There are many ways of understanding esports, but I am particularly partial to viewing everything through the lens of marijuana-adjacent amusement. It’s an approach that explains just about anything you are curious about and does so in a consistently amusing manner. (I pause at this early juncture to note that I am not saying anyone involved in esports has anything to do with drugs, it is just amusing to think about an alternate world where that is the case. Put down the phone. Don’t call your legal team.)
People do get hungry, and pizza is a food that hungry people can eat.
I bring all this up because Hungrybot (tagline: “Pizza delivery for your viewers”) is apparently A Thing. How else is one supposed to make sense of the sales pitch “Host Hungrybot in your Twitch channel to let your fans order pizza delivery right from your stream. Make $1 for each pizza ordered”?
But let’s be fair: People do get hungry, and pizza is a food that hungry people can eat—I’m told many of them do. Moreover, it is vaguely convenient to be able to order pizza from Twitch chat windows instead of, say, picking up your phone or flipping tabs. This isn’t Nobel Prize material, but it satisfies some basic needs.
We were promised the future, and instead we got slight improvements in pizza ordering.
At the same time, we can surely admit that this is all a little bit silly. If you’re plan for monetizing streams involves selling snacks … congratulations, you now run a modern-day cinema concession stand intermediation service? Which is fine! Concession stands are good. But we were promised the future, and instead we got slight improvements in pizza ordering UX. In the words parents everywhere, I’m not angry but just disappointed. In the words of stoners everywhere (allegedly): mmmmmm, pizza!
All of which brings us back to the munchies hypothesis. The simultaneous silliness and usefulness of Hungrybot truly makes sense in the context of the munchies. As always, if you choose to understand esports through this lens, all will become clear. It’s like a revelation, but not in a legally binding kind of way.