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The Wonderful World of Live Streaming

I was never the best of my friends at video games.  Due to my disability and the increasingly shooter heavy selection of games, if I ever wanted to play, I found myself trying to do with one hand what Mountain Dew filled 12 year olds across the globe were doing with two, which led to a two-fold conclusion; first, my KD ratio would be much higher in the D area than the K, which in turn created the second, which was that I stopped playing shooters for the most part.  But while I stopped playing them myself, I still occasionally wanted to see the top level play that created the intrigue to play the game in the first place, and this is where I found Ustream.tv.  For those who don’t know what Ustream.tv is, it is a place where people can stream what they are doing live, so you can essentially watch an event as if you were there.  Ustream had thousands of streamers that would stream everything from sports to politics, but what I was most interested in was the games.  On Ustream, I could watch top-level players playing pretty much any game that could be played, and while the majority were a lot of Starcraft 2 and LoL/HoN players, if I searched, I could find someone playing whatever game I was in the mood for.  On the release of LA Noire, there were at least 15 channels that were broadcasting the game, and while a large part of LA Noire is the story which could be ruined, live streaming provided that look into the game that you could get before buying to make sure that it is something that you wanted.Twitch TV's homepage is often filled with Starcraft, but behind the homepage, there are a bevy of gamers

Twitch TV's homepage is often filled with Starcraft, but behind the homepage, there are a bevy of gamers

Originally, I got into watching live streaming as it applied to the fighting game scene, as many of the largest fighting game tournaments get live streamed to those who cannot attend in person.  Part of the reason that I think that live streaming is on the rise and something that you should check out is because of the numbers that were recorded from a fighting game tournament over the summer called Evolution 2011.  For those who don’t know, Evolution is the fighting game scene's equivalent of the Olympics, as all of the best players from around the world are flown out to Las Vegas, Nevada (where the tournament takes place) to take part in the three day tournament.  Anyways, one of the cool parts of live streaming is that on the bottom of the window, you can see the amount of people that are watching.  During this year’s Evolution grand finals, well over 30,000 separate viewers were watching at a single time.  Last year’s Evo finals, in comparison, drew about 21,000 viewers to the finals.  Live streaming is an interesting concept, because it not only allows anyone to go about live streaming their own gaming sessions to the public, but it also gives top players a forum to demonstrate their skills and less talented players a place to learn from those top players in real time.  Plus, with the amount of numbers that the best live streams constantly get, it seems like live streaming is a process that is only going to get more popular.                


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