Twitch ‘IRL’ continues site’s transition back into


The universe, you’ll know if you buy the DVDs of my teachings, was created as a perfect loop. All matter, energy, and thought were fractal repetitions of one divine event. Then someone’s mate Dave kicked over the universe while dancing smashed on Lambrini at the universe’s launch party and it got wonked into a spiral which loops increasingly broken. Case in point: Twitch began as a gaming subcategory added to livestream-your-life site, then it span off into its own site, then Justin closed down, and now Twitch has added livestreaming your life as a subcategory. Thanks again, Dave.

Twitch this week launched the ‘IRL’ category. What’s it for? (Or, to use Twitch’s dead-eyed terminology, “how I can use IRL to share content with my community?”) Their FAQ suggests:

“General life/channel updates or discussions. Maybe you like working out and can make it interactive. You just read a great book and want to discuss it. Or maybe you have very strong opinions about the season finale of your favorite show. That kinda thing.

“Vlogs of your trips into the outside world, such as an amusement park, an event (TwitchCon!), or even the grocery store.”

Even the grocery store! As long as you’re there starring or providing commentary and not causing trouble, they’re broadly cool with it.

A quick browse of the IRL category a minute ago turned up people giving relationship advice, cleaning, cooking breakfast, writing Christmas cards, wrapping Christmas presents, browsing Steam Greenlight, drinking booze, watching music videos, pointing cameras at empty rooms, and sorta just sitting there.

It may seem odd but Twitch is basically an imaginary Internet friend experience. Its creators span gaming off to a separate site thinking people just wanted games but nah, turns out folks wanted life experiences anchored more to personalities and something they found relatable and inviting – video games. Even Twitch’s FAQ asks “Is Twitch turning back into” Their response:

“ was a platform built to house random content, while Twitch has always been hyper-focused on you, the community. Your feedback then shaped the content leading us to Twitch Creative, Social Eating and now IRL.”

So yes but they’ve thought it through more this time.

My only real concern is: will IRL experiences now have Twitch support built in? Will Ian Tesco design new shops expressly for streamers? Will he stack huge towers of cans for people to knock over with these wacky IRL physics? Will I wander the aisles surrounded by people yelling “HEY GUYS!” and “THANKS FOR THE RESUB, PAPADONGLE69!” Will his self-service checkouts tell me “Thank you for creating content at Tesco”? Will he turn shopping into an eSport?

Good grief Twitch, will you please build an embedded player which doesn’t autoplay?


  1. pringles says:

    Auto-playing video hidden away at the bottom of the article? FeelsBadMan

    • kalirion says:

      This. And if this keeps happening, I’ll have to remove from the NoScript whitelist.

      • LewdPenguin says:

        Best solution is just for people not to embed the shitty player to begin with, just provide a link to the video instead.
        Then again annoying crap is pretty much to be expected from Twitch, they’re far too focused on maximising their monetisation of your every second on the site to bother with creating something approaching a pleasant user experience, especially when the latter might possibly infringe slightly on the former. When I read the title for this article I was actually briefly hopeful it was about some former people making a new twitch-like site, maybe if there was at least some actual competition then twitch might feel the need to be a bit less shit.

      • golem09 says:

        Autoplaying videos are the reason I use the flashblock extension in addition to adblockplus. Granted, it doesn’t help with everything, but sometimes it does.

  2. Hunchback says:

    The opening paragraph reminds me of Natural Selection (2)

  3. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Hey Alice, I sent you my credit card number, birth certificate and social security number as you requested but I still haven’t gotten my DVD. Any idea what’s up?

    I’ve also been getting weird charges for some shop called Malcolm’s Pond & Whiskey Emporium, but that must be unrelated.

  4. BooleanBob says:

    Huh. And here was me thinking was a platform built to illegally stream the premier league in Arabic.

  5. SuicideKing says:

    Isn’t it “spun” and not “span”?

  6. Lurid says:

    At least now some people don’t have to have a stamp sized window of a game being played while they beg for money.

  7. Ericusson says:

    What is this Twitch ? Who is this Justin ? Why would anyone watch anyone play a game and give them money for it ? Why the internet.

    • Don Reba says:

      What is this Twitch ? Who is this Justin ? Why would anyone watch anyone play a game and give them money for it ? Why the internet.

      Find the answers to all these questions and more on Alice O’Connor’s Teachings DVD set. Also available on floppy disks and cassette tape.

  8. keefybabe says:

    I’m currently having a shit, and now I’m thinking of livestreaming it. One camera for my face to see the effort grunts and another “in bowl” cam. I should also get a Bluetooth scale in the pan so I can measure it and graph poop weight over time.

  9. Landiss says:

    I thought it was about Bieber.

  10. Monggerel says:

    ♫ Here in my car
    I can only receive
    I can listen to you
    It keeps me stable for days
    In cars ♫

  11. Uncle Fassbender says:

    They are definitely tapping into the YouTube vlogger market. People spend hours upon hours of their day watching the same vloggers’ 20 minute long daily uploads, not dissimilar from streaming hours of gameplay.

    This is a natural next step for Twitch and they could easily make a killing if they appeal to the big YouTube names and shift focus away from gaming (somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing Zoella ripping through Mount & Blade 2).

  12. Jediben says:

    The millennial snowflakes must have validation from the rest of the world for everything, hence, youtube et al. The sheep need a Shepherd (Mass Effect not withstanding).

    • Ericusson says:

      Ahhh categories, an easy way to see the world since the … whenever.

      • batraz says:

        Since Aristotle at least ;) But, you know, rational thinking is not for everyone.

  13. SaintAn says:

    Thar image is so creepy.

    • Turkey says:

      “Hey. Marketing Here. The current promo image looks great, but we need something that reminds our userbase of the movie Videodrome. We feel it would really long live the new flesh. Thanks.”

  14. sethendal says:

    That promo video is obviously fake. Every screen of what I’m supposed to believe is Twitch chat has a complete lack of its mandatory racist, homophobic or misanthropic horrors.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Try the Mario Maker community. It is supposed to be pretty chill.

    • Hunchback says:

      Well, i doubt using Bulldong or Kripp’s chat would have been the best marketing move… :D

  15. Phasma Felis says:

    Alex, you know I love you, but the fact that Twitch only provided an autoplaying embed doesn’t excuse you for using their autoplaying embed.

  16. David Mitchell says:

    Actively spending time playing computer games can technically be (as we all know) a huge waste of time (highly subjective and depends on the game) but *passively* spending time regularly watching somebody else playing (and “reacting”) is, well um… let’s just say it’s cringe-ghetto-TV for lobotomised mentalists. If you aren’t already brain-dead before watching, I’m pretty sure you soon will be.