Video game streaming site holds TwitchCon in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Thousands of video gamers converged on San Francisco Friday for a convention that's the first of its kind.

It's not enough to just play the game anymore; the cool kids are streaming their game-play to an audience of adoring fans.

In the days when Tetris ruled the arcade, watching people play video games was what you did when you ran out of quarters. Now it's a serious form of entertainment thanks to a website called Twitch and a community of big personalities.

The gamer known as Spamfish started broadcasting a year ago when he lost his job. Now he does this professionally.

"Twitch has allowed me to do something I'm so passionate about and also make a career out of it," said Tim Mines, also known as Spamfish.

There are thousands like him all over the world.

"We had the idea, why don't we throw a convention, why don't we bring everyone together in the same place and it was kind of like, haha that's funny, and then wait no actually we should actually do this. And then we did," said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear.

It comes less than a year after San Francisco based Twitch was acquired by Amazon, a move that makes perfect sense.

"Amazon powers actually the back end, through Amazon web services, of the majority of video games that get produced today," Shear said.

And those deep pockets come in handy.

"They've definitely supported us in doing things like TwitchCon, which has been amazing," Shear said.

This being the very first TwitchCon means it's also the first chance for a lot of Twitch broadcasters to meet some of their fans in person.

The man called Bacon Donut now has a production company around his Twitch channel. And at TwitchCon, gamers can learn to broadcast like the pros with special effects and high-end sound.

"It's amazing. And I find that they're just as diverse and quirky and nerdy as I am and I love it," said Bacon Donut, a Twitch broadcaster.

There are games of the future and blasts from the past, but the self-made celebrities of Twitch might just be the main attraction.

"I don't feel like a rock star. I feel like a fat guy with a webcam that has no business with an audience... and yet I do," Bacon Donut said. null
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