I have a somewhat mixed relationship with gaming streams at the moment. On the one hand, having a recorded video of a virtual tabletop RPG session on can be a great mood-setter when I’m writing. It can really help as background when I’m doing boring household chores to give me something to listen to. On the other-hand I do find it hard to multi-task well, and often find myself missing whole sections of the on-going dialogue if I start to focus on my active task more.
It’s the same with recorded content like game reviews, I’ve been listening to quite a lot of Seth Skorkowsky’s RPG reviews this last month or so for example. Given the labyrinthine plots of most Call of Cthulhu modules, I often end up rewinding sections of the video to listen again to something I missed.
I used to listen to external music a lot when playing MMORPGs, unless I was on voice chat. Nowadays I tend to put one channel or another playing on Youtube as backdrop to my gaming. There is just so much content available, I can’t see I’ll ever run out of options. Add in my desire to sometimes listen to content in one of the other languages that I’ve learned as a bit of background immersion practice, and the amount of choice just explodes.
I’m not sure how anyone is expected to keep up with more than one (or even one!) of the streamed RPG games while having other active hobbies. Each session can easily run into 2 or more hours of recorded stream. If you come late to such a stream, you might have 10, 50 or even 100+ ‘episodes’ to listen to (each at multiple hours). That’s a daunting amount of content to consume. I guess I’m not that patient, or happy, a passive consumer – I much prefer active leisure time activities. It’s why I’ve spent a decade mostly playing MMORPGs, they can fill any possible amount of free time you might have if you let them.
Having something on in the background can be a way to feel like I’m engaging with both hobbies when I’m feeling more time-constrained, however. I can at least be listening to RPG content if I’m mostly playing World of Warcraft Classic; or vice-versa, if I am mostly writing my latest D&D module, I can pop an Everquest 2 or whatever stream on to feel connected with MMORPGs.
We are truly spoilt for choice nowadays…