Why do kids watch YouTube commentators play video games?

Why do kids watch YouTube commentators play video games? 9NEWS at 6 p.m. 12/29/14.

WESTERNVILLE, NY – As usual video games were a top seller this holiday season. The multi-billion-dollar industry is so huge some pro-gamers are getting paid big bucks to give commentary about games online.

This in turn is attracting a lot of young kids who are now watching people play video games, instead of playing them themselves. My 9-year-old nephew Mason is one of those kids.

About a year ago, I noticed him watching YouTube videos featuring these commentators for hours on end. While I was back home in New York over Christmas break Mason was still glued to them.

"Why do you watch these videos?" I asked him."Because I don't have the games," my nephew responded.

He had a good point. But he said even if he did own the games, he would prefer to watch the commentators playing them then tackling them on his own.

"I'm going to say something radical here. I think it's normal. I don't think there's anything all that's weird about it," said 9NEWS Psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel.Wachtel compares it to it to someone watching football. A lot of people don't want to actually play it, but they certainly enjoy watching it.

"For a long time people have enjoyed watching other people play video games. It's just been in the same room. And now we have YouTube," Dr. Max Wachtel said.There are dozens of celebrity YouTube gamers.

The most famous is a fella nicknamed "PewDiePie." Not only does he have more than 27 million subscribers to his channel, but he's also paid $4 million a year by a video game company to produce his videos.

Dr. Wachtel says parents should be aware of the trend. He points out two things in particular: Know which games your kids are watching and listen closely to the commentary.

Dr. Wachtel also says it's not a bad thing if your kids like watching the videos. He says it's just like watching a movie. With that though, he thinks you should limit how much time your kids spend watching them.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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