While I’ve been enjoying Twitch fairly regularly for a few years now, lately I’ve been paying a lot more attention to it. Sure, it’s been a great platform for watching people play new games so you can get a decent handle on what they are before you buy (and watching lots of people play Minecraft and Hearthstone), but the people who stream content on Twitch (and Twitch itself) have been getting creative with how they are becoming an entertainment entity.
A few months ago, Twitch ran a stream that featured Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting for a few days. After pulling in over 5 million viewers, Twitch has made The Joy of Painting available all the time at Twitch.tv/BobRoss.
This is what really got me interested in Twitch as being something more than just gaming. It feels like the floodgates of interesting entertainment opened wide after the late Bob Ross changed things up.
Adult Swim has been basically running their own channel via Twitch streaming. They run low-budget, low-key talk shows from 11-6:30 EST, and between segments, they stream their wall clock. And while a stream of a clock probably seems pretty boring, the clock takes song requests, so chat moves at a pretty good clip as people try to get their song on the air.
It’s so simple that it’s kind of ingenious.
And their talk shows are all pretty creative. Stupid Morning BS is their morning, “coffee talk” type show where the hosts recap the news, play trivia games with the audience, and give away prizes.
Other shows include Fishcenter, where the hosts provide commentary of the goings on in the AdultSwim fishtank, and Williams Street Swap Shop, where the hosts attempt to facilitate trades between viewers.
Twitch is known for video gaming, but tabletop gaming is becoming a fixture there too. The folks that created Dungeons & Dragons periodically do a stream, and so does Geek & Sundry, but other, lower budget fans run streams as well(Like the Thursday Knights).
It makes total sense, too. RPGs are great storytelling mechanisms, so not only do you get a great story, you get to experience the thrill of victory and agony of defeat as the dice fall where they will.
A quick search on Twitch for “board games” brings up a whole bunch of viewing choices as well. I love watching other people play board games, especially when I’m thinking of buying something specific. It’s often difficult to get a live demo of a board game (unless you’re at a convention or a good gaming store), so watching other people figure out the mechanics can give you a good sense of what you’re in for.
Twitch is doing some really cool things right now. If you got some free time, check it out. You’ll probably find something you like.