May 05

What Is My Stream?

Just some idle musings about my stream, and “what it is”.

  • In an objective sense, I stream RPGs. I alternate JRPGs and dungeon-crawlers, selected by polls of my viewers/fans from lists of 3 to 4 of each. For the most part, these are games I’ve never beaten before, although that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. These can be broken up by games people donate for.
  • In terms of games that can be donated for, I’m pretty lenient in terms of what’s allowed. Really, I only have a few rules:

    1. I must be able to reasonably easily obtain your game (And I define “reasonably easily obtain” rather liberally).
    2. The game cannot break Twitch’s Terms of Service. That should be an obvious one; I’m not trying to get my stream shut down.
    3. Your game must be an actual game, and not something like Kris Kross: Make My Video.
    4. I ask, though don’t demand, that you pick something that gets to the core gameplay quickly. As an example, Final Fantasy VIII with its half-hour-plus before you get into any battles would make a poor choice for me to play, though I wouldn’t say no.
    5. Finally, I have veto power over any suggestion. I only plan on invoking this if someone suggests something that breaks the above rule, or sneaks in some weird edge case that isn’t covered by the above. Even then, I won’t leave a donator out in the lurch; I’ll just ask them to pick another game.
  • As far as my stream environment goes, I try to keep the stream pretty family-friendly overall. I didn’t start off with that as a conscious goal, although it was helpful as an alternative to the various “rageaholic” streams that seemed to be the norm when I started 6-ish years ago. It’s just kind of who I am, especially now that I’ve retired from speedrunning. There are exceptions to this. I have the “mature stream” warning enabled, mainly because I want the flexibility to branch off into more “adult” discussions if I decide to. Plus, with the warning on, it’s on you if your 5-year-old sees some of my FrankerFaceZ emotes and asks you “Mommy what’s a bondage burrito?”
  • Am I a successful streamer? I suppose I am, in a few senses. I’m currently a Twitch affiliate, which apparently only 6 percent of people on Twitch qualify for despite the seemingly meager requirements. That isn’t bad. I also actually get around 10 viewers per stream, despite my currently streaming a dungeon-crawler for what feels like the last twenty streams. That’s pretty good too. On a more personal level, streaming is a nice way for me to get through my backlog of games and play things I’ve never played before, such as The Bard’s Tale or Akalabeth.
  • What isn’t my stream? Even though it started off as one, it’s no longer a speedrun stream, unless you stretch the definition of “speedrun stream” to include “One of the very few people who announced a retirement from speedrunning and actually has stayed retired sometimes gives scorching hot takes on the current state of it.” I still occasionally commentate on races and things, and of course I still watch speedrun streams (Here are a few you should watch), but I remain as happily retired from active speedrunning as Neil Peart is from drumming.
  • And despite my position as one of the most hardcore “Heck yeah! Capitalism!” people among my circle of Twitch friends when it comes to the question of streaming for money, I would hope that I’m not a “sellout stream”, whatever that entails. Frankly, selling out is hard–even when I decided to run a game in a popular series, as opposed to my usual modus operandi of “Take a free world record in a game no one has ever heard of, let alone played before” (A technique that doesn’t really work now that speedrunning is as big as it is), I couldn’t fully commit to the “selling out” aspect of it and wound up picking Metroid II, the one game in the Metroid series that may be even more of a black sheep than Metroid: Other M (People at least have strong feelings about Other M, whereas they just kind of forget Metroid II even existed). In other words, I’m not sure I could sell out even if I wanted to. Either way, though, I hope I can strike a balance between being appreciative of donations/bits/etc. without crossing the line into pandering/begging for them.

-EE

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