My teenagers and their friends just can’t seem to get enough watching others play video games. It’s a huge revenue-generating segment on YouTube with the top earners making millions annually. They will play the game themselves while watching someone on YouTube playing the game and also videoconferencing with a friend who is also playing the game.
My generation was the first to have video games. I remember when Atari and Intellivison first came out. I did spend hours playing those games. And of course, there were the arcades with the full-sized games. But these were somewhat limited as even then, I didn’t like spending my money in an arcade. But home video game systems was a different story. Essentially, it was unlimited play once you bought the game (sounds like the subscription model we love today).
Honestly, I haven’t spent any time watching others play video games on YouTube, but I do catch little glimpses when my children are watching. I’ve tried to figure out a comparable form of entertainment from my generation. The nearest thing I can think of is listening to sports radio.
I’ve listened to the same sports radio station for 20 years or more. When we lived in Dallas, I listened live and now that we’re gone, I listen through a streaming app. While the station is first and foremost a sports station, much of the content is not sports related. It’s more like sitting in a bar listening to your friends talking about whatever happens to be on their mind. And that’s mostly what I see and hear when my kids are watching others play video games on YouTube. The entertainment is really in the commentary not the game-playing.
We all know YouTube stars are becoming more and more accepted and many have made the leap into full-fledged mainstream celebrity status. And I think it’s great. When used in this positive way, technology has created a platform that allows anyone for a very small investment to reach millions of viewers.
Maybe my next step with Financial Slacker is to create a YouTube channel. Probably not a channel targeting viewers watching others play video games but instead a channel providing personal finance commentary.
What do you think?