Our very last post is a short one, and it serves as the answer to the questions posed in Post #1. What streaming functions will Nintendo Switch have? The answer is? Nothing. Nintendo once again misses the chance to bring streaming to their hardware by not making Twitch (Or any online 3rd Party services like Netflix and Hulu) available from the platform’s launch.
Overwatch is a massive game, despite having only been out for around eight months. I see Overwatch as a fun game in its own right, but also as the ultimate combination of games as art, and games creating social advancement/movement. Overwatch is a team game that encouraged team play. That’s just when you’re playing. The fan community surrounding the game is massive and has been very receptive to new content and continues to do all sorts of things ranging from fan-art to competitive play, to of course streaming via Twitch. So it’s not surprising to see Overwatch at the top of most streaming games list, and knowing it has nowhere to go but up, I look forward to seeing what becomes of it in 2017.
Looking at Twitch Plays Pokémon, I see a complete social movement the occurred via Twitch. Twitch is designed to share media (specifically games) across the world, so seeing thousands of people playing Pokémon at the same time is amazing. Twitch Play Pokémon was an infestation of memes and the fan community surrounding it continues today, even as Twitch continues to play through each Pokémon game via the same system. But to me, the only important playthrough was the very first one. It was an event that brought gamers together (and divided them based on their results, RIP Charmeleon) in a way that nobody expected. The article itself says, “It wasn’t just playing Pokémon, it was cooperation on a scale that few would have ever thought possible.”
Another post focusing on games as art. This article talks more about video games and whether or not they can be considered art. This article as a whole is mostly more of the same, but one quote is extremely important. Film Critic Roger Ebert said: “Video games by their nature require player choices, which is the opposite of the strategy of serious film and literature, which requires authorial control.” Ebert states that games cannot be art because they are not controlled by the same rules constantly, and the content of games is constantly in flux. Of course Tim Schafer would say in response: “If Marcel Duchamp can stick a urinal in a gallery and say it’s art, then I’m going to go out on a limb and say Okami is too.”
Recognizing Video Games as art is integral to understanding them as they are today. Games have evolved so much over the years that their presence is widely accepted amongst gamers, but debated among many scholars. This article mentions Shadow of the Colossus as one of the best examples for creating emotion and achievement for the player out of nothing. Just as art is “interpretive,” players decide for themselves if they believe a game can be art. The article states that games demand attention, requiring more time to examine fully. The full amount of time is needed to understand the game to the fullest extent.
Twitch has nowhere to go but up. The service continues to grow in numbers over time, and most of us have completely forgotten that Twitch is now owned by Amazon. (I’d didn’t know that) What company on earth could take a stab at Twitch and not fail miserably? Facebook of course.
Facebook’s partnership with Blizzard Entertainment in June of last year, helped launch Facebook’s attempt at game streaming. All services of this nature grow over time, and most do get better. From what I have seen, Twitch obviously hasn’t slowed down since Facebook Live began being used to stream games, but the reach of Facebook as a platform could easily vault Facebook to the top of the streaming world, provided that Facebook makes the necessary changes to make Facebook Live a more viable outlet for streamers.
While streaming and its effects on the general gaming community is to be the focus of this project, examination of the gaming industry as it currently stands is an extremely integral piece to the puzzle.
Specifically covered in this article here is state of play of Nintendo, and thoughts on how its success will define the company going forward. Ryan McCaffrey’s comments on the prospective success of Nintendo depends on Switch paints a similar picture to SEGA’s fall from grace in 2001 following the failure of the DreamCast.
Current Streaming is possible on PCs, Xbox One and Playstation 4, but streaming capabilities for Switch have not been mentioned. Due to its presence as a “super-powered gaming tablet” this is not extremely surprising but with the constant growth and importance of streaming in the gaming community, it is interesting that such a now-common feature is absent. Granted we still don’t know enough about Switch, but considering Nintendo’s stance on Wii U streaming via Twitch as recent as 2014, it seems unlikely that streaming will come.