Watching Others vs. Playing Yourself

It’s an odd phenomena where people enjoy watching other people play a game. There are definitely games where this is true for me, including For Honor, DayZ, and Starcraft 2. Twitch, as a broadcasting site, has become a huge source of money,  allowing many people to make streaming video games into a full time job. It’s a culture that is quite odd, and for many people, completely not understandable. If I ask my parents if they’d be interested in watching someone else do something instead of doing it themselves, they’re at a complete loss as to why I’d even ask the question. So why do we consume so much gameplay in this way? There seem to be two distinctions in this type of gameplay: the first is people who are very good at the game and the second is people who are very entertaining while playing the game. For the first, it’s easy to see why you’d want to watch people that are good at something… this is the sort of thing we do all the time with sports, the Olympics, and any sort of world championship. You can’t play to those levels and can appreciate the skills required to play, so enjoy watching people that have perfected them. However, the entertainment is a bit more convoluted. Arguably, if someone is playing a game and you’re enjoying watching them, then wouldn’t you have just as much or more fun if you were actually playing the game yourself? Something to consider, even though I don’t have the faintest clue on an answer… and I’ll go back to watching the same couple on Twitch that I watch every day!