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Talking while playing games like it’s second nature

Kevin Kim
April 2, 20204 mins read

It’s a basic human instinct to have an urge to share information and spread them among your contacts.

Human beings were utterly weak and fragile when placed upon the infinite horizons of mother nature. In order for them to survive was to gather in groups to empower the strength in numbers. For numerous amount of human beings to be considered a ‘group’ had certain conditions before hand. They required a common ground method of communication. So eventually the people of Earth had attained a survival skill set known among humans as ‘language’. What’s so great about communicating through a common language is that it does not require any assistance of using tools or equipment.

To this day, people of Earth speak in different languages but a large ‘group’ of people would speak the same language, whether it divides the groups as nations or culture, surely more than one other human being other than yourself would be speaking your language today. In the current age of technology, humans taught themselves how to use electricity, computers and the internet. Many humans to this day are now learning the new method of communication using the internet by utilizing the evergreen lingual skills that they were educated with while growing up.

While the telephony technology solely relied of the vocals of people, video broadcasting and streaming will rely on both the verbal and visual method of communication, all while the person in front of the camera being able to communicate in real time by reading written chat logs of their viewers.

Now there is a challenge for those who are streaming video games. Have you ever tried to speak without being distracted while concentrating on the game you’re currently playing? In theory, this doesn’t sound too difficult, but it will become a paradox similar to when a musician tries to sing and play a musical instrument at the same time, for the first time.

With many online games requiring you to team up with other people in the internet, you would be familiar with services such as Discord, which is an evolved format of the internet’s vocal communication between players since the days of Ventrilo or Team Speak, you were naturally able to talk to other people in your team.

You would have assigned roles for the second phase of the boss requiring an off-tank to take care of adds and telling the DPS to manage their aggro, signaling your teammates for ganking an enemy player through the bush above the mid-lane and even alerting your friends that you’ve heard an enemy footstep and based on your 3D sound environment, you would call out that the enemy is in South West direction and is within 100 meters in range.

Whelps! Left side! Even side! Many whelps!

In the early days of World of Warcraft, you had to group up with 39 other people to take down bosses

So think about it, talking while playing your favorite game wouldn’t be that hard while streaming right? But once you’re put on the spotlight, things can get very awkward.

Majority of this would be because you didn’t have the time to prepare to research about a game that was recommended by others or when you’re playing the game solo, you may not need anyone’s help, nor would anyone request for your help. There are range of games that requires to you think quickly in turn of events or would require you to read the entire dialog to be able to learn about the game’s lore and controls. Sometimes it would take you longer to explain the background of the game’s story to your viewers, before you would open the door to get to the next level. You would be concerned that if you didn’t read the entire book’s worth of story, your viewers would be spoiled of what would happen in the end.

So which games would be efficient at both talking and playing? Fortunately, there are various games out there that does not require the viewers to understand its lore before viewing what you’re playing. Trading card games would be a good example. Games such as Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering would be somewhat straightforward and platforms like Twitch even allows certain extensions that would allow the viewers to see more information that may not all be displayed on the screen.

To be able to give yourself tim to speak while simultaneously focusing on the game, you would also have to consider the pace of the game itself. Allowing yourself to give some resting periods in order to talk to your viewers within a single session of the game would be the golden opportunity for you to also regroup and focus on the next strategy. Games such as Dota 2, League of Legends, PUBG and Fortnite is a great example in this. There’s going to be multiple times when you’re leveling up your character before going into a big fight which the streamers use those opportunities to explain what their strategy is going to be to the viewers.

There are game that show the utmost and honest emotions of the streamers. Viewers can also understand and agree to a certain degree even before the streamer would start talking. This is when the streamer is situated in a dangerous scenario which has a high chance of going to the ‘game over’ screen, or would have to restart the progress all the way from the beginning. The genre that fits this description best is ‘beat’em ups’ or ‘fighting games’. Games such as Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Granblue Fantasy Versus, Dragonball Fighterz are some of the most popular fighting games today. With a direct visual of the game characters’ health bar, viewers can tell whether the streamer is going to be happy, upset, focused or full on tournament mode.

Some sticks had to take a hard hit full of emotions.

Only a fraction of the entirety of the arcade stick population were harmed during some fighting game streams

Ultimately, there is a standout game which became a genre on its own, which is the Darksouls series and other similar style of games. Most of the scenarios that were demonstrated above can apply to this type of game where you (and your viewers) go on lengthy hours of expedition.

In conclusion, the human voice is essential for most method of communication and it revolutionized the way other humans would behave with the minimal amount of effort and energy required. This will apply the same for gaming streams and their streamers. It will certainly be a difficult task to form a community with just you playing games and talking in the beginning. I urge all gaming streamers to show your true feelings toward the viewers and the viewers will reward you with much needed appreciation and acknowledgement. The viewers don’t just follow because of who you are or what you sound like, they will reward you for opening up your true character and welcoming them to your digital doorstep.

Be confident and let your voice be heard!

Kevin Kim

XSplit community manager for Korea and Australia. Translator for Korean. Mainly involved with the Fighting Game Community. General tech support for all XSplit products for individuals and organizations. Assistant for many stream productions involving XSplit products.More from this Author