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I think most people use it when they need something low-investment to watch for a bit, pull up a popular stream for whatever game you're interested in and you have something that you can easily step in or out of, switch to a different stream if one gets boring, etc. Same way some people use reality shows and similar such things.
This is no different. I know a guy who made millions by getting in early on Crypto. I had to room with him for a month, and it wasn't until then that I realized he watched Twitch all day. I mean, literally all day. ErikAugust on July 16, The average person consumes 8 hours of media a day - 5 out of 8 is television but of course, that could start to move towards streams. I'm in my late 30s, and my girlfriend and I are currently streaming more Twitch than Netflix. There's a use case where sometimes you want something on in the background while you're doing other things.
Usually we'd stream Netflix shows we've watched already, but after doing that the 10th time for a show, it gets stale. When you find a streamer you like, it can be very relaxing. It's also introduced us to games we wouldn't play otherwise. My girlfriend hates anything scary, but we found a great stream of Last Of Us that made it really fun. I've also discovered new games to play through it. So much depends on the streamer, though. If you don't get it, you probably haven't found the right one for you.
I can't do scary either - what's the Last of Us stream and can I start from the beginning? I watched a lot of Twitch while I was playing video games myself. There're games I enjoy but not very good at and streamers that play these games that I find entertaining to watch. I usually keep Twitch playing while I do some housekeeping churns or cook.
If there's a playthrough I particularly enjoy, I play VOD over a course of a few days for about 30 minutes at a time usually one or two sessions a day. Otherwise I either watch live if one of my channels is online or pick a VOD from one of them. Basically I treat Twitch channel as a YouTube channel or a podcast with an added bonus that they often broadcast live, too, and I can interact with the channel host. For competitive games, watching a rank 1 player do their thing will save you much more time when climbing rating than trying to figure it out alone.
Sure there are guides and videos, but that really doesnt do the same justice. Even just watching how a high performing esports team communicates in real time is pretty interesting. It's down right impressive at how much some people can process in real time. Also, i find it super entertaining to watch very skilled people do somthing that they enjoy. I might watch 1 hour of tv a week, but probably hours of twitch in small intervals 30 mins here and there.
I have it on my other monitor while I develop. I don't divert full attention to it, I'm just listening then periodically tune in when I'm in thought or need a small mental break. I'm definitely out of the target demographic for Twitch, but I consider it an additional entertainment channel when I'm bored of content in traditional media such as Youtube TV and Netflix.
The thing is you don't have to sit down and watch a streamer for hours at a time. There's a variety of content that you can just switch over to someone else you follow that's streaming, or just watch the past broadcasts of streams you missed. It's kind of like watching youtube videos, or even traditional couch-surfing. I spend an hour or so every night just browsing through streams to look for interesting content, swapping between games and IRLs. It's a good shift away from production TV content.
My impression is that most people are just having it on in the background while they do other stuff. If this sort of thing was around back when I was in college I can definitely imagine myself streaming something on Twitch while I studied. The overall vibe seems to be analogous to having someone keeping you company while you work. Not that different from talk radio shows, only more interactive.
I mostly watch Twitch during a big title release, just to see if I am interested or not. I also like watching big events like Overwatch League and other competitions. To me it is relaxing to watch people that are very good at the game play because I also learn from them and do that myself in game.
Sure some of the Twitch viewerbase fits your description but plenty of people will tune in for a short period of time. I treat a few recurring streams as podcasts where I just listen to the audio after it's already aired. That's pretty much it, I don't really watch any content and I don't show up to streams while they're live. Twitch's VOD player is not particularly good, I might even say pretty bad, but you can absolutely watch on-demand.
Kiro on July 16, I always have a Twitch stream running on my second monitor. The live chat is what makes it different from on-demand. Twitch is more like live-sports, at least the streams I watch, which are Soulsborne Dark Souls, Bloodborne, etc speedruns.
I'm self-employed, so it makes watching easier, but definitely not every night. It's insane. Cofike on July 16, I love having it on when I'm just hanging out at night. I like the background noise, almost kind of like radio I can pay attention to if I feel like it. There are people who will sit down and watch full broadcasts and in that case it can be a lot of time. A lot of streamers are just always on which I'm sure makes it easier. I used to watch it before falling asleep, you can start and stop watching at any point without losing much.
I'm a business owner, dad, amatuer athlete, and watch a LOT of Twitch. Much less commitment and effort than the games themselves, and feels about the same. Most streamers have a fixed schedule so it's not that difficult to catch them online. I'm not sure why you think it's for students and single young professionals or that you need to spend hours of time online, you can watch whenever and for however long you want.
Reading the answers to your comment is kind of depressing and that's a depressive speaking Fnoord on July 16, Dual monitor setup, minimised tab being effectively audio only, its also an equiv. I also suspect numbers are inflated. Many folks are obviously not that busy. Simple TV consumption for example is still a few hours a day … And I am not included in that average, so a lot of folks spend a substantial time of their day with passive screen use.
As a consequence of this, content which is new has natural advantages over content which is not new. Content even a week old can be so out-dated as to be worthless, not just in theory but frequently in practice. In fact, the strength of the advice and the likelihood that the advice is outdated within a week are actually correlated, because game developers do balance patches. From these observations, if you assume that people are watching gaming content to learn, you should be able to reduce confusion at the popularity of live content on twitch and start to get an understanding of why Twitch does not represent a step backwards.
The fruits of the paradox of choice. Many despised not me the limited choice of TV curating content. Now every god damn group on earth can have it's tiny little channel in the background. I'm not at that level myself and don't have too much time to play, so it's cool to learn new tricks from the pros. Vektorweg on July 16, I watch streams to socialize, thanks to the chat function. I usually don't care much about the game they play and I only watch streams with less than 30 viewers.
I honestly don't understand how twitch even exists. I play video games on occasion but can't imagine wanting to watch someone else play. There are probably millions of hours of videos of funny people casually playing video games on YouTube. The content comes out so fast, and you can only consume so much of it. A lot of people just put the stream on the background and go about doing their thing, it's like turning the radio while working for some.
I've enjoyed watching long streams of MP Hearts of Iron 4. At least before I mastered the mechanics of that game. I don't know that anyone faithfully watches every broadcast. You host turn it on if you feel like watching. Nursie on July 16, I don't understand the drive to watch someone else play, when you could be playing the game yourself! I put twitch in my second screen while playing videogames.
I guess it's the same for most watchers. You can say the same about competitive live sports, and clearly your argument doesn't apply. Operyl on July 16, Ataraxy on July 16, Background noise while working. Who has time to write comments on an anonymous forums? Who has time to watch TV? Listen to music? Who has time to watch a couple of men kick a ball around?
People make time if it is something that interests them. You could just check in for a few minutes while you are eating or programming or cleaning or anything really. Also, many streams are available for viewing "offline". You don't have to be there for the stream. You could watch it later.
Tens of millions of people? It's usually the younger generation that adopts tech and then slowly the older generation follows. Not sure why you are so shocked? What's the difference between twitch and TV or watching the world cup? At least with twitch there is interaction via chat. Froyoh on July 17, Actually it's mainly kids, teens.
KirinDave on July 16, Having spent literally hundreds of hours producing video game content for youtube and twitch, I can say this: It's an incredibly sad, discouraging experience even if you get traction and I got some traction. It's also utterly hollow: your entire existence is as a wrapper around the content folks actually want to see.
The most successful streamers develop their own brand, but these people are the 0. They're the exception, and even they have specific genres and subjects that if they venture into they risk losing a massive chunk of their audience. Once I realized this, I had to stop trying to do it professionally. I'd rather go back to doing software product work.
At least I feel like a real person with real impact in this field, as opposed to one of a billion interchangeable wrappers around other people's mostly interchangeable content. But you can of course go see my youtube channel and watch my old minecraft content if you want. Some of the stuff around the middle of my cycle i. Similar boat of making Minecraft videos in the past Then one day my friend on a whim did a skit that ended up doing very well it got featured on wired.
We got a lot of attention from this skit and one or two others , but this really wasn't content we wanted to dedicate ourselves towards. I don't think I regret the time spent though. Doing LPs definitely strengthened my ability to explain what I'm doing as I'm doing it, a skill I use all the time as a software dev and one I definitely see others lacking.
It also gave me a ton of experience with video editing, which while not as useful professionally is a lot of fun and I think a useful skill to have in your pocket. I watched your video and I think you would do a lot better if you used your real voice instead of a computer generated voice. The content is great though.
Personally, I liked the voice. The posh accent fit the educational video component, while the synthetic, glitchy nature fit with Minecraft and the comedy of the whole thing. Everyone is showing much the same product; what can you put around it that's different?
Kind of like selling fizzy drinks, I guess. Sort of. I've been making art for a long time, went to school for it. People want to see themselves in whatever you produce for them. It's that simple. They want something they identify with. Artists and content developers can have more fun playing with it because they have different meaning spaces - they see connections across content that is still self identity, it's just across a different set of things.
It can be competitive and draining though, so one must use their energy wisely. Crowds can be fickle in general, so it can as well be exhausting staying plugged into them, producing just for them, without any way of receiving meaningful feedback. It's not that people are narcissists at heart, it's just that they don't want to pay attention to things to things that don't make sense to them on any level.
That's pretty normal. Funny thing is comrade Tocqueville hit on that upon looking at the USA for a couple of months almost two centuries ago. Something along the lines of "democratic peoples want to hear stories about themselves" instead of the classics , rather early on the pages of his Democracy in America, writing about theater and culture. Now that I think about it though, it really depends.
If there's no stable reflection of self identity, that's what people seek out. But if there is a stable way to identify with the self, people seek out novelty, something different. I think the internet introduces both tunnel vision of self identity and complete chaos where self identity breaks down.
This seems like it would be an obvious consequence of anonymity, but some things are easily forgotten. It makes sense with the Democratic process. Identities constantly swapping and merging, playing both sides while being neither fundamentally. It makes sense that communism would have a valid criticism. Stable, forced sense of identity suppresses dissent before it manifests. Until revolution, war happens, that is.
Scary stuff! Back in the old days of broadcast TV trying to hit peak audience, the voluntary sameness of the various broadcasters was scary KirinDave on July 17, People like to pretend that they're unique and provide something special. But in reality, I don't really think most do. SurrealSoul on July 16, There is a youtuber; BloominBanana I subbed around the same time I subbed to Markipler ish, they both do did?
Mark as I knew him was the king of 'going out there' he was never afraid of marketing, publicity stunts and was honestly humble to his huge user base where Bloomin' despised marketing and wanted to grow "organically". Growing organically isn't possible. You need to do something, you need to bot and break rules on twitch, you need to ask for publicity, you need to make friends with other streamers. Playing a game and being funny doesn't cut it anymore. Speaking as someone who ran a rather large fansite about NIN in the s the entity now basically exists as a Twitter account , you really cannot just "grow organically" on today's internet.
I like to tell people I have a marketing allergy. Self-promotion feels gross. The "if you build it, they will come" mantra from Field of Dreams is not applicable to a world where so much more content is being created than can possibly be consumed. But I realize that if I want something that I'm doing to gain any traction at all, I have to get other people talking about it, and that there are pretty well established ways of making that happen.
When the internet was a smaller space occupied primarily by nerdy types, you could make something interesting and by the nature of the medium, a lot of people found it. You thought you really hit it big if you made Slashdot, but getting featured on television took it to a whole different level.
For example: The Dancing Baby You didn't need to have a face or a personality - your content actually could speak for itself. But even back then, taking those extra steps usually didn't hurt, either. Now, the internet is full of professionals of all stripes, and that means you're fighting for attention against people or entities who have a budget for marketing and PR.
I can take the most beautiful photos in the world and put them on Instagram, but if I'm not actively marketing that account, no one will ever see them. Meanwhile, some dope with a fresh set of credit cards rents a Lamborghini for a photo shoot, buys batches of followers, and that will grow a following, and maybe he'll get a free night at a posh hotel out of it. Maybe Bloomin' just does it for the love of it. Maybe Markipler has been able to quit their job and make YouTube their profession.
I bet both of them wish they had aspects of the other's experiences. As much exposure as I got to being a small-beans niche internet 'celebrity' like, on the level of local weatherman , I wouldn't wish fame on my worst enemy. The question is what can we do about it? Are we stuck in the game of attention engineering forever? More or less. As the content generated exceeds limits of human attention, it is our ability to pay attention that is scarce and much sought after. And I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Seanny on July 16, Joe Edelman talks about an alternative that I find compelling, if not slightly idealistic. If you know why they're doing something, you can design systems allowing get better genuine engagement. So, you stop designing for attention which can be exploitative and bad and start designing for meaning which is empowering and enjoyable.
I'll think about it and post a reply later to avoid a wall of text. There's no silver bullet, but I think you just have to pick a scope of specialization. I'll see if I can analogize it to my day job: I work for an ecommerce platform with built-in search, CMS, and business insights.
That doesn't sound like specialization compared to, say, Shopify, but often times the companies that fit well for us are ecommerce companies that find they're spending too much effort being an IT shop, instead of focusing on marketing, merchandising, and branding. You can absolutely have a go at building a homegrown ecommerce platform that suits your needs, but are you thinking about maintaining that effort in-house five years down the road?
My wife's a composer, and between the work the two of us have put in around her music, she's gotten pretty good exposure - a piece of hers went fairly viral in , with peak exposure probably being a couple of segments on the Rachel Maddow Show and a lot of law blogs leading up to that. I built a custom CMS for showcasing the music she writes, and we take advantage of social media Throwing that cash around is way more efficient than, say, marrying a web developer and dabbling in media creation alongside maintaining a career in music composition.
This resonates with me deeply. I've always lived by that sentiment. It's also one of the reasons I love the points systems on Reddit and Hacker News, as it's the fairest way to objectively rank things people make, rather than by how much advertising and marketing they can afford. It's kind of broken though as most people will only view the most upvoted comments because once again there's just so much content it's impossible to view it all, so you upvote what's already been upvoted.
If you're there first you generally will get a lot of karma even if better comments come later. CamelCaseName on July 17, This is why new comments get put on top, and if after a decent amount of views, they don't garner enough upvotes, they sink. CM30 on July 16, I wouldn't say growing organically is completely impossible.
However, it's very, very unlikely unless either: 1. This is how many indie games take off, with examples like Five Nights at Freddy's and what not becoming popular after being played by the likes of Markiplier and PewDiePie. You somehow find a very specific niche that no one else on the planet has decided to compete in and that somehow has a decent sized audience interested in it.
This is far less likely than it used to be in the early internet days, but it's still technically possible. One of my own forums is like this, since it's the only site dedicated to a certain video game franchise on the entire internet.
Another example may be the likes of Boundary Break on YouTube. This applies to every form of attention driven media that I'm aware of. From your start-up to your new Instagram, if you want attention -- you need to hustle. Rjevski on July 17, WorkLifeBalance on July 16, The corrollary of "you need to break the rules such as view-botting to get ahead" is that only people who are willing to view-bot "make it", which in turn really reduces the diversity of the content which ends up in the 'mainstream' or main-stream for twitch, meaning front-page or top X when listing by game.
I dunno, Dunkey managed to do it. Do you mind going into more detail about how Markipler marketed his youtube channel, besides publicity stunts, bots and click bait titles? I don't know his marketing plan by any means, and I certainly can not claim he botted views, am I actually fairly certain his views are mostly authentic but that is just me going off of what I know of his moral judgement.
I do know he was extremely outgoing, almost weirdly so. I don't know the full extent of his 'hustle' but it wasn't just booting up amnesia every week. O well. Thanks anyways. There doesn't seem to be a youtuber by that name - unless he deleted his account or his videos. Very interesting article. I have nothing substantial to add I just want to point out how "cyberpunky" the lives of some people have become. Twenty years ago this would have fit right into the storyline of a dystopian cyberpunk novel about poor streamers who spend all day in front of a computer screen trying to become the most popular "gamer in the online gaming community".
It's a story as old as the world: trying to get noticed while doing essentially the same thing as the successful kids, but lacking that essential element of luck or genetics, that last second on the chronometer, that "in" preexisting social circle. It's the life of all those trying to enter into high risk, highly coveted careers that afford celebrity: authorship, sports, politics, music or film. The field might be changing but the game remains the same: humans mostly value what other humans happen to value, the other The problem is trying to do the exact same thing as someone else.
There has never been a business or method of making money in the history of capitalism that has survived by being an exact copy of another business or method. Even businesses with the same model as a bigger one, eg: small vs large car repair businesses, are able to function by having a different pricing point, location, etc. No one seems to understand that this applies to your job too. You're never going to be as successful as someone else by doing the exact same thing as them, because they got there first.
Find your niche. You could replace this title with "Programmers who spend years creating a SAAS app that no one uses" and it would be the same article. All of these streamers who are bothered by not having an audience seem to have started for the wrong reasons.
If all they care about are subscribers and viewers, then you're going to get really burnt out when that doesn't happen. Most of the popular streamers who I've come across do it because they enjoy it. The same can be said for the people who create successful SAAS apps.
It's a mix of enjoying what they do, combined with making something that no one else has yet. It's not to get rich quick. It would be even simpler to replace it with "Bloggers who have no audience". There are countless blogs out there and more everyday and few if any ever gain traction. However we must see it also from the small business perspective.
How many start a business versus how many succeed? I remember when coffee shops, cupcake shops, and more, were the fad, and they vanish with regularity. Yes for sure, right after I posted that reply I thought about blogging too. It definitely is the same story. It took me almost a year of regular blogging before I got some type of readership on my site, and even today, 3 years later, I wouldn't consider it popular.
My intent was never to get make money on the site. It was to create documentation for myself and anyone else who wants to follow along. I have a website that broke past the 'no-one cares' blogging stage. The most important thing was being unique with quality. While other people parrot the best credit card rewards, we did serious research into finding the best Calories Per Dollar, Protein Per Dollar, Vitamin A per dollar, etc But like the other person mentioned, I dont like shoving it in people's faces.
I'm finally at the point that I get hundreds of googles a day and Ive meet people IRL that have been on my website. The biggest deal is to provide value that no one else is. Most people are wayy to lazy. They would rather spend 4 hours on a blog post instead of Yeah, this is basically the norm for a lot of artists and creators in general.
You start out with no audience, and unless you somehow become a viral hit quite quickly, it's likely you'll spend months or years building up your work to the point it attracts one. You could write the same story about YouTubers, bloggers, artists, musicians, business owners and software engineers. Many try, most either fail or struggle in relative obscurity.
H1Supreme on July 16, Yes, but creating a SAAS app from the ground up still gives gives a valuable skill set. Even if no one uses your app. Mashimo on July 17, Yes, but creating YouTube videos from the ground up still gives you a valuable skill set.
I just speak at a casual volume straight into the mic and do very little audio processing just a noise gate and a tiny amount of compression. A good gauge for improvement is how long you can go in a single cut. Deleted my comment and resposting it here, since it belongs to this topic. Is the analogy made to failed startups already?
Let me steal a couple of things mentioned in the article and just replace the topic of Twitch streamers with startups. I am now a self-proclaimed startup guru for the remainder of this comment by using this article as my source :D Reasons for starting a startup other than being financially successful or successful through social impact are: 1 it is a form of self-improvement, 2 you will connect with people and 3 you can express your political views.
Note on expressing your political views: create an amazing product that helps your political views like starting a hospice clinic that is pro or against euthanasia. Don't try to get fake likes for your marketing campaign, or fake emails for that matter.
Related, buying into reciprocal deals is dangerous e. Oh, and if you're able to be comfortable being lonely, not taking rejection personal and keep a work rhythm that you can stick with then you may have a chance of success. However, it all comes down to quite a bit of luck still, didn't I mention you need to be comfortable being lonely? I wish there were more articles like this. Despite the fact it's not a post-mortem it shows how tough these things Twitch streaming or startups can be.
Where does the analogy break according to you? I am having a bit too much confirmation bias in my thinking. I too have met kids who say they want to be a Youtuber or Twitch streamer when they grow up. It makes me sad. I love watching Twitch, and watch gamers regularly almost every night.
From what I can tell, most of them: - Are in their mid's to early 30's. These are people who in some cases have hundreds of thousands of followers on Youtube and each Twitch stream attracts over two thousand viewers. It's not a good way to make a living. I've asked several of them if they make a full-time living via Twitch chat , and they've acknowledged the question, but didn't seem to want to really answer it.
A couple of them even make a joke out of it every time their sibling starts torrenting and it slows down their network connection. If I ever have a kid, I'll support their dream of becoming one of these people. And I'll also tell them they're not living in my house past the age of Figure out a way to make money while doing what you love. Relatively popular. But it was always just a hobby.
The economics simply don't work. Even if you ascend to the "middle tier". It works out to way less than american minimum wage, at best. I now cringe a bit at the hours and hours i spent there, though i did make some good friends and had great conversations. But it really wasn't the best use of my Late 20s, in the longrun. It should really only be seen as a hobby, for a few extra bucks on the side, at best, like mowing lawns or other odd jobs.
If you think you can make a living, that is both dangerous and delusional thinking. To contrast with that, I know twitch streamers whose channel averages out at around viewers a time, and who make a very comfortable living. Having a properly run channel that encourages donations, cash and bits, is a huge part of it. Add in or so subs, and it isn't too hard to break 6k a month. Not enough to live in the Bay Area, but a really nice salary in most of the country.
You also have to consider that the average length of a "day" for a popular Twitch streamer is hours. And that those streamers have to stream days a week to maintain their audience. Not worth it, honestly. Liquix on July 16, You also have to consider that many streamers are playing video games they love to play and casually chatting with friendly fellow nerds.
Apples and oranges when compared to grinding out an 8 hour work day. His secret? He is super entertaining, hands down one of the funniest people and most entertaining people to watch on twitch. His YT videos of his streams then get a few hundred thousand more views on top of that. But yes he is an anomaly, in that he is really damn good at both game play and also entertaining. Most streamers don't have that killer combo, so they have to work a lot harder.
Plenty of streamers are 9am-5pm, 8am-4pm, or 11am-7pm. Heck I know successful who are 8pm-midnight. I'd argue that it really depends on the stream and the community. Streamers that build a super strong community can get away with shorter streamers and smaller viewer bases. They won't be pulling in millions, but they can get a steady income stream from it. My overall point is that streaming is a valid career for people who have the right skills.
The barrier to getting started is low, but the barrier to doing to an open mic stand-up is also low. The difference is there aren't a bunch of news articles about people flocking to open-mic nights, although I suspect on any given night there are a thousand or so people doing open mic in the US alone! But there is also a cultural realization that most people shouldn't quit their job, drop out of school, and start practicing their comedy routine 8 hours a day.
You can't really compare extreme outliers against the norm. Very few Twitch streamers can have that kind of community you're talking about. I would wager low double digits. I know of more than half a dozen who are just Super Mario Maker streamers.
I know, my pure happenstance, of two cooking streamers who have built communities. I think low double digits is a low ball estimate. There are more successful retro gaming streamers than that, I have no idea what the contemporary game twitch scene is like. No one ever talks about viewer streamers, they make for lousy news stories. Drama with super successful streamers, and articles like this one that talk about failure at the bottom.
Someone working , 40 hours a week, pulling in k a year isn't a news story. It may be part of their income but not all of their income. Carl is so good. I made the overlay for a charity stream last year. The mario maker guys are a good bunch. Yeah I will tell people I made dollars on cookbook sales. Sounds great? Well if it takes 30 hours a week for 3 years, it really isnt great. Trying to win the lottery is not a good life goal. Is aspiring to being a top Twitch streamer any different than those aspiring to be a top musician, artist or actor?
You'd have to be fantastic at your particular game or whatever they stream on Twitch I know absolutely nothing about this platform and great at self promotion. Not unlike wanting to be a rock star or movie star. I fail to see how it's any more like a lottery win than being in other forms of media, other than it's a very new platform in the grand scheme of things. Yeah, I'm getting old. It's a little different to me. A lot of these paths actually value technical competence way more than the self promotion necessary for pop music stardom.
It's an extremely competitive field, of course, but it's possible to do very well as a musician without necessarily being a pop star. I'm not sure if the equivalent exists for Twitch streamers. I'd argue it is no more a lottery than aiming to be a stand up comedian or any other form of professional entertainer.
It is a lot of networking to help make raids happen early on, a lot of learning to adapt to what the audience wants which is hard with only a text interface to the audience! Don't forget to pay your taxes about double what you would pay as a regular employee; your employer pays a portion of that behind the scenes out of that, plus any health insurance you want to pick up. Sole breadwinner in my house - my wife doesn't work. Paid my estimated federal and state income taxes through the year, paid federal and state taxes at the end of the year, paid for a decent tier in the healthcare exchange, put away as much for retirement as was prudent, and still had more than enough money to take two months of the year off and pay for a three bedroom, two bathroom house in the suburbs mortgage, utilities, and insurance all paid.
It's not impossible here, but it is impossible in the Bay Area. The only extra tax you pay as a contractor is the other 7. It's the same with sports, music, art, writing and lots of other hobbies-that-can-be-careers. Most people won't ever make a living, but plenty of people want to give it a shot. If it works, awesome, you get to play games or make art for a living!
And what better time do make a go at it than in your 20's? I was working from home for about 1. My daily contact was a morning phone call with the others on the team. Its not that you are sitting there watching every thing that the streamer is doing. You are more listening and glancing at it once in a while.
A second aspect that i really enjoy in relation to twitch streams is the chat community and the interaction you can have live with the streamer. Its basically a IRC chat channel that the streamer is the owner of.
So even when the stream is offline, you can hang around chatting with friends that you make online. It really remind me of my old mIRC days. Its all about finding a community that you enjoy, not all stream chats are the same. Some can be quite toxic but most streamers have Mods that ban people quickly for hate speech etc.
There are also people that are coding on twitch these days, and i really enjoy having one of those streams open while coding myself. It tends to help me work out the problems quicker and the designs are normally better thought out. Per Twitch's stream analytics, on one of my data science programming streams on Twitch the majority of my viewers came from the Explore page, under the relatively-less-popular Programming category.
It wouldn't be the first time working the long-tail has been effective. I do not think most twitch streamers are trying to be professionals. I think most streamers are just trying to add more fun into their game time. In game theory everyone's main objective is the same, in this case measured in either revenue or viewers. In the twitch world most streamers are trying to maximize fun instead of viewers or revenue.
Disclosure: I stream relatively obscure games, and know many other streamers in both megapopular and obscure games. Same here, actually. It turns out that if you do the basics, and make content that is not terrible, then you can be the " 1 live stream programmer in the world", pretty easily. But it turns out that getting to the 1 spot at the top of the twitch programming category only nets you about concurrent viewers.
At that point the goal should be to grow the category as a whole, I guess. Reading this made me curious. I'll probably check out the programming category tonight if I have time. How is the quality of those programming streams? What goes on in them? Do the streamers answer questions about techniques, etc? I'm usually a self-starter on learning things, but I can lose interest quickly if I don't get some sort of feedback or have someone to ask questions.
MOOCs, forums, etc are a waste of time for me in most cases; too slow and impersonal. The quality is poor. It's mostly gamer streamers trying out something different. They're usually going through a udacity course or hacking a crud web application. There is lot of blindly looking at the screen, reading tutorials or getting frustrated with compilation errors.
They do not like to be helped. I think this is an unfair characterization, there are some REALLY good programmers, some new programmers, and people at all stages of their programming journey. A lot are doing game programming, I'm less interested in this, but some are very interesting. For instance A HNer I watch when he codes I didn't know of the streamers you mentioned, but I'd be sure to check them out. Looking forward to being wrong on this. I was basically introduced to Twitch by Handmade Hero, and Casey the host seems to have brought a bunch of his contemporaries in as well.
Handmade Hero: Complete game from scratch nothing but platform libraries. He's designing a programming language JAI , works on that and shows off features, as well as doing game development, on his channel. And occasionally playing games. He has a series of programming videos. NathanCH on July 16, Who likes being helped when nobody asked?
It really is a matter of finding your niche when you start out. At least for streamers who are already somewhat established, the metagame is actually to move to whichever game is most popular with viewers. That's also true. I wonder what the establishment inflection point is?
Macha on July 16, Most people watch above the fold in browse, and then above the fold for those games, so the streamers get all or nothing depending on the fold. So when you start out, that's nothing. Normally, when I do play videogames, it's a private sort of thing between myself and my game system. I just recently ran across some twitch channels via youtube because I was looking for some help with some Dark Souls III content.
It's like a whole different universe with people who live and breath these games every waking moment. I found it very interesting to see that it's a whole way of life with this many people. Now I'm tempted to watch some of these twitch broadcasters even though I'm not interested in the games that they're playing. Come watch some DS3 speedruns and travel even further down the rabbit hole of people who know everything about the game to an absolutely obsessive degree and are insanely good at playing it.
It's not for everyone mind you, but I find it hugely entertaining if you take the time to appreciate it. I am a regular of a low viewer count stream, choaslegionkaeru, who is pretty good and talkative. He rarely gets past 10 streamers, and his style isn't for everyone and I don't think he'll ever be a massive success, but I enjoy watching and interacting with him. I've tuned into other low viewer streams, and a lot of them are just bad.
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