Saturday, 11 January 2020
So far in 2020, I’m happy to say, I’ve managed to stay away from Twitter, and I feel much less stressed as a result. But without that reliable time-suck I now find I need something else to fill those moments when you don’t feel like doing anything that’s actually productive, and so I’ve been spending a lot more time on both YouTube and Twitch in the last couple of weeks.
My YouTube subscriptions are becoming a pretty accurate cross-section of my interests. I’ve always watched channels on film or script analysis, like Every Frame a Painting or the excellent Notes from the Screenplay, but I’ve added more to that list recently such as the SFX-focused Corridor Crew, and Thomas Flight, who makes detailed analysis videos looking at various aspects of movie-making. I’m also kind of addicted to Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailers series.
On the gaming side, I follow a few experts on particular games that I’m playing (or have played in the past); right now that means PartyElite for his Total War videos, TheLazyPeon for general MMO news, and a couple of random World of Warcraft and Age of Empires II channels.
Then there’s TwoSetViolin (a couple of dorky violin pros making funny violin-themed reaction videos), theneedledrop (music reviews), Seth James DeMoor (running) and David Bennet Piano (more music analysis) among others. I spent years just browsing YouTube at random, and it’s really only in the last year or two that I’ve started actually subscribing to channels; I kind of wish I started doing it sooner, as their recommendation algorithm is pretty good at surfacing new things that I’m genuinely interested in watching.
While I have no real desire to ever be a streamer, I’ve finally started to actually watch other people stream on Twitch occasionally. While I find the big streamers like Asmongold to be abrasive and juvenile simply for the sake of growing an audience of teenaged boys (and a chatroom with fifty thousand people in it is so far beyond usable that it’s simply not funny), it’s actually quite relaxing to dig into the tail-end of the streamer lists and find someone streaming to just a handful of viewers. Genuine conversations with strangers over the internet seems so much more normal when you bond over a shared love for a game, rather than in the artificial social interaction of a site like Chat Roulette.