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XPRTNovice

Point of "Let's Play!"

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(Moved from another thread to avoid hijacking)

I'm actually just curious, since I've been seeing the links to LPs a lot while looking for source tunes on YouTube...what the hell is the point? Not to criticise what anyone does with their time, but I'm confused as to where the enjoyment is in watching someone else play a video game. I've never watched one of them - is there goofy commentary, or something, or anything that deepens your experience, or is there a strange enjoyment in watching Cecil tackle another imp through someone else's control? I just don't get it.

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(Moved from another thread to avoid hijacking)

I'm actually just curious, since I've been seeing the links to LPs a lot while looking for source tunes on YouTube...what the hell is the point? Not to criticise what anyone does with their time, but I'm confused as to where the enjoyment is in watching someone else play a video game. I've never watched one of them - is there goofy commentary, or something, or anything that deepens your experience, or is there a strange enjoyment in watching Cecil tackle another imp through someone else's control? I just don't get it.

I don't either. Seems completely boring to me. But there are a TON of those videos out there, so obviously someone must watch them...or it could be like a bunch of people posting pictures of their wangs on the Internet, in that the posters don't really care if anyone watches them or not, they're posting them for their own benefit.

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For me there are three reasons. The first is to see if a game is any good. I'll check out some footage and if it looks fun I'll stop watching and buy it. The second reason is the player. Some have good commentary,others are so pro its amazing, and others are so terrible its hilarious. The third reason is its fun. I've watched my siblings play games (and played with them) for years, so I guess its only natural for me to enjoy watching other people play games.

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The point to LPing for me is to show others how to make it through a game, while being of entertainment with your [hopefully] fun commentary.

Some people enjoy watching others play the video game. I even enjoy this. There are some games where I sit there and am like, "ok, no, give me the controller" or "let me play too", normally with games like Mario and Mario Kart and Sonic. But for some reason, with a game like Zelda, it's almost just as much fun to watch as it is to play. And Zelda is one of my all time favorite game series ever.

I've thought of doing a gaming channel, but I don't think I'd do LPing.

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Plenty of reasons:

Obscurity. This is the original purpose of Let's Plays, to show certain interesting but obscure games to a wider audience. This is why the earliest Let's Plays were of games like La Mulana, Immortal, Snatcher or Cave Story (before it exploded in popularity), and not stuff that everyone knew such as Final Fantasy or Super Mario World.

Furthermore, unless you own literally every console under the sun, including all the region-exclusive versions, chances are you won't have the option to just play a game instead of watching it. Then there's also the fact that certain games just aren't very fun to play, but can be great to watch, which makes them prime LP material (Deadly Premonition, Asura's Wrath, etc.)

Finally, sometimes there's just added value to watching a game instead of playing it. There's a (possibly accurate) stereotype that most Starcraft 2 enthousiasts watch the game more than they actually play it, and the reason for that would be that when you have a game with such depth as SC2, it's completely different to watch a professional go at it than actually playing it yourself. Other examples would be games like Dark Souls, Dwarf Fortress, Dota, etc.

Sometimes you personally just can't afford to invest the amount of time it requires to become good or at least competent at those kinds of games, and in that case watching someone skilled playing through it can be quite interesting. A related phenomenon would be speedrunning. My favorite example of added value would be The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing. I mean yeah, I could play AC, but that would be nothing like reading this LP.

A somewhat recent and unfortunate trend is that the focus has been shifted more towards the Let's Player and their persona, at the behest of the game being shown, since pretty much everyone nowadays feels that it's necessary to have a webcam running.

Edited by Tensei

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One word: banter.

I only rarely watch LPs and they're always the kind which come with multiple people playing. Heck, half the time I don't actually watch the video and just listen in the background while doing something else. It's listening to people being incredibly stupid or screwing around much in the way of a rather informal podcast that gives LPs any sort of draw for me.

Other reasons I've heard people cite include loneliness and a desire for companionship like you're playing games with a bro or something. I just want the entertainment.

Otherwise I'll just, y'know, play the game myself.

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A guy I know actually prefers to watch people play video games.

Just recently, he watched some Swedish dude on YouTube play games for seven hours straight. Needless to say, said friend has no life.

Ok, so I enjoyed watching pewdiepie's slender videos over last summer. BUT THAT WAS IT!!! and i haven't watched anything else from that guy or anyone else since.

Funny accent though.

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If the host is funny, it's like watching anything else that is funny. It's even better relating it to a shared passion like video games. Problem is that even the ones that aren't funny get a lot of views. I don't get that.

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I'm no fan of commentary in vids myself unless I really want to hear said commentary in the first place, but all I can think of is that people who do Let's Plays are up for gaming challenges themselves. True, there may not be much fun in a game that's already been LP'd to death, but it tends to be a common reason.

As Moomba also said, 'banter' is a part of it but I believe it depends on the person or group pulling it off. I wouldn't want to watch an entire LP if the person is either A) trying to be funny but they're not, B) trying to be informative but they're not, or even C) being completely unintelligible thus hampering the enjoyment of the run even more.

And finally as Tensei said, there's 'obscurity' that also comes into it. If it's a game that barely anyone has played or doesn't have access to and they're curious to see how it gets played out, then that's a good way to go. That's actually a key part to the reason why in the past few years I did a couple of let's plays on my OWN Youtube channel covering Ape Escape 3 and Gex 3 (both with caption commentary as opposed to my voice >_<) - the European versions for both games were largely uncovered by anyone who covered either game, and both regional variants had significant voiceover differences throughout.

But either way, I just have fun with games in general and don't see the point of recording myself doing a LP of something that's been done to death. But I'm still fine to see others depending on the content, which at this point is something that I don't necessarily do often.

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Lets Play's are only worthwhile for me to watch if the person commentating enhances the gameplay. Do they have a lot of knowledge about the game? Is the game interesting or different every time it's played? (Such as FTL or Dwarf Fortress) or is the person simply funny?

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My problem with LPs is just that they are too long. And lots of the time not even entertaining.

Like I stated in that other LP forum, my personal friend Josiah Clark LPs, currently known as HerrinPlays and once did a channel called blinkkandyoumissit which he hardly ever is active on anymore. I like his stuff, but he'll do episodes 20 minutes long and even sometimes 30 minutes long. I've been featured in a few and as long as it's funny and entertaining the whole way, then cool.

But seriously, even though it would consist of more episodes in the series, an episode should just be 10 minutes. Game Grumps isn't really LPing, but they do that and that's what you should do. TobyGames also. I haven't watched any TobyGames in a while but I subbed because of Skyward Sword... sucks he's not doing that anymore. That was so hilarious.

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These days I think most of the LPs I watch are of games I've already played. Sometimes you learn something new, sometimes you just get entertained by failures or commentary. It's also good when multiple people are playing and/or commentating at the same time.

Of course you have to be picky about LPers. If the first few seconds of commentary are iffy, get out of there. It's not going to get better.

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I like doing LP type stuff, but I can't watch 'em for the life of me, although Game Grumps is usually pretty funny, and I watch Ben Briggs' stream occasionally because I like trolling the little bastard.

As a kid, I loved to watch friends play games, but it doesn't translate well to LPs, in my opinion. Part of the reason it was fun to watch friends play was the bonding. There was still a social aspect; we were hanging out. Watching LPs removes that aspect and makes the experience pretty boring for me in most cases.

I guess with LPs it boils down to entertainment value for me, usually comedy. Time, too. I don't have the time I did when I was a kid, not even close, so I really prefer not to waste what little time I do have watching protracted playthroughs of games I've already beaten a dozen times. I'd rather make music!

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For me there are three reasons. The first is to see if a game is any good. I'll check out some footage and if it looks fun I'll stop watching and buy it. The second reason is the player. Some have good commentary,others are so pro its amazing, and others are so terrible its hilarious. The third reason is its fun.

^ Pretty much.

Generally speaking, I hate buying games sight unseen - I've gotten shafted with one too many shoddy, shoddy games. So usually, I wait for them to be out for a week, and then look at someone's Let's Play and watch the first couple episodes - not far enough to really spoil anything, but far enough to get a feel for the game and whether or not it'd interest me.

Then there's #2 and #3 (which are the same in my book), and tbh, there's more to it than just that for me. Not only does the player have to be interesting (and by interesting, make me laugh), but the game has to interest me too. I don't really watch these types much anymore, but when I was in college, up after midnight with nothing on tv to watch and nowhere to go, but unable to sleep, I'd go watch an episode of Jesse Cox failing horribly at something, and get a few laughs out of it. Free amusement, and I'd get to learn more about a game I probably would've never got around to playing myself that had interested me.

About the only other reason I watch an LP, and this is REALLY rare, is if I'm having trouble with some aspect of a game and there's a dearth of ancilliary information in textual form. I think I've only done this two or three times, total, in my life - in fact, the only time I can think of off the top of my head was Aquaria. I couldn't figure out how to get the whale's mouth to open for the life of me, and there wasn't anything I could find to read on the topic, so I looked at an LP.

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I usually just watch LP'ers I already know, and usually only games I've already played (or ones I never had a chance to play but wanted to). The commentator is important because if they're not funny or informative, then there really is no "point". There's a lot of pointless LP's like that out there, especially on youtube.

The Something Awful forums has decent LP's, only because there is a sort of quality control there. You still run into a lot of bad LP's, though.

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You still run into a lot of bad LP's, though.

Yeah. I can count on one hand the number of LPers who haven't made me want to shoot myself after listening to the first five minutes of their first episode.

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I usually just watch LP'ers I already know, and usually only games I've already played (or ones I never had a chance to play but wanted to). The commentator is important because if they're not funny or informative, then there really is no "point".

This. In my case, I don't watch LPs of games I've already beaten, are currently playing, or have an interest in but haven't gotten around to playing just yet. I tend to only watch an LP series if I have some interest in the game, but not enough to want to play through it myself.

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I figure the point of LPs are to be informative and/or funny. I first started watching LPs because I was looking for a walkthrough of a game but then stumbled upon 'walkthrough' with commentary. It was pretty funny, and I enjoyed them to say the least. A lot of LPs these days are lacking though, and I try to stay away from YouTube LPs. Considering that Something Awful is a forum that takes no bullshit and have strict rules that mods actually enforce, the whole LP forum has a lot of good LPs (though that's not to say there aren't bad ones somewhere on the forum either).

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Here's another point: one's simply legitimately interested in the story of a game he knows he can't play himself. For example, I don't have ps3, but I heard that God of War 3 has a kickass plot, so I checked a hd let's play of the whole thing. Good game. Epic shit. And would never have gotten a chance to play it myself.

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Here's another point: one's simply legitimately interested in the story of a game he knows he can't play himself. For example, I don't have ps3, but I heard that God of War 3 has a kickass plot, so I checked a hd let's play of the whole thing. Good game. Epic shit. And would never have gotten a chance to play it myself.

At the end of any console generation everything becomes dirt cheap. I usually pick up a refurbished system and go on a spree for all the games I missed that I really wanted to play. I'm planning on doing the same for the PS3 just as soon as a massive price drop hits. Which better be before Tales of Xillia releases.

No sense in ruining a game for yourself by listening to someone whine the whole way through it :) Just be patient.

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