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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?

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Alice O'Connor

News Editor

When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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