Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel decided to joke about the concept of watching other people play video games last week, in light of the launch of YouTube Gaming. He likened the hobby to having someone else eat your food for you at a restaurant, and even said that he’d have to be paid $4 million to sit through one of the videos.
Even though Kimmel is a comedian whose job is to mock what’s popular and big in the news, many gamers took great offense to his remarks. This was evident by the hate-filled comments left on the video’s YouTube page, and the overwhelming amount of dislikes on the video as well.
Well, Kimmel has decided to respond to the critics that have called him out for his controversial opinion on YouTube Gaming. “I suggested that watching other people play video games is a double waste of time,” Kimmel said to an uproar of laughter from his audience. He then proceeded to read aloud some of the especially ridiculous comments left by angry and offended gamers, not unlike the “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segment that is popular on his show.
A couple of the least vulgar highlights include:
“If you were on life support I would plug it out and charge my phone”
“Jimmy just made a terrible situation even worse, jimmy i dare you to start your car in the morning.”
Kimmel laughed off the insults and death threats with good humor. “I’m going to let you in on a little secret about me. I love making people mad. After pizza, it’s probably my favorite thing.”
Kimmel then said that he would be sitting down with gamers to give them the opportunity to show him what’s so fun about watching other people play video games.
“And then I will make a decision on whether this can continue or not. If I don’t like it, I will shut down Twitch. I will shut down YouTube Gaming. I have that power. One more word out of you little rats, no one will ever watch people play video games again. You understand?”
Jimmy Kimmel is obviously trying to get a rise out of people, and it’s working. The intensity of the backlash is somewhat surprising, though. Yes, watching Let’s Play videos is an immensely popular hobby for quite a large portion of the gaming community (as evidenced by PewDiePie making over $7 million last year), but it’s easy to see how it’s a strange concept to some, even fellow gamers. In fact, the episodes of South Park last season that featured famous YouTube gamer PewDiePie as a guest star addressed this issue head on, yet didn’t cause the same stir as Kimmel’s comments have.
Gaming itself struggled for a long time to be truly accepted by the mainstream, and in many ways, the industry is still fighting stigmas, like the ongoing video game violence debate. Let’s Play videos and the idea of watching other people play video games is a pretty brand new concept, and like most new forms of entertainment, it will take a while to be embraced by society. In any case, death threats are not the answer.
Were you offended by Jimmy Kimmel’s comments? How do you feel about the Let’s Play phenomenon?
Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live