But they ARE outliers. Does your home game have 300,000 live passive viewers (number from last episode of Campaign 1) and however many later viewers on YouTube and Twitch VOD? Do they pick over every ruling or character or plot decision? Tearing into you because of your characterization, like Marisa dealt with in Campaign 1? Do you have the entire internet speculating on why you parted ways with a player?Basically, I feel like the hyperfocus of the argument on 'they are performing' thing is being used to set them out as outliers and invalidate their play style as not a 'real' playstyle.
The performance aspect of the show has always been there from the beginning. Does it make it a "not real" playstyle? Not really, but it does make it very different from a home game.
And the cast have admitted as much. They actually CHANGED GAME SYSTEMS to make it easier. It also made it more popular and profitable. They meet weekly for 4 hours instead of every couple of months for 8 hours. People complain about watching a 4 hour episode. Imagine sitting for an 8 hour one. In the home game, they lounged around in PJs and munched on brunch. They got up freely from a cramped kitchen table to get mimosas. The cast have all commented on this, and you can see some of the pre-steam home video of this.
Some of the home game carried over to the stream. Early on, they ordered pizza and ate on camera. They were still a bit cramped, though they did have more tablespace. But that all soon went away when they got out of the Geek and Sundry "playroom" set to a real, dedicated D&D set. They have a SET. This is more than just mood lighting and music. Maybe the closest comparable would be Joe Mangienello's personal D&D basement. So none of that stuff happens now. They don't really eat on set anymore. They are obscenely careful with disguising the fact they are drinking Starbucks or a Coke. They can't just go and sing a song from the radio because it fits in the moment. No one is in pajamas, sans makeup. They often wear licensed apparel. Sam runs his t-shirt and flask gags.
And while I still think the primary focus of the cast is their own fun and enjoyment of the game, the fact they are performers means that a lot of their fun comes from the performance for the audience, and not just their fellow players. They have admitted as such about the live shows. If you watch their live shows, you can viscerally feel that the energy level of the players is like 150%. It's definitely ratcheted way up.
So yes, it's an outlier. It isn't like other home games. But it is D&D. Learn from it. But no one should be setting their bar to it.