Is it weird that I Twitch?
I am a man whose job revolves around digital media and gaming, and as a result, I find myself Twitching often. Sometimes an early morning Twitch with my coffee and a bagel fills the need, while other times I’ll Twitch for an hour or so after a long day of crunching numbers. I Twitch with friends, and sometimes share my Twitching experiences publicly. And I’m here to ask you one thing: is it weird that I Twitch? Before you answer, let me explain….
Twitch is a term growing in the digital media world, and for good reason. So let’s start with the roots: what is it? In essence, it is the world’s largest video platform and community for gamers. Over twenty million people gather each month to either broadcast, watch, or chat about a given live or recorded stream.
“How has Twitch become so popular?” I heard someone ask. The answer to this query is complex, but I’ll share a few highlights that have certainly helped give Twitch the “oomph” it needed to sweep the industry. First, the platform is easily accessible from any gamer’s perspective. Whether you are casual, pro, part of a league, a developer, or even part of a media organization (ahem, MMS), Twitch offers such a diverse world that anyone can benefit. Gamers love gameplay, developers love research, and media organizations love optimizing on powerhouses in the digital realm.
Easy to use
The second highlight is Twitch’s ease of use. Twitch offers streamers a cost-free startup, and with the right specs they’ll have the ability to showcase their gaming pleasures with the world. One can modify the resolution of their stream, establish rules for their personal chat room, and eventually if their viewers can earn the right to become moderators and keep their favorite stream(s) “clean.” The only minor upset here is that viewers must watch a number of advertisements (it’s not overwhelming) each hour in order for the streamer to continue using Twitch’s bandwidth. Want to avoid the ads? Subscribe! Contributing a minor fund towards a given stream will eliminate that viewer’s requirement to watch ads each hour. They think of everything!
Diversity of content
The third highlight is the variety and diversity of Twitch content. You can find everything on Twitch, ranging from classic NES titles, to handheld gaming, to current-gen PC games with maximum settings. Titles are sorted autonomously by the number of viewers at that time (League of Legends and DotA are widely popular). Some days I’ll just scroll through the list to appreciate the unique streaming community.
Before you dash off to Twitch’s website to hunt for a speed run of Super Mario 64 (yes, it’s a real thing), I’d like to share some final thoughts on the future of Twitch. Personally, I believe this is the next big thing in gaming (if it hasn’t already been deemed that). Both of the next-gen consoles – being the XBOX One and PS4 – will have built-in capabilities for Twitch streaming on the console. That expands the market to console gamers, and mark my words: the Twitch community will increase by at least one-third after their respective launch windows. With PC gaming becoming more accessible and affordable, as well as competitive event-gaming inspiring developers, producers, and the media all around, it is merely a matter of time before we all Twitch. The next thing you know, you’ll be asking your friends, “Is it weird that I Twitch?”