Interacting with real people! On the Internet!

While I was in college, I worked a third shift job. It wasn’t particularly rigorous (I was a night desk clerk at my dormitory), but it did require me to be conscious at odd hours, which has a nontrivial impact on your social life when you’re 19 and working on your Bachelor’s. As a result, I turned to streams that were easily accessible from a desk at 2am. While I was still adapting to this new extension of my social life, I discovered that the crew of Hey Ash Whatcha Playing were streaming on Twitch. I remembered watching their videos in High School and enjoying them (and they had a regular schedule that they mostly adhered to), so I regularly joined them on their late-night escapades. I enjoyed participating in chat and eventually became friends with the streamers after becoming a regular of their streams. It was relieving to have a sense of community in an otherwise chaotic time in my life.

Eventually the HAWP crew decided that they wanted to make a push for becoming Twitch Partners. I was asked to help equip the team, now seven members in size, with what they needed to make this push. That meant I had to learn how to stream myself, something I’d not done before. Sure, I was a moderator in the HAWP chat, but I had no idea what it took to actually stream. After some research, I helped everyone get on board with what they needed to step up their game and created a block of entertainment that would surely be worth of the prestigious Subscription button. I wasn’t streaming myself, because I was on my personal laptop with no graphics card behind a desk at a University of Kentucky dormitory, but I knew how.

A few years later, after having moved out of the dorms, I was presented with the opportunity to build a new computer. I decided this was the time – I wanted to start streaming. I didn’t care if I got 10,000 subscribers. I just wanted to regain that sense of community that I had become so familiar with. At this point, I was making games casually (participating in jams, waking small games to explore engines and learn new tricks), so I started streaming that as well as games. I never had a regular schedule, as life was too hectic for that, I did manage to draw a moderate crowd that enjoyed when I went online to share whatever it was that I was doing at the time. It was an extension of my office, turning my tiny office space into a pseudo-coworking space.