The professional “play video games while people watch you” industry is booming right now, which means it’s the optimal time for you to get in while the getting’ is good. That being said, “live streaming,” as they say in the biz, is more complicated than merely playing video games and having people watch you. There are dozens, if not thousands of things to take into consideration before you embark on your magical journey. That’s why I’m here to give you a few pro-tips that will all but ensure* your success as a game streaming, internet personality.
Dress for The Occasion
There’s a thin line between comfort and sloppiness, so plan your outfit accordingly. I have two basic styles of gamer-ware: the first being the type that I wear when no one is around (ranging from jammies to the kind of briefs that get people talking) and the second being some casual gear that reflects that I care about my appearance but am not trying to show off. Live streaming isn’t a fashion contest, but being in front of a camera does require a bit of polish. Worst case scenario, you just turn the camera off, but that may lead to people thinking you’re embarrassed about your chosen profession and if you can’t be proud, then you should stick to the dog show circuit (assuming being a dog show judge was your previous occupation).
Cleanse Your Mind and Your Body
Before starting your live stream, make sure your head is cleared of all negativity. More importantly, make sure your poop bakery has made its last delivery of the day. While pee breaks are the norm based on their consistent length, there’s a huge disparity between the time it takes to plunk some nuggets and the time it takes to deposit a log (if you happen to have diarrhea just cancel your stream for the day). This could cause a considerable lapse in activity on your stream, thus making potential viewers lose interest and move on to something more exciting. If you do suddenly have to poop, start up a heated political or religious debate in chat and then act like you’re running off to break up a fight. By the time you get back, no one will have noticed your absence and your sweaty face will have context.
Pick Your Poison
While some games lend themselves quite well to streaming, other games are super boring and should be reserved for your personal gamer alone time. A really good live stream-worthy game should have lots of guns, swearing and gore. If you’re going to play a strategy game, make sure you’re either really good at it so that you can give tight ass pro-tips or really bad so that others can laugh at you.
It’s also cool to stream obscure or goofy games but you should probably wait to do this until you grow your audience a bit more (trust me I know). I think I completely alienated any potential return customers because I played 3079 for about 3 hours last week so looks like its Starcraft 2 and Call of Duty from now on!
Straight up, people love jokes, so tell as many as possible. Top tier jokes usually involve poop, anal sex or someone’s mom. Combining all of those themes will make for explosive comedy gold that will leave your audience in stitches! If you’re not a naturally funny person, just make your digital avatar do something silly or uncharacteristic. For example, everyone loves when the hero in a story goes out of his/her way to disrupt the lives of the people they’re trying to save. This takes people completely by surprise because that’s not what you’re supposed to do in a game! Laughs are easy to manufacture and if the game doesn’t lend itself to humor than the people you play with might, especially if they’re the type that takes things too seriously. I’ve never had the opportunity to play with these people because they usually kick me out of a game after a short time but you get the idea.
Well I hope this was helpful to any of you potential streamers out there. For more in depth tips, just watch our stream over at twitch.tv/horriblenight or just call me…I’m super lonely.
*While Ethan has produced a number of live streams, he’s by no means an authority on the subject. At most, 15 people have watched him play video games at any given time and most of those were contracted to do so by his wife.