Twitch: So Much More Than Gaming
Twitch is justifiably famous for live streaming videogames. But there are more than 100,000 unique broadcasters on Twitch doing stuff besides playing video games, like cooking, making art, designing cosplay, hosting concerts, and…space walks.
Lots of creative people are making music live on Twitch. Finnish DJ Darude (he’s the dude behind “Sandstorm”) and Trivium guitarist Matthew Keafy post streams featuring their recording and song-writing processes. The8BitDrummer is a drum virtuoso who takes requests from fans and is regularly challenged to do sped-up versions of hit songs. Pianoimproman, real-name Bernie, also takes requests, delivering piano and jokes.
Even more interesting, Twitch is now a platform for virtual concerts. Ahead of her album Artemis, violinist Lindsey Sterling played an hour and a half long interactive set. She wore a body suit that tracked her real-time movements, which allowed a digital version of her to be inserted into a virtual world. During the concert she interacted with fans, who appeared in the stream as stars.
As you can see, the cool thing about virtual concerts is that they aren’t just televised live concerts. They’re their own new, interesting thing.
NASA, realising the benefits of live steaming, has launched a Twitch channel. Now you can watch space station interviews, space walks and rocket launches, all in real time. Perhaps they’ve seen some of the press Elon Musk gets whenever he livestreams a rocket launch.
Do you like drawing, sculpting, or painting? Do you like watching it get made, want a bit of instruction for your own projects, or just want to see how someone extremely talented can make something? Good news—there are thousands of artists on Twitch hosting streams all the time.
MissCoookiez does drawing and other artwork with a gothic flair. AustenMarie is a freelance illustrator who likes to draw nerd culture inspired work and does instructional videos too—see her video on drawing a gender-swapped Mario. Johnlestudio is another illustrator showing off his skills, and his videos have been known to go for ten hours.
Is it shocking that Food & Drink is a big Twitch category? Given our food-obsessed world, probably not. Streamers like DomesticDan and CookingforNoobs host cook-alongs, where they make a recipe and interact with fans.
As a concept, cook-alongs have a few advantages over TV cooking shows. For one, you can literally cook along with the host. In fact, some hosts announce what they’re making and post ingredients lists ahead of time so their fans can do exactly that. Also, you get a good look at exactly what’s happening instead of something abbreviated, as you would with a cooking show on TV. Finally, you see the hosts make mistakes and solve problems in real time.
Do you want to watch people make music? Teach you how to do something? Show you what goes into professional illustrating? Make a killer pot of chilli? Or just hang out and watch slower-paced video content? Then chances are there are dozens of Twitch channels you’re bound to fall in love with.