Game Corner: Dealing with the Naysayers of Let's Players

by Alexander R. Campbell
Have you ever gotten guff from someone for watching other people play video games on YouTube? We all know that one jerk that’s all like “Let’s plays are dumb, you should just play the games yourself.” Here are some handy points to keep on hand to shut that jerk down.
1. You are watching because you genuinely like the let’s player/commentator.
You just happen to like the person playing the game. Like listening to their voice and/or whatever it is they have to say. In this sense it’s no different from watching a movie with one of your favorite actors.
2. You’ve already played and beaten the game yourself and want to see how others experience it.
Maybe there was a particular section of a game you remember being super difficult and want a good laugh from watching others fail at it too. Maybe you really liked the game and wanted to see if other did too or, tying in with the previous point, if your favorite let’s player liked it too. Wanting to see how they experience it and think of it as they go along.
3. You’re interested in a game, but can’t afford it/don’t have time for it.
Yet you still want to experience it somehow. Not everyone can just run out and buy a $500 console or $60 video game every time something interesting comes out. Likewise, not everyone has 200 million hours to devote to RPGs and MMO’s (here’s looking at you, fellow college students). But most people can afford to spent half-hour or hour increments of watching a let’s play. Therefore watching a let’s play can literally be “video gaming vicariously.”
4. You’re genuinely interested in a game, don’t trust promotional trailers and written advertisements, and are looking for a decision maker or breaker.
Click on, say, episode 3 of a given let’s play, scroll the time bar until the thumbnail is showing gameplay and not a ‘spoilerific’ cutscene, and BAM, instant footage and commentary with which to decide if a game is worth shelling out your hard-earned cash for.
5. The single most devastating put-down you can give to a naysayer if they are a sports fan:
“Gee, it’s not like you would know anything about getting excited or upset about watching other people play a game which you have absolutely no control over…oh wait.”

A YouTube link to my personal favorite let’s play.