Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages step right up! Enter a new kind of circus, a 21st century Maison de la Magie, the current-day Magic Lantern, where wide-eyed childish innocence dwells siding with all things fantastical. An imaginarium which would rival any center-piece in Vandenberg’s Garden, or comfortably replace any rickety kinetoscope on show.
No, you have not stumbled into a rewrite of Pinocchio, with a new version of Mangiafuoco to boot. The new playground here is Twitch TV, a site born out of Justin TV which allows anyone to broadcast their favourite gaming titles, and display their ugly mugs while doing it.
Though long-standing gamers will be familiar with shows like “GameProTV,” “GamesMaster” or “Bad Influence!” this platform is open to anyone with the means to broadcast, while fans attend the event like some cognitive chronometry experiment. This essentially means you don’t have to be a professional broadcaster but can eventually, under the right conditions, feel like one.
Twitch TV largely caters to RTS audiences, and particularly those who enjoy MLG tournaments. The most popular broadcasts – like Colcatz or Suddoth2 – label themselves gaming pros and usually feature Starcraft II, League of Legends and competitive shooters like Halo Reach. These channels can pull in thousands of viewers and do make an income with either donations, advertising or similar forms of revenue.
While not every broadcaster can enjoy the privileges of fame, overall figures definitely prove the demand for game broadcasting, a longing which has grown beyond the novelty of the ancient shows mentioned above. WoodysGamertag can pull as high as 10,000 viewers with about 30,000 subscriptions, while Steve_bonnell_ii can boast about 5,000 viewers with Starcraft II, fans who bellow “Rally! Rally! Rally!” or condemn an unfortunate “Herpaderp.”
You’ll probably find the best channels are niche ones, despite a meagre following which doesn’t even tickle the top dogs. Hardly any broadcast can top the raging fits of Dorm Gaming, dishing out in-depth knowledge on all industry-aspects, while pulling out obscure titles – from Ico to Einhander – like rabbits out of a dusty hat: hard-headed discussions arise, the culmination of a passion.
More casual viewers may enjoy the radio tones of Novawar, who often plays blindly but always “like a Bauss,” while more relaxed and mature players will definitely want to cast their eyes on BeardedGaming. A glance at Super Casual will transport you back to the unforgiving gaming days of the NES, raising nostalgia with past titles like Super Mario or Ninja Gaiden, and the BonusStageMarathons channel will likely do the same.
In short something for every taste, even if it means trawling through channels which you may not like. Sit back and enjoy the show: make sure to bring your own roasted peanuts to this circus though.
You can find all the above channels at twitch.tv