Let’s Play

We’ve been watching since the beginning.

We were there when the only other viewers were your friends. When your reactions were raw and unpolished, but still robust and flavorful.

We watched your numbers grow and in turn, more of us tuned in. Watching as your reactions became greater, grander, even more delicious, spurred on by the ever-expanding audience. The fear you emitted with each jump bridging the distance between us and surpassing the barrier of that synthetic screen.

We could hardly believe it. In centuries past, we had to travel or wait, sometimes years, to feast like this. But here it is, laid out before us from lands far away, across time zones and continents.

But, as time has passed, as the numbers and the pressure have mounted, that raw energy in your voice has waned. That spark in your eyes has dimmed, masked by the cool look of constant calculation. What performance will get me more clicks, more views, and keep them coming back? What do they want from me? The raw emotion is gone.

We tried re-watching some of your old footage, but it was to no avail.

It is that fear and shock we crave, the energy of that first raw reaction. It sustains us, nourishes us, gives us life. Your feigned reactions leave us hollow. So we unfollow, unsubscribe, and move on, seeking our next prey.

For us, this is no mere game.

This is a matter of life and death.

It’s nothing personal.

We just get so hungry.

By Amber Tamosaitis