I find it fascinating that the "young folk" - and by that I mean Gen X, Y, Millenials, and . . . whatever the hell we're on now - find entertainment of watching other people engage with entertainment.
I've been thinking about this more and more since I started pondering the idea of streaming on Twitch for fun. I've asked a couple friends who do it and they seem to enjoy it. And when I watch their streams or any big gaming Twitch or YouTube content creators doing their thing, I get the sense of joy they are having streaming or making content about something they have so much love and passion for. And that same amount of joy is shared by the folks who watch them.
But then the numbers make my head spin!
For curiosity's sake, I Googled what the viewership or watch time for the time games on Twitch were. I found an article from Esports Observer that listed the Top 10 games by watch time from March 28 - April 1, 2018 (that's a five day period). The Number 1 game, Fortnite, had 28.3 Million hours of watch time... 28 MILLION HOURS! Divided up, that's approximately 1,179,166 days, or 3,230 years!
For some perspective, the highest rated TV show of 2017 according to the Nielsen Company was CBS's Bull with 14 million viewers. So a single episode of the highest rated TV show pulls in just half the watch time of a video gaming being streamed on Twitch over a 5 day period - and Twitch is a 24/7 service that doesn't take seasonal breaks.
Snake's of St. Patrick!
While their are a mountain of factors I could probably use an entire research grant to track down, that's a staggering number on it's own. Which brings me back to my main ponder. Why do folks find entertainment out of watching other folks doing something that's entertaining?
I guess my starting hypothesis, if I can go all Scientific Method on y'all, would be that the generation growing up with a higher degree of access to Social Media find more enjoyment out of things that directly engage them on a personal level. With a Twitch streamer, it is normally a single person, or perhaps a small group, engaging with the audience. The illusion of the narrative fourth wall does not exist, although some streamers and online personalities are putting on a facade or embellishing their personality, and the level of engagement comes from interacting online with an actual person, not a character. With my previous example, when you watch Bull, you are not engaging with Michael Weatherby the person, you're engaging with the character, Dr. Jason Bull. The interaction on Twitch or YouTube, while far from actuality, feels more genuine and personable, which is something I think this generation is hungry for in our entertainment, even if it is on a surface level.
Now, all that philosophizing and academic pondering in mind, lets use that as a starting point to answer the other big question of this post.
What do y'all think about me hoping onto Twitch?