By James Dominic Flores
One of the ways gamers attempt to relax, entertain, and express themselves is through streaming. As a form of emerging media and with numerous platforms such as Facebook Gaming, YouTube gaming, and Twitch.tv, streaming has given players an avenue to earn simply by playing the game.
The phenomenon is so impactful such that NBA players like Devin Booker, Karl Anthony Towns, and Paul George take to streaming to build their brands and connect with their fans. Now not everyone has the star power of an NBA-All star, so what exactly does it take to be a streamer?
Paolo Luis “Pao Islaw” Dizon, a talent for Tier One Entertainment and PlayForceTV and professional Tekken Player started streaming as a way to connect with the Philippine Fighting Game Community. He believes that good streamers need to be well-spoken as the heart of streaming lies in its interaction with the audience.
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What makes a streaming star?
You are not just showing off, you need to build a relationship with the audience because they choose to spend their free time with you, so you give back, not just in terms of giveaways, but by making sure they enjoy the time spent with you as much as you do with them.
“Being a good speaker” and “being able to share good vibes” with the audience is an integral part of streaming, Dizon said.
As one of the locally known Tekken players, Pao Islaw decided to craft a consistent streaming schedule focused on Tekken 7. Punctuality is key as he says that starting a stream on your scheduled time is no different from clocking in at work on time.
Pao Islaw’s views grew organically due to his honesty and energetic demeanor, he grew to be a Facebook gaming streaming partner where he was connected with Tier One entertainment. As such, he has broadened his coverage to streaming Tekken 7 and League of Legends: Wild Rift. Occasionally he would stream a random new game for fun to promote awareness and interest for these newer games.
With the amount of streamers growing by the day, it can be difficult to break out into the field. Michael “MrMiketastic” Jaflah classifies himself as a small streamer born from a hobby. While others may get views of hundreds, or even thousands of viewers.
How to stream with passion
MrMiketastic averages 30 viewers a stream at a time starting of as a Mortal Kombat 11 streamer before exploring other games and genres. There is a competitive struggle in streaming especially when it feels like you are streaming to an empty audience, however he continues to do it due to his own passion for the game and as his own way to relax.
“I’ll feel happy streaming even if my eyes are tired, I love checking in on my viewers and how they are doing.”
Each streamer carries not just entertainment, but responsibility as well. Em “Kaisaya” Dangla, an esports professional and former esports professional player who has done streaming, shoutcasting and team management believes that the heart of streaming should be a passion for the game and the promotion of a healthy positive environment.
The former is easy to find in players, however, our stream should be more than just a place where people can find viral outbursts. Enraged trash-talking can be hilarious to some, and they will surely land hits, but the toxicity is counterproductive to the growth of the community.
How to keep on streaming
All three agree that resilience and positive mental health are vital to being a good and consistent streamer. The online nature of streaming leaves the streamer vulnerable to trolling and other chat messages that can damage their self-esteem and cause burnout.
Some ways streamers manage this is to hire chat moderators to enforce rules of etiquette within streams, still, the best option lies with managing one’s mental health as well and being able to communicate this openly with viewers.
Much like gaming, streaming is a hobby that is fueled by one’s love and passion for a game and being able to share your passion to the audience and take care of your passion is a streamer’s biggest strength and is the best tip for any up and coming streamer.
According to Pao Islaw, “Always have and look for fun while streaming as you will give the same energy to your viewers at the same time. Play the game that you love and you are having fun with, not the games that are only famous at the moment. This is beneficial to your content as well since you will give off the enthusiastic energy to your viewers (because) happy energy = happy viewers.”
About the author: James Dominic Flores is Program Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences at San Sebastian College, specializing in psychology. He is also a competitive gamer specializing in fighting games.