Twitch, True Blood, and “Live” vs. “Static” Entertainment

As much as I loved the HBO series True Blood, there was one thing that always bothered me about it: I didn’t think I would ever be able to become a vampire because I would miss eating regular human food way too much. I’m sure I’m not the only person that feels that way. And I’m sure I’m not the only person who has ever hypothetically thought about what it would be like to become a vampire. Would I accept the offer if a vampire ever gave it to me? Or would I choose to stay human and eventually succumb to my mortality? Don’t look at me like I’m weird for pondering those questions. You’re weird if you haven’t thought about it! So there. Suck it.

While I was watching that show over the years, I always felt bad for the vampires and imagined how they must be suffering from subsisting on human blood alone and not being able to eat normal food without getting violently ill and throwing up. But then there was a scene between Jessica (played by Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt (played by Jim Parrack) where her character said something that triggered an “aha!” moment in my brain. The line was:

“Do you understand how gross human food is to a vampire? It’s all dead, permanently and forever dead. Going to the Piggly Wiggly [for me] is like going to the morgue for you.”

And that’s when I realized why I like Twitch so much better than pre-recorded, static forms of entertainment like YouTube, cable TV, Netflix, and the like: because Twitch is alive, and static entertainment is basically “permanently and forever dead”. 

Don’t get me wrong. I still watch Netflix and such from time to time. But more often than not, if I have to choose between lurking in a live Twitch channel while multitasking on my other monitors or watching static entertainment, guess which one I choose? It may sound weird, but something about the fact that there’s a living, breathing person on the other end of that stream I’m watching – and anywhere from dozens to hundreds or even thousands of living, breathing people watching right along with me – feels more substantive and less shallow than a YT video or a Netflix show.  

Part of it might be due to the fact that I’m a “shut-in”. I’ve been living in the old, racist, Trump-thumping, cultural black hole that is Pasco County, FL for a few years now. I couldn’t make IRL friends here even if I wanted to (and I actually was delusional enough to try for a hot minute). So due in large part to my geographic limitations, interacting with people on Twitch is my best and really only human connection to the outside world. 

And before this starts to sound all boo-hooey and you start to feel sorry for me, just know that I’m making moves to GTFO by the end of 2019 and move somewhere more civilized. But in that meantime, Twitch has been a lifeline for me. It’s more than just entertainment for me. I’ve had a chance to connect with people and make real friends I would never have met otherwise. And all because of our one common interest: our shared love of watching other people play the video games we don’t have the time, money, patience, or wherewithal to play ourselves. 

Y’all streamers are the real heroes. Thanks for putting yourselves out there and putting up with the trolls and the dark side of streaming that most people don’t talk about to give us some much-needed entertainment and a space to bond with like-minded freaks, dweebs, and weirdos. We appreciate you, even if we can’t always throw all the money at your faces that you deserve.