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Comment Re:Hey gamers! (Score 1) 113

Yes, no doubt about that. But ponder for a moment how these are seven people playing games who get subs and views. Compare that now to the thousands and thousands of people actually playing those games, and the hundreds who make videos of it.

My point is that yes, there are a VERY FEW people who can actually play and present a game in a way that is entertaining to watch. Like there are VERY FEW people who can play sports in a way that makes it interesting for people to watch them.

Take skiing. I mean, it's right now again some kind of championship going on with millions of people sitting in front of their TV watching some guys and girls speed down some hills on their skis. Now compare that to the average home video of Auntie Erna showing you how little Timmy hobbles down some hill on his skis and tell me that you could pay anyone watching those championship races enough to sit through it.

That is exactly the difference between EVERYONE and his dog making some kind of video of him playing, and a select few who actually have what it takes to make it interesting for people to watch them play.

Comment Re:Hey gamers! (Score 1) 113

I bet you a 1000 bucks, I couldn't even PAY you enough to watch me play. Hell, you'd ask me for your time back. That's pretty much what I am saying.

Watching someone who can make it ENTERTAINING for the audience is fun. Watching some random idiot play the same game is torture. And the problem I foresee is that 99% of the people out there make it torture enough that most will stop sifting through the crap before even finding that one guy who is interesting to watch.

Comment Re:But the same is true of "sports" (Score 1) 113

Well, as I pointed out elsewhere, yes, watching that one kid who could play it really well was fun. But face it, 99% of the time we just stood there and hoped that he's out of quarters soon because, well, we sucked at the game, but he sure made us look good.

And it's not going to be different with this. Yes, watching that one guy who can play a game really well and who can pull off moves we never thought possible will be entertaining. Watching the other 99% will be painful. Problem is, that all 100% think that everyone wants to see them play, and digging through the 99% just ain't worth it.

Comment Re:Hey gamers! (Score 2, Interesting) 113

The difference is whether or not watching them do whatever they do is interesting. And, bluntly, unless you're a parent of one of the little leaguers out there, watching a bunch of kids try to kick or catch a ball without stumbling over their own feet is not. It's not entertainment. It's torture.

And the same applies to watching 99% of the people out there play a computer game. It simply is not interesting. The people who are interesting to watch, be it computer or football players, know how to make it interesting. Because, by itself, it is not. The rules are known and you pretty much know what can happen next. The interesting part is the execution, and also the entertainment value.

Yes, "good" players are mostly entertainers. That's the key feature what they are good at: They know how to make watching them entertaining.

Why it is entertaining depends on how they do it. It can be entertaining to watch someone do something you couldn't do and the enjoyment comes out of seeing how someone pulled something off that you didn't manage to do. I get this out of some YouTube videos of guys playing guitar in ways I couldn't even dream of. I can play guitar, but I don't even exist next to some of those guys. Likewise, watching videos of people who are only as good as me isn't entertaining to me.

Or people can make it entertaining despite not being exceptional at what they do itself because they can add something insightful, something informative or something funny. A game review by someone who is an accomplished storyteller sure beats one by someone who is a crack at playing games but can't come up with some witty remarks.

Entertainment is the key word here, it has to entertain those watching. How it does that is of course up to the spectator. And while I'm sure most parents are entertained to see their offspring chase after some ball, most who have no special interest in any of the rugrats out on the field wouldn't be too entertained. Because the objective entertainment value of it is rather limited.

And the same applies to watching Joe Average play some kind of computer game. It's nothing special.

Comment Re:Explain reality TV then (Score 1) 113

All very fine examples, but at the same time they give their own reason why people watch it: They wait for something interesting to happen. Some twist, something exciting or simply the ability to say "gee, at least I am not that deep down in the shit".

That's also the appeal of talk shows, I'm kinda convinced.

I don't get Dirty Jobs, I guess it's one of those "I'm glad I don't have to do it" things. OC Choppers I chalk off as a mix of the hope that the old guy freaks out and of course the appeal of stuff that has some sort of engine in it to some guys. Big Brother is simply... heck I dunno. Maybe a mix of all those traits.

Nothing of this applies to games. It's a given that there will be fights, but they are uninteresting because nobody can really die (which is, btw, IMO the appeal of those "Our soldiers in Afghanistan" shows that pop up left and right right now). Plus, you've seen one fight in most games, you've seen them all due to the limits of the game mechanic. There are only so many "moves", only so many animations your character can go through 'til you have seen them all. The only appeal afterwards is just that you, the player, have to get better at executing them, something that doesn't apply to someone just watching. The story of most games is mostly different from the average "Sally does Houston" in terms of the ESRB Rating, but it sure matches the amount of surprising twists and the thickness of the plot. Which may be ok if you're part of the plot, but I couldn't think of a game the story of which would be interesting as a mere spectator. Plus, considering the speed it progresses usually is so slow that you'd wish someone dug out the Dune director's cut and added some padding so you had something to watch instead.

Let's be level here, most games are simply not interesting for spectators. They were not meant to be. They were meant to be interesting to someone playing them. The problem here is that if they were interesting to watch they most likely wouldn't be too interesting to play. Because that would require an awful lot of putting it on rails, for more than one reason.

First and foremost, because then most people could not figure out where the heck the next step should take them. Ponder any movie that may come to your mind and tell me that you would have foreseen what the hero does next. There are simply so many information gaps that would have to be filled for the player so he could possibly come up with the same idea. Well, either that or he'd have to have played it through already so he doesn't do heaps of wrong turns first (which are, as we can hopefully all agree, not too interesting to watch, who'd want to watch a guy hit the "you cannot progress here now" wall for a few hours?), which limits the whole thing to walkthroughs, and we already got plenty of those.

Then there is the limit of paths the programmer can offer you. If the game offers you nearly infinite ways to progress, by the laws of the market they have to be very short ones. They can only put in so many "story lines" in a game before they run out of time (or money), which means that instead of, say, 30 steps to success they offer you 3x10 steps, which invariably leads to a shorter game experience.

And that's the main difference. There is very rarely a "surprising twist" in a game (and if, a 5 minute video showing just that is plenty more exciting than watching someone hack through 10 hours of monsters to get there). Most games are incredibly repetitive, which can be interesting for a gamer if the way it is presented and how he has to react to it is interesting, but it is mind numbing boring to watch. Take Elder Scrolls. Yes, playing it is fun. Making someone watch play it should be chalked off by AI as torture.

Comment Re:Hey gamers! (Score 1) 113

Well, judging from a lot of youtube videos, it highly depends on the title of your video to judge whether you have a few thousand viewers or a few thousand people going "oh fsck". :)

But seriously. In general, yes, there are certain (few) videos of games that can garner some views. Videos that show you how to reach a certain point, how to beat a certain boss or obstacle, how to unlock some secret and of course videos for the purpose of reviewing and judging a title before buying it.

But let's be honest here, the goal is in all of those cases not to watch someone play a game. The goal is to get something from it: Information. How to get something in a game, what hidden secrets are there or simply whether it's good enough to spend my hard earned greens on it. Nobody really wants to watch you play it. They want to get something from you. They care for those 10 seconds or 10 minutes that show them what they want to know.

But do you really think someone would want to watch someone play a game for a few hours, a game which most likely (as most games these days do) consists of repeating the same kind of fight or pace down the same road over and over again? I HARDLY think so.

Comment Re:So you're saying, (Score 1) 284

"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

(And as much as I hate quoting that fat asshat, he's unfortunately very right)

Comment Re:Say what you want about Google (Score 1) 165

Most of all, they sure as hell won't shoot themselves in the foot. Think about it: What is the main reason something shows up on top in Google's searches? Well, one of the reasons is that a lot of people who used the search term considered this link useful. Which in turn means that it is most likely useful for others using the same search term. Which in turn means that using Google, one of the first hits is what you were looking for.

If those links that usually appear at the top now have to be lowered in rank, it goes AGAINST the interests of Google, because their search results do no longer reflect what those searching actually wanted.

Dear RIAA: We know that you're world class experts at hitting your own foot effortlessly, and we welcome your advice how to do it. But unlike you, there are actually companies out there the business model of which centers around ideas that are alien and outlandish to you: Delivering what their audience wants.

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