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For anybody who doesn’t know what “Let’s Plays” are, here an overview ( Read in ca. 4 minutes):
# “Let’s Play” #
A Let’s Play – or also LP for short – is a video of somebody playing a game and recording himself while doing so. Usually, the videos will be uploaded to YouTube or other video sites.
# Clarification: Difference To Walkthroughs #
While walkthroughs are usually more focussed on the gamecontent and show how to get through a game, LPs can be used to rant, gush or express anything beyond just the solution of how to beat a game.
Often people will not edit “negative” things such as deaths or other failures out. This is how those videos can become quite the high qualitative entertainment. Some people do however make minor edits to avoid repetition and thus boredom that can be caused by re-watching the same scene over and over.
Another difference may be, that most walkthroughs do not have any audio commentary, though it can vary.
# Why Watch LPs? #
For everybody who might ask now “Why would anybody wanna watch somebody else play a game instead of playing it himself?”, here some possible answers.
#1 – Entertainment
LPs are usually more entertaining than walkthroughs and thus sometimes end up being small “standup comedy shows”.
In some cases the player also shares things from his or her personal life, which then turns the video into a blog / vlog, while the audience can also enjoy some nice game footage.
#2 – Connecting / Socializing
Since a lot of people tend to have the same or similar frustrations (or also joys) during specific parts of a game, a LPer can use those situations to connect to his watchers and maybe even start a talk, ending up making a new friend or two!
#3 – Walkthrough Function
Maybe somebody just got a game newly and needs help to find a certain item or needs to know how to do one of the more difficult tasks. Let’s Plays can definitively help with that, because it may be easier to follow than just a text-description in a guide.
#4 – Sharing
There is suddenly a glitch or even a function, option or something else that nobody has found yet and not even a guide talks about? Time to show those details off and share with the world! It surely is way easier to do it via video than text.
#5 – Nostalgia
Remember all those days you spent with your little / older brother when you were younger; playing games together? Or maybe he wouldn’t let you play or you just wanted to watch. It can be a nice kick from the past to give people that “good old time” back.
#6 – Exploration
Some Let’s Player play – what is known as – “niche games” or sometimes even just show their audience very unknown titles; e.g. because they were only released in Japan, Europe or alike.
Depending on where the viewer is from, he may not be able to acquire that specific series, but he can partially experience the game anyway, simply by watching an LP of it.