[Ads-l] to spectate (video gaming)

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 10 17:26:49 UTC 2019

The OED, Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectate <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectate>) and Collings (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/spectate <https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/spectate>) all say that spectating is generally used for a sporting event. Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spectate <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spectate>) says that it means to “attend an event as a spectator.”

The verb is also common in video gaming. 

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY-l5eVnq1o <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY-l5eVnq1o>
i spectated players who looked good and was SHOCKED…

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNe2SBTrIBY <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNe2SBTrIBY>

I Stream Sniped Ninja and spectated him…

3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivJVqjI4Lrs <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivJVqjI4Lrs>

I spectated the best PRO PLAYER ever and was SHOCKED when he got THIS many kills…

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGjdycXwtfA <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGjdycXwtfA>

I spectated a CODENAME ELF and he DIDNT MISS AT ALL…


While the above can be argued to simply be watching a video game as a sport, the below citations show that “to spectate” is the (or a) verb of choice for watching someone else playing a game:

5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8gUNeAsF1o <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8gUNeAsF1o>

i spectated this random amazing controller player after i died.

6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQbUKZcw7ns <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQbUKZcw7ns>

I spectated a mobile beast

7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qap6haz-hlE <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qap6haz-hlE>

I Spectated The Weirdest Player In Fortnite

8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMAHLHfPYKg <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMAHLHfPYKg>
Strangesnipegod !

I spectated my friends to see how good they were ft mixerordin


Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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