Which is worse: Watching a game instead of playing it or listening to an audio book?

Which is worse?

  • Watching people play games instead of playing it yourself.

    Votes: 492 60.5%
  • Hearing people read you a book instead of reading it yourself.

    Votes: 73 9.0%
  • Eating In-N-Out instead of Shake Shack.

    Votes: 248 30.5%

  • Total voters
Oct 28, 2017
watching someone else play a video game is honestly one of the most boring and ridiculous past times I can think of. But I went for option 3
Oct 26, 2017
I think your brain more or less still interacts with a story in the same way when its read to you vs when you read it yourself.

You don't interact with a game in the same way when watching vs playing. I mean it's fine and great to enjoy games like that, but I'm not sure it's analogous to reading vs listening to a book.
Oct 25, 2017
It really depends on the genre of the game and how important is the story for the person's enjoyment.

Watching someone play a visual novel or a telltale game is basically the same as listening to an audiobook

which is not bad at all and super valid
Oct 27, 2017
Behind my desk.
I'll be honest, I'm a book reading snob, audio books annoys me. I don't know why, it's such a stupid thing to care about. But when I hear somebody say that they've read a book when they've listened to it I die a bit inside.

I'm the same with video games, I talked about God of War with a friend and how good it is, he joined in the discussion and talked about how much he liked it, later I found out he just watched the whole game on Youtube.

Both are fine to be honest, and I'm just being a asshole when I react like I do.
Dec 16, 2017
Watching a streamer, for me. Audiobooks are useful for some things, plus if you get a good narrator...

In n Out is better than Shake Shack (but Whataburger is superior to both).

For me, part of gaming is actually playing it, watching someone else do that for me can actually frustrate me because I want to make the choices myself
Feb 7, 2019
I don't see the problem with watching games without commentary. I don't have a very good way or motivation to jump through the hoops of purchasing overpriced older games like MGS2, Xenosaga, and Ace Combat Zero along with a whole PS2. Luckily, there's a whole host of people who will run through the games or just post the core story and cutscenes of a game with zero commentary, and I've sat down with popcorn and watched.

It's really nice as it's as close as I can get to experiencing the full view of classic games without having to drop 300+ dollars for the whole setup.
Oct 25, 2017
Instead of watching a let's play I get the Twitch chat log from the stream and have it read to me via Text to Speech.

And let me tell you I have STRONG opinions on Kingdom Hearts 3
Oct 27, 2017
I don't think either of them are bad, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for people to do either of them. It's great to be able to play a game through but physical limitations, time constraints, pricing etc. can get in the way.

I will say that people who do just watch a game can't really have a fully formed opinion on anything but the narrative and visuals though, but I doubt most people who watch a game through are gonna go out there and review it
Oct 25, 2017
So, this is a super tough question to answer for me based on one thing... autobiographies, read by the people who wrote them (especially when those autobiographies are inherently funny) are WAY better than just reading the book. I would never take reading Moab Is My Washpot over having Stephen Fry read it to me.

That being said, fiction in the form of audio books is completely ruined, in my eyes. I never, ever, ever want to listen to the reading of a piece of fiction. It completely ruins the experience for me. I tried in university, during a stretch where I had to read about three books a week (on top of writing absurd amounts of essays), just to give my eyes a break. However, I always found it to be an excruciating experience.

P.S. In-N-Out is more of a cult than a restaurant. That is a very average burger, people. That gets my vote.
Oct 25, 2017
Watching someone play the game. Honestly depends though when are they fully watching the end of the game and posting it? Are they doing it day of release so it just spoils the game for everyone?
Jan 30, 2019
Gaming is an interactive medium so you take that aspect away from it and you aren't left with much to look at it tbh.

Books on the other hand are much less hampered by audiobooks, though they do take a sense of personalized pacing away.
Apr 10, 2018
Neither? The only time one of those is an issue is if somebody is evaluating an aspect that can't be judged from that perspective. Like if the person who experienced KH3 from a let's play criticized how it controlled. Otherwise nothing is wrong with either.
Oct 27, 2017
SF Bay Area
If a game is a little bit of gameplay surrounded by cutscenes, I see no problem watching a video of the game being played.

Also, novels in paper/ereader form are not for everyone. I've got a handful of friends who prefer the audiobook, because they can multitask that way. I personally can't - the exception being when I'm driving long distances. That's why I read most of my books with my eyes.


Oh well, what the hell
Oct 25, 2017
A person in a group chat I'm part of had very strong opinions about Kingdom Hearts 3, saying it's complete garbage. Someone asked what system he got it for and he revealed he saw a play through of the game on Youtube.

My first response naturally was, "what is wrong with the world".

But it reminded me of a time I told a friend I had listened to the audio book of a novel she recommended and she was appalled. "It's not the same!"

So what do you consider to be worse? Watching a Youtube play through of a video game or listening to an audio book?
I like the restraint in not naming Ap--almost did it myself.

Anyway, I voted for the worst option of the 3:
Eating In-N-Out instead of Shake Shack.
Oct 25, 2017
The only issue I can find with watching a game be played instaed of playing it is that one misses out on gameplay mechanics themselves. Perhaps different story paths would be played in a different order. At the end of the day who cares how one consumes media.
Oct 26, 2017
watching someone else play a video game is honestly one of the most boring and ridiculous past times I can think of. But I went for option 3
Fundamentally, its the same as watching other humans play sports (or paint / cook). (which I do - so Im not knocking that).

Also, one cannot learn how to play basketball without ever watching a good team play basketball, watching high skill gamers does actually help.

I have one particular friend (not you Shady if you read this! lol) who will probably never understand how to play apex...watching Shroud / Doc / etc play if for 1 hour, will show you that. You will hear call outs, what weapons they like, how they use skills, how they engage etc.

Now, its on 'you' to git gud. Watching Steph Curry come off a screen, and watching his shot in slo mo gives you the idea, practice completes it. But sometimes, such as with Steph, the greatness is simply unattainable, and watching it is really fun..thats why we have Shroud lol

My son refuses to play a game until he’s watched someone else play it first. I don’t understand it.
Would you just hand him a new piece of sports equipment he never used before, in a sport he never played / saw, and expect him to go compete and feel comfortable? I'd take this as a good sign he's competitive and is smart about things.

My son is 7, plays Bball, and before practices ( I coach) I show him YT's on the new drills and skills, I even send them to the team, the kids who watch them are so far ahead. So its like that I think
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Oct 27, 2017
Lexington, KY
I would rather chew rocks than watch a stranger play a video games while trying to be funny and giving me their opinion on it.

That being said I don't care how others spend their time as it doesn't affect me in any way.
Oct 28, 2017
I don't think either one is inherently "bad", but watching an entire playthrough of a game as opposed to playing is going to lose something in the process since games are interactive. You're not getting the same experience that you would if you actually played through the gameplay sections yourself.

Reading a book or listening to an audio book are pretty much the same experience no matter which one you pick. You're still taking in the story, whether you read it or listen to it doesn't make much of a difference.


Feb 5, 2019
How are they even similar? Listening an audio book is not that different..Not playing a game though is..you don't get a feel for the mechanics or how the game plays at all.
Oct 27, 2017
I figure its how their generation looks to see if a game is worth their time, kind of like how we used to read reviews.
But you ruin the whole story/experience. A zombie suddenly jumping out at you while playing is scarier than knowing it’s about to happen when you play after watching it.
Oct 25, 2017
I'll be honest, I'm a book reading snob, audio books annoys me. I don't know why, it's such a stupid thing to care about. But when I hear somebody say that they've read a book when they've listened to it I die a bit inside.
So should people with reading disabilities just not get to enjoy books?
Oct 26, 2017
But you ruin the whole story/experience. A zombie suddenly jumping out at you while playing is scarier than knowing it’s about to happen when you play after watching it.
That could also be a reason. At least, for me, when I was younger I was very anxious when playing games so I would watch my brother play parts so I knew what was going to happen and could do it without being so nervous.
Nov 14, 2017
I really don't see how these comparisons are apt.

A book, generally speaking, is an accumulated group of words that tells a story. Listening to that story only changes the way the words are conveyed to you, but the words are not any different; it's still the same story. (The way it's read will of course have an impact, but in most cases, isn't going to dramatically change the story being told).

Watching someone play a video game does a number of things; removes player agency from the course of the game, removes tactile interaction with the game, and if there's commentary adds a whole other level of exposition to sort through. All of these things drastically impact the experience someone has with a video game in a core way. (Some games more than others or course; interactivity varies greatly.)

I'm not judging anyone for watching videos of a video game instead of playing them, but I am saying your comparison doesn't make sense.