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ODIN's SIFTD BLOG

Whats up mXm,

I thought I would share with you my blog post on a new aggregate gaming site called http://siftd.net/.  It is the brainchild of former Editor in Chief of gametrailers.com as well as G4 and TechTV Shane Satterfield.  I used to watch and follow all the shows on gametrailers such as Invisible Walls, The Annoyed Gamer, The Final Bosman etc..  I have mentioned this site before here and want to really push you guys into checking it out as its well worth kicking the tires on.

It is subscription based ($30.00 a year) and is a full blown aggregate site that sifts through all of the gaming content on the web and delivers it into your page.  It also has premium content such as a 2 hour weekly show called GAMEFACE that discusses the gaming topics of the week as well as Michael Pachter's "Pachter Factor" that goes over the industry as a whole.

You can sign up for a free trial run and if you like it, you can subscribe.  The community has been great and the discussion boards are the best around in regards to open minded gamers who dont troll each other.

I have provided a link to my blog there:  if it is behind a paywall, I will simply copy the Blog here if you are interested to see what I have been chatting about there. Let me know what you think.

http://siftd.net/#!/profile/ODIN-5/blog/163/the-streaming-epidemic-why-its-goodbad-for-gaming

 

I wanted to share a typical story and response that I get when discussing video game streaming and people who "watch" video games being played by others. This next statement makes me want to do this...

BatSlap

"Why would you want to watch someone else play a video game when you could just play it yourself?"

I'll tell you why. I consider myself a hardcore gamer at heart. I no longer have the time and unbridled energy that I once had in my 20s and 30s to stay up past 1am and burn the midnight oil. Life and work get in the way of that. Married with kids, responsibilities, house chores, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and just being a Dad and a husband makes gaming for a hard core gamer a challenge.

I always tell my wife, "The stars have to align in order for me to get my gaming fix in, and when it does, it is glorious! However, the reality of it is, I just don't have the time to game the way I would like.

Now, I know streaming isn't anything new. Its been around for a while with sites like Twitch, and UStream that have been doing it on PC far longer than the PS4 with "PLAYSTATION LIVE".

I work from home and run a global ad network. My job is versatile in a way that I can watch TV all day while working on advertisements and publisher needs. (Yes, I am the guy that annoys you with pop up/under ads, 300x250 banners, slider ads etc). So when I bought my PS4 and discovered the Playstation Live feature, I realized I can watch video games while working! So here is my answer to people I would like to slap for making such a stupid statement about watching other people play video games:

  1. I can check out new games that I might be on the fence about buying. (Saving $60)
  2. I can watch games that I had no intention of buying but was interested in the story or gameplay (ie Firewatch) Saving $18.
  3. I can learn strategies of better players in games like COD, Rainbow 6: Seige, or Battlefield that will make me overall a better player. Its also a great way to learn the maps without getting destroyed coming in green and having people yell at you and call you a NOOB!
  4. Its less stressful because you aren't the one pulling the trigger or making the fatal mistake in Bloodborne that costs you an hour of your progress wanting you to break your controller.

There are more things I can list here that make streaming good for gaming, but I hope that my point is taken. It makes TOTAL sense to watch other people stream video games. Video games are about entertainment right?

Now, on to why I think streaming is bad for gaming...

A few weeks ago, a beloved website I loved dearly shut down. It was great to watch the Gameface Episode explaining the crash of gametrailers.com and break things down for you.

Now the mind blowing thing of it all is no matter how great a show or website may be, it all comes down to viewership (Nielson ratings, or ALEXA rank on websites, or daily unique visitors). Shows like Freak and Geeks, Firefly, Deadwood etc had great followings and were among the best shows to get cancelled straight from the numbers. But that's just it, ITS ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS. Add corporate america to the mix and it becomes a formula. Hit a certain number, you continue, if you dont.... here is the door.

With the mainstream access the PS4 and XBONE add to the streaming community, we now have a whole generation of streaming personalities popping up all over literally overnight. Play video games all day and get paid for it!??! SIGN ME UP! and they did in droves!!!

I just do not understand why people pay money to subscribe to a channel they can watch for free. They aren't "artists" they aren't giving you something unique. They are just playing a video game live and letting you watch.

Guys like me in the advertising industry can see these streaming channels as "Publishers" for advertisements. So, in essence, all of these channels become hotbeds for sites like YouTube, Twitch, and UStream to throw advertisements at you. It is the exact same business model for television and internet sites. If you have a high daily unique visitor number, you are a great excuse to run an ad for us and do a rev share. With several thousand new streamers popping up everyday, it plants the seeds for future publishers to run more advertisements.

As I heard Shane say in a Game Face episode, advertisements are what pay for your gaming sites. Its what keeps sites like gametrailers afloat. Its beyond me to understand why people throw money at a streamer for playing a video game and complain about advertisements on a dedicated site like gametrailers. Content sites will lose advertising dollars to streaming channels all because of daily unique visitor numbers. The media shift is on. Live streams are easier to do which is a great way to draw unique visitors and generate advertising dollars. I personally do not support live streams. I watch them, but do not donate to them as it feeds into the death of dedicated websites in my opinion.

So in closing, I would like to re-phrase the question that I hate so much.

"Why would you want to watch someone else play a video game when you could just play it yourself?"

To this...

"Why would you PAY to watch someone else play a video game?"

I am open to hear both sides of this argument. But I feel Youtube, Twitch, UStream, and many others are the reason dedicated gaming sites are dwindling.

ODIN-5

 

 

 

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