When I got to high school, my focus of gaming shifted from casual to more competitive. I joined the competitive gaming scene for Super Smash Brothers Melee. Through this community, I was able to meet a lot of great people who would become friends for life and shape my viewpoint on what I wanted to do. I created great relationships during this time in my life, but little did I know, these relationships would lead me towards a hobby that would later become a full-time passion.
Before I go on with this story, I want to focus on one thing, relationships. Streaming is more than just playing video games for people on the internet, it's about the relationships you create with the people around you. Each day that you turn on that stream and an audience connects, it's another chance to create relationships that will not only last, but also help you chase your dreams. One of the most important aspects of growing your stream revolves around networking. We'll touch more on this in future blog posts, but if you want to grow your stream, who you know is a very important step.
So back to the story. Flash forward to my junior year of college. The past year I had a friend from the smash community named Steve (twitch.tv/peaches) who had been for the past year telling me about streaming and a cool way of gaming called speedrunning. I at the time didn't understand the fun of playing video games in front of an audience. I didn't understand why anyone would want to watch someone like me attempt to play games badly. After many months of bugging, and meeting a few other people in the speedrunning community, I started to consider giving it a shot, as I grew more frustrated with modern competitive gaming.
On a fateful day in July of 2012, my friend Steve gave me a fun challenge: beat Kid Chameleon, a Sega Genesis game that he "speedran," in under 24 hours. What was on the line? A nice big pizza and he’d pay for the game. I always liked a challenge and I felt like 24 hours was plenty of time for me to prove my friend wrong. So I bought the game, and started playing it for a few hours. As I was playing it, Steve invited me over to finish the play through on his twitch stream. He said people would get a kick out of my pain, and I figured sure why not. My friend was right, the game was insanely difficult, but 23 hours and 55 minutes later, I was able to beat Kid Chameleon. Along the way several hundred people watched my pain, struggle, and will to never quit. It was that moment that I realized streaming was pretty darn cool.
I got home, went to sleep after my near 24 hour journey, and dreamed about all the fun I had interacting with people as I played. When I woke up, I told myself, "I can totally beat that game faster than 24 hours." So I beat it again, this time faster and only in a few hours. I knew I could do it even faster, so I kept going. I used my phone to time each attempt. I was starting to learn that this whole speedrunning thing was actually pretty cool. I took my friend's advice and started my own stream. Almost 3 years later and a lot of hard work, I’ve taken that small stream and turned it into a twitch stream with over 36 thousand followers and over 6 Million views. All it took was one gaming moment where I realized this is something that I could do and wanted to do!
Sharing What I Know
So come along with me on this journey and remember to not only dream big, but Stream Big. :)