now…this! Hmm addictive behaviours are us at least I am aware that it is a problem… I just don’t really move on from that initial acknowledgement.
It all came about from a little reading late last Friday afternoon at work. My boss was away and I thought yes time to be proactive and catch up on all media news. It came from a place of good intention. I was looking at what platforms are around on social media. I was chatting to some colleagues about the digital world and what gets a lot of traction and that is when the topic of gaming popped up. I was trying to get my knowledge up and keep across all these ‘trends’ . Anyway I had a quick flick on twitter and then saw a link that Thomas Middleditch (aka Richard Hendricks *swoon alert* Silicon Valley again see below posts) was playing Vikings on Twitch and down the rabbit hole I went…
Curious about the site, I signed up logged in and put my headphones on. Basically Thomas is playing the game whilst commentating (and very amusing if you are a fan of the banter,his work,enjoy a hybrid of accents and hearing some interesting bodily functions namely gulping and burping) and all the while it is for a good cause. You can subscribe and donate money for their designated charity of choice – his being the Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/ which is environmentally focused and when I’m not gaming I can be found in nature. I have spent a lot of time in US National parks and would like to
continue to do so (especially Oregon < I miss that place!)
What a great idea? Justifying gaming by saying it was for work research, assisting the environment and entertaining girlish notions and crushes on Thomas Middleditch? Yes I say, yes more Twitch for me!
I did show my boss an excerpt of the broadcast as I do believe there was some merit in that exercise, plus I had to justify my Friday afternoon activities – but the next thing I knew 20 mins had passed and we were both twitch-ing it up. We perhaps even learnt something about each other – he was really good at 1942 and I enjoy Skyrim. Bonding with your boss over video games – who said gaming was insular!? Look at us now all coming together in our nerdiness.
In some ways it is borderline voyeuristic to me watching and listening to someone play a game. It is definitely an odd interaction for me and it actually held my attention – which seems virtually impossible in a world of instant gratification. A slippery slope indeed, there was talk of a webcam installment but I think that would just make my head explode for a multitude of reasons – no one wants to bring that type of ‘crazy’ groupie/fan element into the gaming community.
I am shocking at the strategy component in games and I must admit it is a low point for me for my gaming experience. I love creating my characters, roaming the lands, building things, getting my magic skills on and leveling up but when it comes to battle and strategies I am hopeless. I have no interest in it and that shows in my many saved games that have never been finished because it’s too hard or I can’t win that battle to continue. However, with the skills of Thomas and the support of the other gamers chatting, I felt like I was learning and absorbing like sponge, the many methods of their strategic approach. In fact it was somewhat self esteem boosting to think that perhaps I have got a shred of strategy gaming potential and to revisit those battles I just couldn’t win – Baldur’s Gate 2 that means you.
I guess I will be working out the time zone differences frequently so that I can tune in to when he is playing and how that collides with my work schedule. Yet another obstacle of living in Australia ah someone just marry me and give me the god damn green card already! I am somewhat regretting telling my boss about it as I made a passing comment just now about how I missed his latest gaming session today- however I did just catch him mid google looking at pinball and arcade games so well done to me for making him complicit in this side quest!
Get your Twitch on!