YouTube has been cracking down on Let’s Play videos, sending unfriendly emails to many users who earn money from uploading videos of themselves playing games online. While I’ve never been much for people screaming in falsetto at their computer monitor, it’s sad to see the community come under fire, as the site has been a haven for people who want to share their gaming experiences with the world.
A point brought up in the PBS Game/Show video on the subject is that, before the Let’s Play movement, gaming was often a solitary incident. It was you sitting alone in front of the screen. And while defeating, say, a tough-as-nails golem in a game like Dark Souls is an incredible feeling, it is your moment and yours alone. That is, unless you’re sharing it over the internet. These recent developments illustrate the uncomfortable tension between games and the business of games, and while copyright law is what it is, hopefully we can find a workaround where our play experiences are freely streaming.