What is Twitch? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]

Do you ever wish you could get paid to play video games? Did you know that you can? Have you ever heard people talking about Twitch but weren’t really sure what it was? Well, you’ve come to the right place! If you’re curious about what that little purple logo of a speech bubble with quotation marks is that is causing such a stir in the video game world, we are here to tell you about it. It’s a service called Twitch, which is owned by Amazon. Twitch is available on computers as well as phone apps, and it has revolutionised the gaming industry.

Twitch is primarily a video game live streaming service, though in recent years it’s become even more. It’s one of the top places to watch eSports and has special deals with companies like Blizzard to exclusively broadcast them. Twitch also hosts real-life streams of people talking in-person and music broadcasting in addition to all the game content. As it continues to grow, Twitch becomes more and more important to the world of gaming -, especially online and competitive gaming. And it allows gamers to make money when people tune into their live-stream!

The Top eSports Streaming Service

eSports, or multiplayer games that are competitively played online, have been popular for some time now. But more and more, it’s just as popular to watch them as it is to play them. Just like live sports, famous players have a fan following, and people love to watch the games being live streamed. Twitch was able to capitalise on this growing industry and trend in gaming early enough to make a lot of deals with some of the biggest names in ESports games - like Blizzard, whom Twitch exclusively has the rights to broadcast. Some of the most popular eSports games on Twitch today are League of Legends, Fortnite, and Dota 2. And with the newest consoles being automatically built in with the ability to stream to Twitch and the app available on most other devices, eSports are more accessible than ever.

League of Legends

  • System: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
  • Publisher: Riot Games
  • Developer: Riot Games
  • Release Dates: Oct. 27th, 2009

League of Legends lets players step into the role of an unseen summoner who calls and controls a character with various abilities in a multiplayer map. Each of the characters has unique abilities and powers, so choosing the right one to match your play style and what you want to do is critical. It also means that League of Legends has many different kinds of characters and ways to play to keep gamers coming back for something new and different - or becoming incredibly specialised in controlling their favourite character!

League of Legends is not only fun to play, but it’s fun to watch too. Since it released in 2009 it has continued to gain more and more popularity and continues to expand each year. It’s always in the top watched games on Twitch. It’s become a big enough eSport title that championship leagues have been created across the world for players to compete in. These host huge regional and international League of Legends competitions. With that much of a following, it’s no wonder that League of Legends is so popular on Twitch. And that’s just one of the many eSports games that you can stream and tune into using the service.

A New Dawn | Cinematic - League of Legends

Publicity Stunts and Social Experiments

Sometimes Twitch is the force behind a publicity stunt, which brings the service right to the forefront of everyone’s conversation - or at least, gamers’ conversations! This has been most famously done through what has been called “social experiments,” where an incredible amount of people played the same game simultaneously online and tried to finish it. What is most impressive about this concept beyond the logistics of even making it work is that they were successful and have finished games! Known as “Twitch Plays Pokémon,” this channel helped make Twitch a gamer household name where it may not have been before.

Pokémon Red

  • System: Gameboy
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Game Freak
  • Release Dates: Feb. 27th, 1996 (JP), Sep. 28th, 1998 (NA)

Pokémon Red is the game that started it all; it was the first Pokémon game to release in the 1990s and helped lead to the craze that still exists today with no sign of slowing down. Pokémon Red lets you step into the shoes of a Pokémon trainer and begin your journey to catch them all, travelling across the region of Kanto and filling your Pokédex with these mysterious creatures. Along the way, you face the evil Team Rocket, compete for gym badges, and eventually battle the Elite Four. Maybe you can even catch a rare legendary Pokémon! Pokémon Red may seem archaic compared to the newest games in the series, but people will always love the origin story.

Pokémon Red was also the first game that Twitch Plays Pokémon attempted. The game began in March 2014 and was completed after 16 hours of continuous play. Players logged on from all over the world to both play and watch the game, and eventually, it broke a Guinness World Record for the most participants in a single-player online video game. For those 16 days, everyone was talking about Twitch plays Pokémon all over the world, and many people became Twitch users and subscribers that may not have found it otherwise. What started as just a fun idea grew into a major publicity stunt, showing that you never know what might happen when someone uses Twitch.

Banned Content

Twitch allows its users to stream more and more things, even material beyond video games. It had a channel devoted to the creation, broadcasting people painting and more. It has a lot of live speedrunning channels. Twitch even has an “IRL” channel that users can stream themselves doing just about anything in real life that they want to share with the world (it's actually quite a popular channel). But while it seems like the possibilities on Twitch are endless, there is some content that is banned from the service. Any adult content is banned, along with games that are rated for Adults Only in the USA. Beyond that, games with overly sexual or violent content are also banned from being streamed on the service despite their rating.

Yandere Simulator

  • System: Microsoft Windows
  • Publisher: YandereDev
  • Developer: YandereDev
  • Release Dates: TBA

Yandere Simulator lets the player control a schoolgirl named Ayano Aishi who develops a serious crush on another student at her school. Ayano is a yandere, meaning that her initial love leads her to become violent and destructive. The game is played over 10 weeks, where Ayano must stop 10 other classmates from developing a relationship with her crush. She will do just about anything to stop them, not limited to gossip, poisoning, kidnapping, matchmaking, and incited murder-suicide just to name a few. Ayano will do literally anything to be with her crush and won’t let anyone stand in her way.

Yandere Simulator isn’t even released yet, but it’s already been banned from Twitch alongside titles like Huniepop and Dramatical Murder. Anything that might be considered an eroge game or that is gratuitously violent is meant to not be allowed to be streamed on Twitch. Yandere Simulator falls squarely into that category. However, the developer has already been arguing with Twitch about this decision, citing violent games like Mortal Combat or with sexual content like the Witcher III still being allowed to stream. It’s a debate not likely to end any time soon or stop with just Yandere Simulator as Twitch works out all the details on their banned content policy.

In the meantime, you just enjoy just about anything on Twitch - but you’ll have to look elsewhere for content like Yandere Simulator.

Even Yanderes Need To Love 【Yandere Simulator PV】

Final Thoughts

Twitch continues to change the face of online gaming and live streaming as it makes more and more deals and becomes more popular each year. Chances are if you hadn’t heard of Twitch before now, you’re going to hear more about it soon. The top Twitch streamers have become gaming celebrities. Getting paid to play games may seem like a pipe dream to most gamers, but Twitch has allowed it to become reality for some. As for the rest of us, we can use it to watch enticing gaming competitions, learn from the experts, pick up some new tips and tricks, and just enjoy video games in a whole new way.

Have you ever tried live streaming on Twitch? Do you ever tune in to watch? What’s your experience been like? What new content or new relationship are you most excited about for the future of Twitch? Are there any other gaming terms or ideas you would like to see a similar article for? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

Twitch_Purple_RGB-700x236 What is Twitch? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]


Author: Jet Nebula

Living the dream in Tokyo, where you can find me working at a theme café catered towards women. When I’m not writing for Honey’s, I’m working on original dystopian science fiction or blogging about Tokyo’s trendy coffee scene. I spend my free time in Harajuku and Shibuya wearing alternative Japanese street fashion. I love video games, J-rock, tattoos, and Star Wars.

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