Why I watch Age of Empires II games (even if I don't play myself)

. 1 min read

This has somehow become the norm now: at least at some point during the evening, every evening, Twitch is on. And more often than not, it's Age of Empires II. And the chances are it's not just a short moment - it's probably all evening.

To my defence it should be noted that I'm not the one tuning in to the stream, it's my partner. But I have no excuse for sitting in the same room and pretending to work while I'm actually devoting a part of my attention to the game. But I don't even play AoE! I have no childhood memories related to it! Why am I wasting my time like this?

Well, one thing that comes to mind are the pleasant sound effects. That one peculiar laughing man always cracks me up. Then there's the monk, making weird sounds when trying to convert enemy forces. And the villager woman who screams with a high-pitched voice.

Another thing could be that the game, published in 1999, is extremely well made: people still play it, it's more popular than ever, regardless of the development and publication of more sophisticated games. The graphics are adquate to ensure a good gaming experience even today. The game logic works nicely. A wide selection of civilizations and game modes are also a great plus.

Still, I don't play the game myself, so what could there possibly be for me? One theory is that the sounds the game (and the commentators) make as a whole has developed into white noise to me, enhancing my concentration to work while listening to it. Another could be that the lift in spirits my partner gets from watching the stream lifts my spirits as well. Or, a more far-fetched idea: somewhere in my subconscious I'd like to become a game developer and I'm studying, on some deep mental level, the game and how it's made.

What else could it be? (Entertainment? no.)