“In Defense of Let’s Plays: A Positive Paradigm Shift” – Lindsay

In a FemHype article entitled “In Defense of Let’s Plays: A Positive Paradigm Shift,” Lindsay briefly outlines why the boom in Let’s Play viewership is an overall net benefit to for the development of gaming and gaming communities. Specifically, Lindsay attempts to provide six answers for why media consumers would elect to watch Let’s Plays when they could play the themselves. Lindsay’s six reasons are as follows: 1) They can’t afford the game 2)They don’t want to buy the game 3) They don’t like to play that kind of game 4)They are unable to play the game themselves 5)They’re a way to connect to gaming culture 6)They’re entertaining.

Though a brief article that leaves many other issues in Let’s Play culture unexamined and unproblematized, Lindsay’s list still provides inlets into thinking about why Let’s Plays matter as a medium and why they are worthy of consideration and critical attention. It’s relevant that Let’s Plays subsist or gained more momentum during a period of economic struggle when many people simply couldn’t afford the luxury of a pricey game or console, but who lived simultaneously in a society with access to online content and the means to stay informed and connected to a culture that so frequently necessitates spending money to join it. Additionally, the list highlights the difference between how we consume and the different types of consumption. Preferences toward play and spectatorship are varied, and Let’s Play open up space for such variety. While this is an introductory, and again largely unproblematized, list, it’s a good introduction to ways we can broaden both conceptions of consumption, play, and mediums of experiences where games and Let’s Plays as a publishing platform are concerned.

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