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twitch: The growing world of video game streaming

Article and photo by Steve Whitlock

You probably already know video games are a big deal. But did you know some people don’t just play video games, they watch other people play video games? It’s true. One of the platforms for viewing gaming is Twitch. Twitch is a popular online service for streaming digital video broadcasts, including video games.

Founded in 2011, then purchased by Amazon in 2014, Twitch now has over a million unique monthly streams where viewers log in to watch tournaments, strategy, commentary, and the progress of their favorite streamers. There’s a lot to choose from, with almost every game at any given time having hundreds of people playing and broadcasting. At the writing of this article, the top five games being streamed were; League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Fortnite, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike.

There are a number of things that have contributed to the rapid growth of video game streaming. Certainly gamers who want to understand how to play better is a part. Another is the unexpected and live aspects of streaming. Then there are the personalities of the top streamers – many of whom get paid lucrative sponsorship money and are boisterous, entertaining and humorous. Of course, when top streamers begin playing on teams together, that’s when some memorable moments in gaming history have been made – both through accomplishment in tournaments and through their banter and interaction.

There are a lot of ways to watch Twitch. Streams can be viewed on the official Twitch website and via one of the many official Twitch apps available through a cellphone, Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Roku.

Regarding which streamers to watch, Twitch recommends streams on the front page or you can browse by game. Certainly some streamers are more entertaining than others. Additionally, some are more family friendly.

Twitch Prime is a premium membership for Twitch which links to Amazon’s Amazon Prime program. Users with a Twitch Prime membership are given an ad-free experience on Twitch and free digital downloadable content.

If you’ve grown weary of sitcoms, traditional sports or the fall TV lineup, you might want to watch the entertaining world of video games streamers on Twitch. Your kids most likely already are.



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