[This post is part of a blogging collaboration by Later Levels and Hundstrasse called #BloggersWhoStream. Make sure to give them both credit and follow the hashtag on Twitter for more posts from the community!]
As a writer with ambitions of streaming, it’s easy to feel like you’re at a disadvantage. In a number of ways, you probably are. While you’re comfortable communicating your words through a keyboard, streaming requires you to learn a number of new technologies that you likely have little-to-no experience with. Even scarier is the thought of communicating through a camera and microphone with your voice, facial expressions, and body language. Oh yeah, and everyone will be judging how you look. Are you ready for your closeup?
Millions of other streamers have already figured out their tech and have no qualms with pointing a camera at their face. Is it too late for you as a writer to follow suit? Absolutely not. Even if the tech gives you plenty of headaches and you may forever be camera shy, your writing experience gives you a distinct advantage over many others in the space. Let me explain.
Establishing a presence on Twitch is one of the most daunting challenges I’ve ever faced as a content creator. If you’ve tried your hand at streaming, you too may know the hardships that come with standing out in a sea of other streamers.
I don’t have all the answers, and admittedly, I was largely rambling about streaming stuff while playing Overwatch. However, I do go over a number of challenges that aspiring streamers face and ways of growing your platform! Check out these videos for my insights!
In an era of where the conversation about gaming is mostly happening in video, live streaming, podcasting, and social media, the practice of writing about video games is in a weird spot. Though there are no shortage of writers and there will always be an audience seeking gaming-related content in this format, it feels like this medium has shrunk into a niche-of-a-niche. The shift appears so dramatic that the ceiling for success seems much lower as a writer than seemingly any other form of content creator.
With the way things are, it’s impossible for a video game writer to build the audience, revenue, or notoriety approaching anything near Ninja’s level. I love Giant Bomb and Kinda Funny – most of whom started out as writers – but the majority of their success comes from podcasts, videos, and live streams. There are Instagram accounts that have generated six-figure audiences by only posting Fortnite memes. I can see even this reality in my own work, as my tiny Twitch channel generates more money than my blog on a monthly basis with just a fraction of the traffic.
The reality is that creators and their audiences generally prefer to consume their gaming content in those other formats. With the inherent barriers that come with reading and writing versus watching and listening, I feel like writing is always going to get the short end of the stick.
Having said all that, where does that put me, as someone whose been writing for a decade?
During part 1 of my Extra Life 2019 post-mortem, I focused on all of the activities leading up to the marathon itself. From joining the Extra Life Toronto Guild, to running a mini-campaign around my performance in Tetris 99, I reflect on what worked and what could improve. This time around, I’m tackling all of the technical mumbo jumbo related to the big day. Maybe these insights could help guide your next charity event!
Our first-ever attempt at the Extra Life gaming marathon was a success. We raised $800 for the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals and had an amazing time doing it. Any fears I had going into it were quelled by the outpouring of support from family, friends, and the broader gaming community.
Even so, I wasn’t ready to rest on my laurels. Going into 2019, I wanted to make a bigger impact. Generate more donations. Put on an even better show. Get more involved with the cause. Before I close the door on this year’s campaign, it’s worth looking back on the areas where growth occurred and other aspects that still have room for improvement.
This post grew out of control real fast, so I’ve decided to split it into two parts. This is part one, covering everything leading up to the marathon!
Spray paint art is my new obsession. Despite being someone with little background in visual arts, newbies like me can make some really cool stuff right away. If you have the means and the slightest urge to pursue this art form, go for it! Here’s a list of supplies that will get you going!
On Saturday, November 2nd, many will be participating in the Extra Life 25-hour gaming marathon in support of the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals. Our group had an amazing time participating in the program and can’t wait to do it again on November 2nd at 9am EST. If you’ve ever considered participating, or are in the midst of preparing for your big Extra Life event, maybe these tips will come in handy!
Being a streamer can be a really demanding hobby. If you have aspirations of honing your craft and building an audience, it requires you to be a content creator, video producer, audio technician, on-camera personality, graphic designer, social media manager, and more. Actually playing games is but a small – though still notable – part of the process.
Personally, I wasn’t born with all of the skills required to be a natural. It’s taken so much work just to get to where I am now, which is still a ways away from where I want to go. If anything, the amount of stuff I’m trying to improve on is longer and more specific now than it was then.
With so many questions in need of answering, I usually turn to the internet. However, not all information online is created equal. There are times when I have questions so specific that I can’t find any pre-existing answers online. At least one piece of advice borked my computer bad enough that I had to run a system restore to reverse the damage. Have also started to see questionable sources charging exorbitant amounts of money for streaming advice that’s sub-par or a downright scam. How does one find the the answers they need in the “Wild West” era of streaming knowledge?
In what seems like a lifetime ago, I was once deeply-entrenched in the radio industry. Graduated from college with a certificate in radio broadcasting, where I specialized in on-air announcing. For a few months, you could hear me on the radio doing the overnight shift and the weather on weekends at a country radio station.
Though I’m far removed from the radio industry nowadays, many of the skills have proven useful outside of the industry. Having trained to speak on the air has gone a long way towards being able to communicate better as a human being. These days, it’s helped give me a sense of direction for how to approach my on-camera presence when I’m streaming.
My personal highlight at ConBravo 2019 was being able to sit in on the Livestreaming 101 panel with The 8-Bit Drummer, Chatia, Family Jules, and Rabbid Luigi! They provided us with some amazing info on how to take our streams to the next level and we truly appreciate it! For those who couldn’t make it, I captured a bunch of it on video! Hope you enjoy!