My Love of Let’s Plays

First off, I want to apologize for my lack of blogging last week. Not only did I forget to blog, but I was also away for the weekend. The benefit of this was that I managed to finally see Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Go see it if you haven’t!) and rounded out my Scribblenauts collection by getting the previous 3 games in the series. Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about let’s plays.

For those who might not know what a let’s play is, it’s basically where a person records his or her self playing a game and commentating over it. I’ve seen plenty of let’s plays over the years, most of them on YouTube, and there’s typically never a time when I don’t have one to watch.

I don’t claim to have a solid idea of what makes a good or bad one, because for me it depends on what’s being presented. Maybe it’s a game I have or haven’t played that I’m interested in watching, or maybe the commentary is entertaining and/or informative. It ultimately depends on what I’m in the mood for. I’ve seen series from well-known let’s players like Chuggaaconroy and SlimKirby, as well as from those gaining in popularity like MadameWario and Helloween4545. I even watch the Game Grumps, although they don’t completely classify themselves as let’s players.

For me, let’s plays represent a few different things. For one, they’re a form of entertainment, even if the commentary can be informative. Whether the person is trying to complete a game, playing one casually or tackling a game that’s sure to induce rage and frustration, I find it fun and relaxing to witness it. As I said earlier, sometimes I’ll watch ones of games I’ve played, which is purely for nostalgia. Other times I’ll watch games I haven’t and will never play, either because I don’t have the technical means or I’m not skilled at certain genres. While some will argue that it’s not as fun to watch someone play a game as it is playing it yourself, I get almost equal enjoyment out of it.

But another huge reason why I enjoy let’s plays is because I secretly respect those who make them. For one, whether they succeed or fail at a game is put out there for the world to see, and on top of that they are showing off their personality through their commentary. Another reason is just the technical aspects involved in let’s play. Quality-made ones have clear video capture, smooth audio and sometimes a bit of editing if parts of the game drag a bit. Due to the cost of some capture devices, I’ve never been bold enough to plunk money down to try it myself. That also includes being able to entertain or inform (or both) with commentary for the length of a video, which is something I don’t feel I’m capable of. I’ve always felt more comfortable behind the scenes, whether with writing or editing.

Ultimately, my stance on let’s plays is very casual. If one succeeds in entertaining me, then I consider it worth my time and attention regardless of how others might perceive it. So, to all those let’s players out there, thank you for providing countless hours of entertainment, sometimes at the expense of your own sanity (I kid, I kid). 🙂

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