Vicarious Viewing

I want to buy the new Wolfenstein game. That’s want, not need. However, I don’t want to spend the money on it right now, because there are better things to spend my money on, and I know what would happen if I purchased it. It would not run well at maximum graphics settings on my current computer, so I would feel the need to upgrade components and thereby spend more money. In addition, I would be hard pressed to find time to play it, and I would end up not finishing the game and feel even worse about wasting money.

So what am I to do? Enter YouTube. Yes, the same company that is planning to acquire Twitch.TV because they realize the value that videos of gamers playing video games brings them. There are tens of thousands — more likely hundreds of thousands — of people like myself who for one reason or another find enjoyment in viewing others playing video games. Getting more advertisements in front of those eyes means that Google can increase their potential ad revenue.

For me, YouTube is a money saver when it comes to games. I still buy the occasional game if I want to invest my time and money in it, but more often than not, I will watch a game being played by someone else when I have some downtime to fill. The beauty of it is that I can experience the game first hand, but like reading a novel, I can also skip to the ending if I so choose, or I can close the book and walk away if I decide I am not interested in seeing it through to the conclusion.

In the case of Wolfenstein, YouTube provides a way to play.