Backseat gaming is a term that exists mainly on Twitch and Youtube, but also on other platforms where people stream their games in front of an audience. The meaning of backseat gaming is a viewer telling the player (streamer) what they should do in the game or where they should go.
99 out of 100 times backseat gaming is something negative. Unless the streamer has asked for help, he or she does not appreciate people giving hints or even spoiling the game. It ruins the gaming experience for the streamer and can ruin it for other viewers as well. Sometimes people also insist on explaining how easy it is to do a certain move. It can be annoying as fukk.
In addition to streaming platforms, backseat gaming does of course exist between friends and couples playing games as well. Whenever one gets to watch the other and insists on telling him or her what to do it is considered to be backseat gaming.
The Meaning of Backseat Gaming to You as a Viewer
There’s only one meaning to backseat gaming if you’re a viewer watching a streamer playing a game – shut the hell up and don’t do it. Let the streamer do his thing and if he’s too bad at the game for you being quite about his plays just watch someone else. Put yourself in his shoes, would you want someone telling you exactly what to do in a game as opposed to finding out yourself? Probably not.
With that being said, we should not confuse backseat gaming with trolling and pulling off “evil” jokes. Big streamers like sodapoppin and Quin69 are constantly harassed through voice message donations, but that is part of the experience. Criticizing their gameplay is usually something funny.
When backseat gaming happens between friends or a couple it can be just as annoying, though sometimes helpful. It’s all contextual. If you’re ever in the situation, you certainly know better than us how to work it out between each other.
Questions About Backseat Gaming
As a streamer on Twitch the easiest way of stopping backseat gaming is either turning of chat messages or to refrain from reading them. This may not be the best option though so an alternative is simply banning the people who are backseating.
It’s also a good idea to put up a message that no backseat gaming is allowed – in the stream title or as a regularly appearing bot message. Additionally, it can be effective to blacklist certain words such as “you should”.
Because it’s annoying to them and ruins their gaming experience. Not only they are affected though, but also other viewers as good part of the fun is watching streamers doing mistakes and finding out stuff on their own.
Basically telling someone you are watching playing a game what to do and how to act.
It ruins the gaming experience for him – the same reason other streamers do not like backseat gaming. Several times Markiplier has made it very clear that it is not welcomed to come with suggestions or provide help in a game unless asked for.