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Here's what BBC Newsnight made of Twitch

Twitch

The BBC’s flagship news and current affairs programme ran a feature of Twitch last week. Newsnight asked: “Who would want to watch teenagers just clicking away playing their video games all night?”

The report that followed was better-balanced than you’d hope - but it’s still caused minor uproar in the streaming community.

Unsurprisingly, Newsnight took the easy route to legitimising game-streaming in its viewers’ eyes: money.

The reported $1 billion YouTube have paid for Twitch isn’t the “silly amount of money” it first appears, Newsnight explained: Twitch sports “impressive” monthly viewing figures. 

They were especially bowled over by the fact that more than 60% of Twitch viewers watch for more than 20 hours a week - “the kind of number that would make a middle-aged television executive weep”. That’s no news to us, but understandably flabbergasting for those unfamiliar with League of Legends and Diablo III.

A couple of points irk: eSports is described as “semi-professional”, even while Newsnight are quoting The International’s $10 million prize pool. And a cameo from KSI seems misplaced, given that YouTube is his primary territory.

The feature winds up, if not positive, then not entirely negative either. But perhaps that tonally-iffy opening question upset TotalBiscuit - who has since judged the report to be comprised of “fairly ridiculous stereotypes, misinformation, misrepresentation and frankly a fairly condescending attitude from a reporter that didn’t really seem to have done his research”.

The Cynical Brit curtailed further ranting to deliver his own beginner’s guide to Twitch.

Game-streaming is good business, conclude Newsnight. Should we expect them to understand that it’s good fun too?

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Shriven's picture
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LSA King's picture
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"They were especially bowled over by the fact that more than 60% of Twitch viewers watch for more than 20 hours a week - “the kind of number that would make a middle-aged television executive weep”.

Oh yeah they mad that random nobodies provide more entertainment than tens of millions into garbage television programming.

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delta6xxx's picture
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The problem is that the people that ran this news story don't fully understand what it was they where talking about and I agree with TB, the article name was insulting

People still think gaming is either a kids thing or a nerd thing

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Belimawr's picture
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I have to agree, I don't see the value in watching others play a video game, it's just like going to your friends house to play games but then he hogs the controller all the time you are there.

streaming is nothing more than self important people being made even more big headed by the people stupid enough to actually watch them play a game, when the person watching could actually you know be playing the game.

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Kanda Sorata's picture
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Why do we watch sports when we could go outside and actually play them?

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Belimawr's picture
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because not everyone can play sports, but games are accessible to the point where there is no exception as to who can play the games.

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DigitalHaunt's picture
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Not everyone can play a game plus a lot of people watch it for the person commentating rather than for the game

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I agree with the first part of your post. I never understood what is so fun about watching other people play games, so all this e-Sports thing is somewhat confusing to me.

However, I disagree with the second part of your post. Yeah, there is a part of the "show" that is about the game, but you don't watch it just for that. You usually watch because the person "playing" is putting up a show, it's like watching a TV show, but instead of the usual background you see a game screen. If you like or dislike the presenter ... that's personal preference I guess. Some are good, most are bad ... but usually they adopt a persona that their audience likes (usually a "young" audience, so cursing a lot, being rude or aggressive or whatever). Then there are a few that are actually interesting to watch, because they try to be objective and informative (for LPs) or genuinely funny.

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DigitalHaunt's picture
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I have a friend who loves playing games but whenever i'm at his or he's around mine he just lets me play (which sometimes makes me feel bad) but he just seems to enjoy that I suppose its just different tastes...

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