Another video game related beef I have...
Who the f%&k wants to see some shithead's live feed picture superimposed onto the corner of a screen while he/she plays a game? How did this awful, narcissistic practice become so commonplace? Why do people support such self obsessed behaviour, and why on earth would anyone even think to start this practice in the first place? Are privacy, being anonymous, and reasonable modesty dinosaurs these days?
As someone who's used Twitch for quite some time now, there's several reasons:
Socialization, entertainment, job opportunities, networking, among others.
Some broadcasters use Twitch as a means of socialization. I know I do. I put in the bare minimum amount of effort because Fire Pro is a niche game in a niche genre created by a niche development team. It's highly unlikely that it'll ever become super popular (maybe it will, who knows?). I can tell you that I'd be pretty frickin' miserable if I didn't have the people to talk to who show up to my streams on a regular basis. I stream because I enjoy it. If I'm not enjoying it, I stop, and I have before.
Those people who watch my streams, watch because they find entertainment from them. All I'm doing is simming matches. Is it because I use their edits if they interact with me? Perhaps. Is it because they enjoy my company and I enjoy their's? Perhaps. Is it because they enjoy Fire Pro; and by extension wrestling and they want to see something that isn't the "real thing"? Perhaps.
There's plenty of reasons that a viewer will tune into any particular streamer's broadcast(s). I follow people for specific reasons. Recently, I've followed a handful of Darkest Dungeon streamers because I'm new to the game and their knowledge and tips may help me understand how the game works. People can share strategies. People can theorycraft ideas that may or may not work. That's part of the fun. There's discussion. There's interaction. There's socialization.
I know plenty of broadcasters who've gone from literally no one watching to having hundreds of thousands of supporters because those supporters find that person entertaining or friendly. These broadcasters are sometimes polite enough to befriend others, meanwhile some are doing it purely for fame or monetary reasons. I consider some of them friends because I talk to them one-on-one on a daily basis.
One of my friends that I've met through Twitch goes by the username "Mally". I've known him for a good three years now and I know him well enough to the point that I can confide in him if I wanted or needed to. I even went so far as to make him into an edit on Fire Pro World. He's one of my favorite edits as a result of our friendship. He's also a very pretty man, and I tease him about it all the time. We laugh. We have fun. We have a good time. We both have our bad days, and it's okay. I wouldn't have ever met him if it wasn't for Twitch.
That's something I'll always cherish because not everyone has friends or can socialize "offline" - I don't have hardly any friends to socialize with offline or "in the real world" and the internet is my outlet for socialization. I'd rather spend time with a group of friends on Twitch or Discord, than spend time alone with absolutely no one to talk to. I need the bare minimum of social interaction to exist. If I didn't have that, well, I don't if I'd still be here, in all honesty.
Most older people don't really understand that, in this day and age, technology is a tool meant to be used for the betterment of humanity. I choose to spend my time with other people online; People that I only know by their username. That's fine. I'm not going to judge anyone for that. Most of my hobbies require that I have an Internet connection. I play games, I mod them, I learn how they work, among other things. I'm going off on a tangent, so I'll get back on course here.
Some people struggle with day to day activities. Some people suffer with mental illnesses that make working a "regular" job difficult. I know some broadcasters that wanted to make Twitch streaming their full-time job because they shut down in front of a mass of people. On Twitch, you aren't necessarily talking to a hundred people. You could pretend that it's just you and that webcam showing your face. That's actually pretty effective.
The people that show their faces on camera and use their voice on stream are a whole lot more confident than I am. What I do doesn't require me to do those things. Granted, some people use their looks to get ahead in life, and I may not necessarily agree with it, I don't really blame them. Camgirls are the worst, but I digress - It's their body, they can do what they want with it. I don't use Twitch as a dating site. I don't use it to look for a hookup. There's apps for that.
To loosely paraphrase Max Landis: We need social interaction. We need entertainment or else we'll be bored and our brains will turn into stew. Online communities allow for people all over the world, from all walks of life, to come together and enjoy whatever it is that they enjoy and to discuss their experiences with it. Some experiences are good, some are bad, but that's life.