This past weekend, I headed over to New York City to watch “Let’s Play Live!” What is Let’s Play Live? Well, you essentially watch people play video games on a stage in front of more than 2,000 live audience members with others watching from movie theaters nationwide.
YouTube gamers including Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, Kinda Funny, The Creatures and Cow Chop all participated in this initiative. A “Let’s Play” by itself is when one or more people record themselves playing video games. Although I enjoy watching Let’s Play on YouTube here and there, doing them live did seem a little strange. Which begs the question, why is Let’s Play Live! so popular?
I went into Let’s Play Live! with little to no expectations. The different Let’s Play groups rotate with each event. This time, Achievement Hunter, Funhaus and Cow Chop represented themselves at Let’s Play Live! NYC. Although I don’t keep up anyone with any of these groups’ content, I watched them at one point in time, so I knew the different personalities to some extent.
The first thing I noticed going into the venue itself were the fans. Doors opened around 7:00 p.m. and the show started an hour later. My brother and I got there 30 minutes before doors opened, and the line for general admission had already wrapped around the block. Keep in mind that it was raining and continued to rain until we got into the venue. I’m not too surprised, however, since I expected many concerts to be this way. Nonetheless, I’m impressed by the dedication of these fans who stood in line (in the rain) for hours.
We got balcony seats and were able to find them without any obstructions of the stage. Going into the first game they played — Grand Theft Auto V — it felt exactly like how I watch normal Let’s Plays on YouTube back home, except this time, there were 2,000 other people in the same room watching simultaneously. I won’t be going through each game they played, but there were many more games than I anticipated. I thought the event would be only two hours long, but it went on for almost four hours.
I’m also not entirely well-informed when it comes to the types of games they played and the inside jokes. When they started to play a fan-favorite, the audience started applauding and cheering. In between setting up the games on the computers, they did a few comedic bits. Admittedly, some failed while others triumphed; however, I’m merely a moderate viewer. A fan would probably love every bit of it.
A memorable bit was when Bruce Greene from Funhaus asked for someone in the audience to shave his hair with the condition that he could shave theirs. A woman was picked and she just shaved the top of his head. When it was his turn to shave her head, the host said that they were out of time for the segment, which was expected.
Overall, I’d say the event was intriguing to say the least. Even though I felt that the event could be cut in half, there were some funny moments. The audience reactions and atmosphere made the event even more exciting. For newcomers who’ve never heard of Let’s Plays or these internet entertainers, this event may not be for them. However, for the 3.6 million subscribers of the Let’s Play YouTube channel, they would feel right at home at Let’s Play Live!