Twitch is the most popular live streaming website in the world, but one of its most veteran broadcasters, Chance ‘Sodapoppin’ Morris likens it to a “mental hospital” in the way users behave.
Originally ‘justin.tv’, the site later rebranded to Twitch in 2011 as it shifted its focus to video game streaming, with a category for the traditional ‘IRL’ (In Real Life) streams added separately.
Now seven years later, and following the acquisition by Amazon in 2014, Twitch pulls in over 15 million daily users, with an average of one million concurrent viewers in May 2018.
But, Sodapoppin thinks that this steady increase in viewership isn’t just down to people wanting to watch video games and broadcasters more.
He explains the various groups of people who watch Twitch, and gives reasons why he believes they do so and their behavior, concluding that it is a “glorified mental hospital.”
“You’ve got moderators that are glorified internet janitors. You’ve got clip chimps that are trying to farm a resource that actually doesn’t mean anything, but to give them validation. You’ve got some people that just watch the streams and relax, are normal – some. […]
You’ve got people trying to white knight, in hopes that they’ll get laid by their favorite streamer. When in reality they’re already married. Again, Twitch is a giant glorified mental hospital. It’s just fucked in so many ways.
Before this, Sodapoppin was discussing viewers who “race” to post clips on Reddit, in hopes of farming Reddit karma, calling these people “mentally ill.”
Other streamers have also touched on the problems that can occur with certain portions of their viewers.
For example, top female streamer Pokimane recently mocked viewers who think that donating a lot of money means they should be eligible to date her.
When dealing with hundereds of millions of users, there are bound to be some less stable than others, and some streamers have said that they acknowledge that their viewers are watching because of loneliness, and that the streamer provides an interaction of sorts, however hollow.