The rise of the Twitch superstar has been an interesting one. There are a ton of normal gamers out there who have managed to amass some pretty huge followings thanks to either their personalities or skills in a particular game. I’ve been following along with it for a few years since we started streaming stuff over there. If there is one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that there are a bunch of folks with filthy language out there.
I want to be careful not to be condescending towards them because a lot of people are really down with it, but it’s just not for me. I watch streamers who are positive, care about their communities, and generally try to maintain at least a PG-13 style stream. The only thing about the other style of streamer that concerns me is that a bunch of them seem to be getting in trouble for saying horrible things on the internet in front of their adoring fans. It’s really putting a damper on eSports in general because every few weeks you see another player who has been suspended from their team or another Twitch streamer who gets a temp ban for some bad behavior. I really want something like eSports to succeed, despite my not watching it, because it’s a cool outlet for people who were never into traditional sports. These folks are talented and they deserve an awesome venue to display those talents.
What I think these people really need is some sort of media relations coach. Being “on” all the time is incredibly stressful, but they also have to realize that everything they say is recorded and matters. It’s not unlike celebrities who have to do those obnoxious press junkets every time they have a new movie come out. They have to be prepared and they have to play their part without saying horrible things or spoiling something for everyone. I think Twitch streamers are often brought into the “famous” arena without properly being molded to it and figuring out how to handle that fame. They end up just being an obnoxious gamer but instead of ranting by themselves in their room, they’re ranting to a room full of 10,000+ people. Someone needs to teach them how to deal with that kind of stress.
I don’t mean to blanket all streamers that way. There are a ton of folks that have a fairly squeaky clean image and still have a bunch of followers. I just think we can do better as a community of gamers to improve our image. I would rather there be headlines about how much awesome charity stuff we do. CohhCarnage raised over $62k for St. Jude in a recent charity stream. That didn’t show up on any blogs that I read, but I see plenty of stories about homophobic and racial slurs all over the place. What can we do to fix that, man? Further reducing incidents of hate would help. A lot of this is just human stuff and works itself out in time for people I’m sure. I know I said stupid stuff when I was younger that was broadcasted to the world. I’ve been podcasting since 2005 so I know it happened. Hopefully, some of these folks just need time and some hard lessons to learn what not to say and how to grow into a better person. We all have to strive for it and we’ll get there someday.