Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Idea of the Let's Play.

My Posts are a bit video heavy this week. I apologize. Most of these topics are better to show than tell.

Anyway, I know this is my third post, but in the past couple of months or so, I've come across an unusual phenomenon on message boards and youtube; the Let's Play. The idea of the Let's Play is to watch someone play a game through message board posts that highlight the gameplay step by step or watching videos of someone playing the game with commentary. The original concept was for someone to play a game so you didn't have to. This was either because the game was:
1. Hard to get
2. Hard
3. So good you needed to be exposed to it
4. So bad it should never be played by anyone, but it's funny to watch

This supposedly started out pretty small, but has now exploded into a rather large sub-genre of the gamer community. It's gotten weird enough, that there are actually people that are considered "celebrities/professionals" of the Let's Play community. The videos I posted in my Indy Gaming Gone Horribly HORRIBLY Wrong posts are examples of Let's Plays (thus, why I posted this as a third post since it's technically a sub-post of one of my other ones).

I know why the LPers (name of people that post these videos) do it. It's a mix of pride, prestige, bragging, ego, and the desire to perform in front of an audience. The thing that slightly baffles me is the precise reason that most of these are fun to watch. Watching people play games without getting to play yourself is often boring. What about the youtube environment makes it more fun. Is it because in some way we attach to the video's creator as we would sitting next to a friend at our house playing games and cracking jokes. Is it because the commentary is funny? I'm curious what other people think. To get you started here's a link to one of the more "well-known" LP'ers youtube profile. Pick a game that sounds fun and watch for a bit if you dare.

For the record, avoid the Barbie: Magic of Pegasus one unless you're ready to watch a man on heavy painkillers playing a game intended for 4 year old girls while playing heavy metal music.


Steve said...

Some of the best/most interesting LPs are the one's where the player creates a wholly new narrative, or intelligently plays the game in a satirical way.

The Something Awful forums are probably the best place to find LP threads, but be prepared for anything. It is Something Awful, after all.

kpenn said...

Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu 1: Dojo, who knew?