American funny-man and TV host Jimmy Kimmel tried to get to grips with video games a few days ago, as he sat down with some popular gaming YouTubers. He tried to understand why people watch them play games, in response to a ‘hellstorm of anger’ after making a quip about watching people play video games being a waste of time.
On the show he was joined by (someone who is a personal favourite of mine) YouTubers Markiplier and MissesMae, where the discussion on the world of ‘Let’s Plays’ came in. Although Jimmy looked like he was learning, I’m not so sure he enjoyed the experience.
MissesMae admitted to feeling ‘insulted’ that he attacked a world he essentially knows nothing about; especially when there is so much effort put into the videos. Markiplier suggested that the real life equivalent to watching gaming YouTubers was ‘people watching their friends play games’, because that’s what it becomes.
Even though gaming channels occupy 99% of my own YouTube subscriptions list, I can kind of see where Jimmy is coming from. The actual concept of watching someone else – who you don’t even know – play video games sounds boring; why not just play it yourself? However, the idea of that symbiosis between the player and watcher stems all the way back to arcades and couch gaming, just on a huge scale. I guess Jimmy just hasn’t got enough exposure to it, unless you include the masses of hate he’s received.
The three then proceeded to watch one of MissesMae’s videos, which Kimmel was largely dismissive of. They then played the popular game ‘Rocket League’, where the comedian kept making jokes, but didn’t really look like he enjoyed himself.
To end the experience, they hugged it out. It was awkward, to watch and probably to participate in, and despite his attempt to try to get the people sending him hate to lay off, he had to make one last comment on the hug itself:
‘You know what you guys should do? Try being around other humans, because humans don’t hug like this.’