It is something many of us gamers like to watch. Places like YouTube have been hosting them for years. Video game Playthrough videos. They don’t make a lot of sense to many people, but there is an audience to just sit there and watch videos of other people playing video games.
There doesn’t appear to be the same kind of reward for watching someone ELSE playing and beating a video game in a video. There is no accomplishment and you haven’t done much of anything except press the play button. You never did anything or any kind of achievement. But you know what? That might just be the point.
For a lot of gamers who watch these videos, especially for older games. There IS a sence of attachment involved. It’s not about you beating a game, but it can bring back a lot of memories of playing it yourself. Memories of all the times you sat in front of a computer or Television trying to win. Either as a kid or older, it doesn’t matter. Memories of playing yourself to death a lifetime ago build the connection that the memories will come back as you are watching someone else do it.
For some, it is the sense that you couldn’t do it originally that is the draw. Failure sucks, especially with a game you put a lot of time into. Seeing the hows and parts of the game you couldn’t reach yourself may remind you of a bitter pill, but it also creates the sensation of what you couldn’t see at the time. Many have those thoughts of “how did that end?” and replay videos are a quick way to find out without a monster investment of time or cheat codes.
The sense of the unknown also pulls people in. Never got the chance to play a certain game, or the worse feeling that you just don’t know how to get to the next part? Replays help with that. If you never get to, or got to own or plays a game in the past, these vids help you realize it. Back in the day we would see stuff in commercials or magazines, and rent them to try things out. If you loved it enough you then would go out and buy them. I wrote before of renting Super Mario RPG a bazillion times in a row and then when I was done, I bought it first chance I got. Videos help provide a similar experience in a lot less time.
Playthrough videos also take the place of the old strategy guides many of us would swear by as gamers. Flipping page after page finding out how to do one little thing that got in the way of moving to the next point drove us nuts back then. Nowadays a quick jump on Youtube and you can see exactly how it’s done by someone who knows the answer. If you have emulators or a streaming service like Steam, this is great with this idea, but having to use a computer and a console will work just as well.
Some viewers just get into the sights that someone can do it in the first place. You don’t have to be the one running to see someone else win the race. Whether there is a connection of actually trying it first-hand doesn’t always have to be there, but having it done, especially in a concentrated amount of time is not a bad thing for a lot of gamers.
And then there are those that want to be blown away. Not all Game videos are like that, but there are the ones where gamers pull off the weirdest and wildest things in games that you just have to see. A lot of Speedruns are like that. Not only just watching someone beat a game, but do it in an incredible time is something that can blow a gamer’s mind. For me, seeing someone blaze through the old Punch Out boxing games was something. If there is someone who recorded themselves beating a game, there is someone else who did it in a faster time in another video.
There are probably a bazillion other reasons gamersd watch Playthrough vids, but it all boils down to entertainment. People are made happy by watching these videos. Seeing what others can do makes people smile. That is the point of games too, to make people smile.