We all know those (in)famous YouTubers or Twitch streamers who got all the money and the popularity by playing your favourite games and their shenanigans. I don’t mind the reasons they have for doing the steaming, but I got a less popular opinion about those popular gaming channels and all the consequences with them.
Strangely enough, I do watch YouTube gaming channels for the games themselves and not the streamers. As a viewer, I am more willing to click on the video’s thumbnail when I have also played the game. I can’t even remember how many videos I watched after I finished Nier:Automata just to see YouTubers’ reactions on the different endings. Consequently, I liked the videos when their opinions were aligned with mine. Furthermore, as I understand Chinese (Cantonese), I can watch both Western and Chinese YouTubers and I see a difference in opinions and reactions between the two.
Now, more on the subject of “reactions”. Reactions are funny things. As humans, we find great appeal in watching others of our kin reacting – we are literally hungry for people’s reactions and what faces they make or say. Everyone does it (un)consciously. One of the past trends on YouTube was the rise of reaction channels and videos. People record themselves reacting to everything possible, be it something like new trailers or even the news. Unsurprisingly, controversies popped out like no tomorrow, stating the lack of original content and even plagiarism. There was even a time when reacting could become trademarked. Luckily, the rest of the world is slightly more sane and stopped the greediness.
Twitch works differently, at least it does not rely on, for example, posting short reacting videos which has been very common on YouTube. The main focus of Twitch lies in streaming capabilities and delivering the sensation of a live “performance”. The appeal of reactions still exists, as viewers usually see their favourite streamer reacting in real time while playing the game. On top of that, they can give comments or even donate as well. You can guess such a streaming platform is popular with games like PUBG.
My sheer disbelief comes to play when reacting can become monetized. Content creators become more greedy by monetizing videos or utilizing certain monetization methods for their so-called reaction content. This is the real fact. Human stimulus is used to generate income. Our very own human psychology is exploited for our own greed. We were somehow able to stop xxx-content on YouTube yet there are thumbnails made in a way to appeal to men in order to make them click on them. I can’t see where it would stop. The most horrifying of all is though, that the platform won’t put a stop on unethical practices. In the bigger picture, they get the biggest slice with a cherry on top from the revenue pie.
The recent controveries (1)(2) are forcing them to reaffirm the broadcasting policies. But will it be enough? Or can they act consistently? I guess only time will tell.