Why we watch

Mailvaltar has an interesting post about why we sometimes prefer to watch rather than play a game. Having a love/hate relationship with Overwatch means that they prefer to watch the game instead of the stress of the pressure to perform when playing. I can totally understand that tension – Overwatch is a sure fire stress machine if you’re having a bad run.

I watched some of the Overwatch League and enjoyed it, but I did find there was a fair bit of assumed knowledge and often not enough time to unravel what just happened. Often a critical play would happen off camera, just because the maps aren’t compressed into a single camera zone. And I’d pretty quickly start thinking I should be playing rather than watching. That’s not a feeling I get watching live sports, for example, because you can’t just stop watching and go play a quick game of rugby or basketball. With gaming you obviously can.

The time investment required to watch something is probably where I balk, especially when compared to reading. A live of recorded video requires full attention and doesn’t allow much time shifting, or doing something else simultaneously. Whereas I love reading about games, especially on blogs where you get a personal take on something rather than the often banal professional feed. Mailvaltar’s example of TAGNs Eve posts is a great example – I don’t play, and likely never will, but still enjoy reading about it immensely.

I’ll also check in on Polygon and Kotaku regularly for the industry side of things. And I very happily subscribed to the printed version of Edge magazine, which is a superb publication that has somehow managed to retain incredibly high production values in this age of the near death of the newsagent.

Mailvaltar closes with this observation, which is spot on:

For a long time I couldn’t quite come to terms with the fact that enjoying a game doesn’t necessarily require to actually play it.

I feel the same way, though I still get itchy hands reading the great Blaugust blogs about SWtOR, GW2, DDO, LotRO, etc, let alone all the incoming games on the horizon. The good news is someone out there will write about it, and it will become their passion, and we’ll get the benefit of them sharing that passion, even if we can’t play them all. Thanks in advance!

2 thoughts on “Why we watch”

  1. Thanks for the mention!
    The time investment thing is an interesting one because I often feel I’m the odd one out in that regard. I know many people who do many things at once, but I just can’t. I guess I’m just horrible at multitasking, but I like to tell myself that I do that one thing I do at a time better because I’m more concentrated on it. 🙂

    1. I’m enjoying your blog! I’m not much of a multitasker, but I do like to have music on, and also I like being able to jump around as I’m reading to investigate things further. I guess that’s possible with video, but less likely. I find video demands attention – I read about people who level while they are watching a TV series for example, but I find that impossible.

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