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Gameplay Video With Commentary or Without?

By William Murphy on March 12, 2015 | TGN Army | Comments

Gameplay Video With Commentary or Without?

We recently asked you all about what kind of MMO videos you like to watch, and this week’s TGN column is piggybacking on that as well. This time, we want to know: do you prefer videos with player commentary or videos where we get out of the way and just let you watch?

I personally prefer videos that have commentary, as they tend to offer more insight as to what I’m looking at. And unsurprisingly, I really enjoy the videos our own Hive Leader does (see below). They’re both informative and often hilarious, and I feel like Hive gets a lot of info across in just a few minutes. It’s like when you’d watch a movie in class, and it actually was something good… say, School House Rock. You’d be entertained, but come away learning something too.

That said we can totally understand the need for pure gameplay video. It gets rid of distractions, biases, and lets a viewer just take a game as it comes without interference. It’s not as good as playing a game yourself, but really goes a long way towards being a halfway point between a written preview and an actual hands-on demo for the prospective player.

From a content creator’s point of view, the easiest one to make is pure gameplay. We toss a title on it, an intro, and a few transitions and process the thing before throwing it up on Youtube, making a thumbnail and importing it into MMORPG.com. Meanwhile, the spoken word impressions are a little more intensive, as they take planning, note taking and more editing. But the longest ones are by far Hive’s videos… and it shows. The man puts a lot of love into his content, and comedic timing and all those interjections he does are not easy to translate to a video from scratch.

So consider this me hoping you’ll say “Nothing but pure gameplay videos, ever!” but not really. We like talking to you, telling you our thoughts on things, and I know Hive loves making you laugh. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you could only have one form of video content. Would you prefer just gameplay, or gameplay with commentary?

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, and lover of all things gaming. He''s been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.