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Overwatch’s director dominates Twitch by sitting in front of a crackling holiday fire (update)

It’s right there in the headline. That’s all there is. Really.

Jeff Kaplan ponders the holidays on Twitch, Dec. 24, 2017.
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Jeff Kaplan, the director of Overwatch also known for tongue-in-cheek videos where he answers players’ questions, has been sitting contentedly in front of a roaring holiday fire on Twitch for about the past three hours. That’s all he’s doing, and viewers are gobbling it up.

That’s all he’s doing, and he has a five-figure viewership. It’s live, too. He’s not on a loop. While Kaplan doesn’t talk, occasionally there are moments where he acknowledges the camera with a gesture, shifts his position in the chair, or folds his hands a different way. Exciting!

At time of publication, Kaplan was gazing pensively at the milk and chocolate chip cookies left on an end table beside him. The chat window is scrolling with the full spectrum of commentary, from befuddled to ironic to laughing.

Yule log videos have a strong holiday tradition since the beginning of the television age, most famously the WPIX yule log that began in 1966 an many New Yorkers came to rely upon in lieu of an actual fireplace (incredibly, there was an audio simulcast of the WPIX yule log on WFAN-AM 660 until 1988). But there was no human in that show, just a crackling fire and some holiday standards.

Who knows how long Kaplan is going to keep this schtick up, but it’s worked so far. The stream is up to nearly 40,000 concurrent viewers right now and is the top promoted stream on Twitch’s front. Tune in yourself to see this quintessential celebration of holiday warmth.

Update: Kaplan survived the nearly 10-hour stream. An archive of the whole thing is embedded above; it’s perfect for a daylong holiday replay.

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