Adjusting to the New Reality – Should we Cash in our Chips and Grab the Camera?

Live streaming video games is one of the biggest gaming phenomena of the modern era, and greater numbers of people each year are tuning in to platforms like Twitch to watch other people play games. These range from action titles like League of Legends to classic card games such as poker. This form of viewing has led to the rise of eSports, which is becoming a highly lucrative sector expected to be worth nearly $1.8 billion by 2022. Many gamers are now questioning whether the best way forward is to get in on the budding streaming scene. Is now the perfect time to grab the camera and play games in full view of the masses?

Twitch has changed the way people game together

Twitch is one of the best-known websites in the world, and its rise to global notoriety has been swift. It began in 2011 as a spinoff to Justin.tv with a heavy focus on video game and eSport streaming. The new site quickly outdid its predecessor. In 2013, there were 45 million unique viewers, but this number rapidly increased in the years that followed. Amazon acquired Twitch for $970 million in 2014, and the site is now operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the company founded by Jeff Bezos. In May 2018, Twitch had 2.2 million monthly broadcasters and 15 million daily active users, highlighting just how popular the site has become.

At first, people may have found the concept of Twitch quite strange. Initially, there was skepticism over why anyone would want to watch another person play games. But this actually harks back to the early days of video games, when friends would meet up at arcade halls and watch each other take it in turns to try and beat a high score. This theme carried on when consoles became common household objects. Multiplayer games allowed players to invite friends round to their houses and have game parties, while other single player titles provided opportunities for them to take it in turns and watch each other play.

Games like poker have long been spectator sports, with thousands of people flocking to the World Series of Poker every year. The eSports industry has realized that, thanks to events such as these, sports don’t necessarily need to involve physical ability in order to attract viewers. Nowadays, many who play video games or gambling offerings like poker on a regular basis are considering streaming while doing so.

What are the benefits of streaming your own games?

Online gaming rooms have grown in popularity over the last decade, and many people are now playing on the internet rather than in the real world. Poker is a prime example of this and is a game that has become infinitely more popular in the days of the internet. In fact, the game was only played by a select few before the poker boom, which occurred after there was an abrupt spike in the amount of online poker sites. Players were suddenly able to go online and instantly find Omaha Hi-Lo, seven card stud, and Texas Hold’em poker games and play against people from all over the world. Even before the poker boom, people turned out in Las Vegas to watch the WSOP, so live streaming poker games quickly became popular after the card game made the switch to the online world.

A lot of poker players realized that if they were going to be sitting at the computer for hours every day playing games, they may as well be streaming their gameplay in an effort to make more money from views. Doug Polk is one of the most famous poker streamers out there, and the American player is well known for showing how it is possible to turn a small bankroll into a lot of money through careful strategy. The main benefit of streaming for Polk was that he became incredibly famous while playing, and this meant it was easier for him to get seats at some of the world’s biggest poker tournaments. The same can be said for streamers of other games, and some players have become extremely wealthy thanks to their exploits on Twitch. In fact, streaming has become the dream job for many as they get to play the games they love while earning a living. When looking at it that way, it’s hard to see the downsides.

How are people still trying to promote gaming in person?

While gaming online is all the rage, there is still something to be said for the socialization factor of playing games in person. Many online poker players still prefer playing poker in person because it adds a whole other dimension to the game. The same is true for a number of other titles. This is why some people are still trying to promote gaming in person in an effort to make sure it doesn’t die out.

Japan has led the way with its retro gaming centers, which hark back to the old arcade halls made so popular in the 1980s. And this is a theme that has gained traction all over the world. Now there are pubs and bars that offer arcade game machines and communal consoles to play, along with even more old school offerings like board games. The next step for the gaming industry could be to combine things like Twitch with real life gaming in these locations. The way the internet is going, more and more things are going to be streamed online for everyone to see in the years ahead.
If you are someone who loves playing games and clocks a fair few hours each day, you may want to consider streaming while you play. Who knows, if you are entertaining and fun to watch while you play, you may get a large audience. In turn, you could actual earn money from doing something you love. Streaming is the new reality, and everyone needs to adjust to it.

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