Poll Question 300 – How often do you watch videos or LiveStreams of people playing games?

13th September 2014

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

You’ve probably noticed that I have started livestreaming and then uploading my initial playthroughs of the maps and mods I now add (see the sidebar for the YouTube and Twitch channels).

I have to play them to get screenshots and write a review, so it’s actually not that much extra work for me.

I’ve been aware of livestreaming for a while but never really watched anything.

I thought the idea of watching somebody playing a game was like watching somebody watch a movie, but of course it’s not so much about the game itself, it’s about the commentary and observations.

It also gives you a MUCH better idea about the game and whether you should buy it. I’m curious how many readers (should I also call you viewers?) spend time watching stuff like this.

I’d also like to hear your thoughts on the news that Amazon has bought Twitch and the news yesterday that Twitch and Steam users could have their accounts hacked.

Lastly, why not share your favourite gaming channels on any network and we can all check them out.

Time to Vote


  1. George

    Sacriel streams DayZ almost daily. It is his job now! His streams can be very interesting to watch but other times can be very boring, hit and miss!

  2. JG

    I watch Let’s Play footage pretty much everyday, although for practical reasons, it’s difficult for me to catch actual live streams when they happen. For people who say, “Why in the world would you watch someone else play?” well, for one, it’s a great way to expose yourself to games you’ve never heard of or played before, and two, the humorous commentary often provides a Mystery Science Theater effect. Once you find a Let’s Player you like, you can usually follow their related or friend channels to find similar authors.

    Your mileage may vary, but a few of my favorite authors include:

    – Custom Gamer
    Well, of course. DaZ is the guy who reviews Half-Life and Quake maps. Everyone should be watching him.

    – SeaNanners and GassyMexican
    Mostly play Garry’s Mod content and feature community-made mods and maps including Trouble in Terrorist Town, Hide and Seek and the hilarious Prop Hunt. Seriously – I have no idea why Prop Hunt hasn’t been made into a full-on game, it’s a brilliant idea.

    – Lazy Game Reviews (LGR)
    Plays and reviews mostly retro games from the early days of PC gaming. Recently started a fascinating new “Thrifts” series where he travels to random Goodwill stores hunting for video games. It’s like the American Pickers of video games (which needs to be a thing).

    As far as Amazon buying Twitch, for the sake of competition, I prefer it in Amazon’s hands rather than Google’s.

  3. I’m not a huge fan of livestreaming in general, but the only people I watch are Vinesauce and you.

  4. Unq

    Chose a few times a week. It can be fun or it can be not that interesting. I watch for a variety of reasons. I’ve watched Sacriel play DayZ a bunch, as George said it can be awesome or it can be boring – and that’s mainly due to DayZ. In general it can be great fun watching someone who is really skilled at a game, including speed runners.

    I also recommend Custom Gamer, Daz streams a good mix of retail games old and new, and Quake and HL2 mods. Generally insightful comments coming from a level designer, and he knows when to keep quiet and let the game/mod do the talking. Nothing worse than a streamer just constantly spouting crap trying to be a comedian.

    I think it’s not all about the commentary or the streamer being engaging; sometimes I just want to see what a game is like so I’ll hop on a random stream. Too many people go overboard with the graphic overlays and crap on their stream but I guess they think more is better.

    I’ve watched Phillip stream a couple times but our schedules don’t quite align. Also it’s sometimes tough for me to watch him, I keep screaming “RELOAD!” at the monitor but he doesn’t seem to hear me.

    1. JG

      He probably can’t hear you over my screams telling him to stop stacking things to cross level boundaries and then acting all disappointed when he finds an invisible wall up there. 😉

      If you’ve ever seen one of my VMFs, you know I take level boundaries rather seriously!

  5. Zekiran

    I don’t really watch streaming things, though I have occasionally done so. When City of Heroes was still running I would join Twitch streams with the devs and that was a lot of fun, but that’s because I could be in the game and watching the game at the same time.

    I’ve seen a couple of other mp games, watching how people play certain things. But that’s largely the extent.

    I will certainly look up Let’s Play videos on youtube, but not live streaming.

  6. Ade

    When I’m thinking of buying or trying a new game, I watch gameplay footage first, I think most of us do this already.
    For live streams, it’s rare to sync with people, I’d have to be announced in advance.
    Whenever I’d play a mod, or map, this site would help me extend the experience with its reviews, and for some time now, this gets extended even more with playthroughs. So that’s nice. But I don’t watch everything I can get, because some might be pure cringing material when they do basic mistakes or miss obvious things. The analysis ones are also highly enjoyable.
    As for multiplayer, I do like watching old hl2dm matches a few times a week, as well.

    1. JG

      On that thought… and I’m not calling out anyone in particular – if you’re going to do a “gameplay analysis” video, do what DaZ does and edit it with post-commentary. No one likes to watch a video where a person comes to a complete halt and starts criticizing things and gesturing with the camera. Especially if they also complain about the flow and pacing of the level being “broken” as a result! 🙂

    2. Ade

      Also, congrats if this is indeed the 300th poll question!

      1. Thank you. I just wish I had managed to do them every week for 300 weeks. I managed about 250 I think, so that’s not too bad.

  7. I Love Dressup Games

    I hate watching game streams, it is so boring. I love playing dressup games.

  8. I used to watch more let’s play videos on YouTube, but I’ve been put off by some of my favourite channels becoming increasingly commercial and playing games which they have been paid to promote.

    I’ve been enjoying some of Phillip’s streams on YouTube, but I usually don’t watch all the way through as I would rather download a good mod myself.

    I would recommend Valvetime.net’s weekly news videos, or though that’s not strictly what the poll is asking about. In terms of commentary and analysis, the GooseGoose reviews of the Half-Life 2 games are worth a watch.

    1. JG

      There’s always been a fine line in game journalism when it comes to outright payola. I’d be a lot more angry about paying $60 for a broken game than if the same game was given to me for free.

      I think the troubling thing about YouTubers is that they often fail to disclose that they were paid to promote a game. Perhaps the saving grace is that this strategy doesn’t always work. A couple summers ago, when Microsoft wanted to promote its Summer of Arcade program, they gave digital copies of the four games to various YouTube channels. Two of these, Ninja Turtles and the remake of Flashback, were so bug-ridden and broken that reviewers didn’t hold back and they became a laughingstock.

  9. I watch lets plays and YouTubers more than I play games myself. There just have been no games that caught my attention lately. Shadow of Mordor looks really good though, I might give that a try.

  10. I used to be twitch guy, but as twitch become as amazon “beatch”, i’m more for russian sc2tv.ru. TheMexicanRunner aka TMR Show participate at Prime-Time 4.0 contest on this site.
    Too bad Lowtax ended his “Gaming Garbage” series, this was hilarious.
    Agreed with all who wrote about Custom Gamer, Daz is awesome. I recommend to check ArrrCee aka GameGrave.tv, he makes cool Quake videos.

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