Happily Ever After! – Stardew Valley Live Stream – Part 22

You may kiss! And just like that, Jettt and Abigail are bound together in holy matrimony. Along the way, we discuss many wedding-related topics, including my idea for Steff and I to renew our vows at an official Taco Bell wedding!

The Stardew Valley series is officially over. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed this journey at any point! Though now is a great time to take an extended break from a game we’ve been streaming for the past seven months (!), I wouldn’t count out a return to the valley at some point in the future. Stay tuned!

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Will You Marry Me? – Stardew Valley Live Stream – Part 21

With the Mermaid Pendant in hand, I’m ready to make the biggest decision of my Stardew Valley life. Or am I? A certain someone tried real hard to get back into my good graces. Did I go back to my old flame?

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This Bouquet is For You! – Stardew Valley Live Stream – Part 21

Pierre has notified us that we can now give our one true love a bouquet of flowers to demonstrate that we’re serious. But who will we propose to? Haley or Abigail?

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The Decision? – Stardew Valley Live Stream – Part 20

Pierre has notified us that we can now give our one true love a bouquet of flowers to demonstrate that we’re serious. But who will we propose to? Haley or Abigail?

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Daddy Issues! – Stardew Valley Live Stream – Part 19

We stumble into an awkward moment between Abigail and Pierre. Also, we finally crack into the meteor on our front lawn! What could possibly be inside?

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She Stole a Kiss?! – Stardew Valley Live Stream – Part 18

Out of nowhere, Emily steals a kiss from me and now I’m in a love…square? Beyond my complicated in-game love life, we also discuss weird video game controllers, share which Twitch streamer I’m jealous of, and I indulge in a moment of Dorito ASMR!

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In Your Dreams! – Stardew Valley Live Stream – Part 17

Though I scrape and claw for any ounce of Haley’s attention, her sister is dreaming of me? We also experience winter within Stardew Valley for the first time, discuss the upcoming console launches, and tackle a myriad of tier lists! You won’t believe what cereal made it to S-tier!

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The Latest Trend on Twitch? A Bigger and Better View of You

“Kelsey’s view of herself is…very large.”

I made this observation as my wife was watching KelseyDangerous stream Animal Crossing: New Horizons (she’s a great streamer by the way and you should check out her show!). Unlike the thumbnail-sized streamer views I’ve seen in the past when the streamer has overlaid themselves over-top of their gameplay, Kelsey’s view was a large square that covered up a sizable portion of the screen. It was also cropped in such a way where you could see more than just her face. In this view, you could everything from the torso up.

As I’ve continued to explore Twitch in recent months, it’s become apparent to me that Kelsey’s overlay strategy is not a one-off. Streamers of all sorts are making the view of themselves larger, even if that means you see less of the gameplay underneath.

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Halloween in the Valley! – Stardew Valley Live Stream – Part 16

Closing out the fall season in Stardew Valley with Spirit’s Eve! Before closing out the stream with the haunted maze, we finally add animals to the farm and dive deep into the Sunk Cost Fallacy!

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Twitch and the Danger of Quantifying One’s Value

Almost every aspect of the Twitch experience is driven by quantifiable and publicly-facing values. We know how many people are watching any channel at any given time. We know follower counts. We know which streamers are Twitch Partners because of the checkmark beside their names. If you dig just a bit deeper, you can find pretty much every performance metric for any channel, right down to the breakdown of how many paid subs it receives each month.

The Twitch and broader live streaming community at-large embrace these types of quantifiable systems. Streamers flash on-screen notifications every time someone follows or subscribes to their channel. Viewers flaunt their streamer-exclusive emotes on other channels. Even outside of Twitch, many streamers proudly declare that they are Twitch Affiliates or Twitch Partners in their social media bios.

All of this is in service of creating an ecosystem where viewers and streamers become emotionally and financially invested in the platform. In large part, it works as Amazon intended. They make money hand-over-fist by displaying ads and by taking their cut of Bits and Subs. Meanwhile, many of its audience “bleed purple” to the point where most chose to stay on Twitch even when its top creator left for Mixer.

These systems can tell us a lot about the performance of a channel. However, there’s a ton of danger when we apply these channel-specific values to ourselves. It creates a lot of friction on Twitch in very overt and subversive ways that can be incredibly draining on one’s mental health.

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