Let's Play Everything

Let's Play Everything

Let’s Plays, for those that don’t know, are walkthroughs of a video game including commentary.  The player will record themselves playing the game while talking about information about the game, or feelings towards it and then upload it to the internet.  There are lot of people that do Let’s Plays online.  I’m working on one myself.  But why do we do it? 

When I was younger, my little sister would watch me play video games and I would watch her play them as well.  Usually, when I bought a new one, I’d let her play first and watch her enjoy the game as well as listen to what she had to say about it. 

Nowadays, people record themselves playing video games and can have a huge audience watching the gameplay they’ve done, but do most people have anything important or informational to say? 

I’ve watched a lot of Let’s Plays, or LPs, and I’ve noticed ranges from people that really want to teach the game to new players, to people just vlogging over gameplay without ever mentioning what was going on in the game (which of course, is against YouTube’s Terms of Service, but that’s another story entirely).  But why do you watch Let’s Plays? 

Is there a clear difference between a walkthrough and a Let’s Play?  I would say they’re essentially the same thing, but I would expect someone that titled their video “walkthrough” would teach the game and give tips and tactics, and those that did Let’s Plays just play the game and make comments, maybe to be funny and entertaining. 

But what do you think is the psychological reason why anyone would watch someone else play a video game?  I think the answer is simple.  They could care about the game itself, but I believe it’s because they have a connection to the gamer.  And that connection is because that the gamer is likeable. 

Have you ever clicked on a Let’s Play or walkthrough and immediately clicked away when the person started speaking? 


And you’re like whoa there!  And click away.  Immediately you taken aback by the shouting.  I don’t want to be shouted at.  Do you? 

And then you have those that may be a little calmer... 

Hey guys and uh, welcome to my lets play of Super Mario galaxy 2.  Uh, this is episode 25 of 162 videos.  So, we’re on our way... 

We want to like the person that we watch.  We like games.  The gamer we’re watching likes games.  Great.  But what more does he or she have to offer?  And I think that’s the difference between great Let’s Players, and good ones.    

Maybe I’m wrong.  Why do you watch Let’s Plays and walkthroughs? 

- Anthony J. Gomez