I think “cheering” and “bits” are stupid. There, I said it. Twitch’s latest monetization technique tries too hard and comes across way too gimmicky — almost desperate. Have you not heard yet about “cheering” and how it works?
It’s a form of digital ‘currency’ that people can buy and practically ‘tip’ to the streamer. Twitch and its
employees evangelists — no, screw it, they’re practically employees — don’t want you to think of it as tipping. I’m sure there’s a tax implication there somewhere. Twitch wants you to see it as “cheering” (hence the name) and wants you to get involved in the “experience” of “cheering”. It’s no different than throwing pennies at someone. Literally. Streamers get a penny for every bit. So for the minimum purchase of bits, Twitch takes $0.40 and the streamer takes $1.00. It’s tipping. Stop trying to call it anything else.
Tips =/= Cheering. If you want to just hand me money, tip. If you want the Cheering experience, icons, gifs, mini-games etc – Cheer.
— Matt Zagursky (@Sevadus) June 29, 2016
Twitch and the
employees select partners who were included in the beta program are quick to point out there are gifs and memes and achievements and badges and all sorts of MORE GIMMICKS to distract from the fact that this is a tip. I’m still dismayed by people throwing money at streamers just to use their chat emotes, and now we literally have people throwing pennies by the thousands at these monkeys dancing for their supper. It makes the Apple community’s behavior appear tame.
It’s more gimmicks. Bits are another step in the direction away from focusing on the games. Excluding the statistical outliers, sponsored events, etc., streamers who focus on games receive less attention than streamers who focus on the gimmicks and entertaining their audience. There’s nothing wrong with entertaining people. I support that. What I don’t support are the entertainers becoming influencers. When they are perceived as influencers (and why wouldn’t they be when 30,000 people would watch them wipe their ass) then they receive preferential treatment. That preferential treatment further perpetuates the problem of them being influential, which perpetuates designing games to their nitch and the people who watch, which perpetuates the shallow nature of gaming, and before you know it you have
a run on sentence more reason to continue developing games we see today.