Spectator Sport

One of the great things about games compared to movies is that you get to take part in the adventure instead of just watching it, but that doesn’t mean that watching a game isn’t fun either.

Sometimes it’s incredibly annoying watching someone else play, they don’t go in the direction you would go, or they can’t make a jump that you know you’d be able to so you find yourself clawing the controller out of their hands to show them how it’s done.

There are many times when I’ve been watching my sister play that I’ve started screaming at her for dying for the 10th time and gotten so angry that I couldn’t watch her anymore so stormed out of the room to do something else, but I always came back 10 minutes later to watch again. If I’m sat playing on my DS and she comes in and turns on a console I always end up turning off my DS to see what adventure she’s about to embark on and she’ll do the same if I’m playing.

When we first got our PS2 and Final Fantasy X we had no memory card to save it on we took it in shifts to play but neither of us could leave the room when the other was playing, we had to stay to see what happened next. We’d watch each other beat the bad guys and save the day hundreds of times but there are some games that no matter how fun they are you just can’t watch someone else playing them.

Bayonetta looks absolutely stunning. The enemies are beautifully designed and each move you use is full of style, but if you watch someone play it it’s a mess. Everything on screen is moving so fast that you can’t follow the action and everything suddenly seems ugly.

abyonetta screen

But for every unwatchable game there are 50 others that you just can’t tear your eyes away from no matter how bad the person playing it is. Cinematics and gameplay graphics have improved so drastically over the last 10 years that watching them is like going to the movies.

The beginning of Mass effect 2 is incredible to watch. You feel the threat and panic when things go wrong, and the explosions are just as exciting as any action movie. The universe the game exists in instantly feels real and you find yourself relating to the characters as the story pans out.

mass effect2 screen

Unfortunately I don’t live with my sister anymore so we never get to watch each other play and it feels a little lonely. I want to be able to share all the plot twists I just witnessed with the person sitting next to me. I can talk to people online or friends later that same day but it’s just not the same as being with someone at the time.

Luckily my other half lets me watch him play, and because he’s more willing to play scary games like Deadspace or Bioshock that I or my sister are too chicken to play, I get to experience fantastically intriguing worlds that I never normally would.

I could just play multiplayer games so we both got the chance to play, but grabbing the popcorn and watching a story unfold by someone else’s hands is just as fun.







3 responses to “Spectator Sport”

  1. higgeh avatar

    Definately a spectator sport. Especially some of the new games like wii fit. Watching other people doing hula hoop or the new flying game with the chicken is great. Bit like watching youve been framed LIVE!!

    In an all serious note I think its quite an interesting thing to watch. I loved the times I went to the I series and got to watch some of the finals getting played. Sitting beside friends and cheering on the underdogs (By Underdogs I mean anyone who wasn’t a sponsored team.) Every Kill and every grenade was accompanied with ooo’s and aaa’s with people in the audience shouting out directions and not realising there was a time delay to the screens. There were even moments when I think that the guys on the stages thought they were celebrities doing celebrations for 3 kills in one round or a headshot. Gaming is a spectator sport and to be honest I would like to be able to watch other people playing games more (Mainly because im rubbish myself).

    The other thing I have noticed about the newer Games is that they all have really epic Closed scenes. I loved watching the closed scenes in MW2 and even enjoyed Mirrors edge (Yes im slightly behind on the times).

  2. Simon avatar

    I love watching others play, and I think it adds something when you’re playing with someone else. Things definitely get funnier in the likes of GTA!

    You’re right on Bayonetta too!

  3. Duncan avatar

    I’m a total sucker for watching people play. Especially action games! Used to watch my mate playing Metal Gear Solid for weekends on end. 😀 *memories*

Leave a Reply