Twitch is a streaming platform that has become very popular over the past decade. It's competing with daytime television at this point and all of the kids I work with know what it is. It's not a normal thing to a lot of adults, but it is a big part of the future of entertainment.
I stumbled upon Twitch somewhere around 2013. I don't remember exactly, but I think it was Diablo III or Starcraft that led me to the website. I was looking at video game content online and found live streams and was hooked. The prospect of being a streamer for a job did appeal to me. At first though, I didn't have the proper internet. Good upload speeds were hard to come by at this time, especially out in the middle of nowhere which is where I lived. So I watched streams while I worked on various internet start-ups.
My first stream ever was on September 7th, 2015 under the account name of sPa12k. It was Labor Day, which I thought was very fitting to start this type of career. The first game I streamed was The Binding of Isaac. I streamed that for a few months as I started to get more and more comfortable with talking to people, talking about the game, and trying to keep a consistent schedule.
The second game I streamed was Super Mario Maker, and remains a favorite of mine to this day. I streamed viewer levels for 4 months or so, and met some really awesome people within that community. I eventually got burned out and decided to take a break. Viewer levels got people in the door pretty quickly but I had a difficult time retaining people after I played their levels. Eventually the levels submitted to me got more and more difficult, almost to the point where I was constantly getting trolled with levels that I would never be able to beat within a comfortable time frame.
After a little hiatus, I started another account under the name Blahst and streamed Overwatch for a few months. This time I did song requests and generally didn't care who did what in my chat. I call this the 'meme stream' portion of my career. It was funny for a while but eventually the memes got to me. Every time I turned off the song requests I lost a lot of viewers. I wanted to start playing competitive as well, and when I did that I would lose another portion of my audience. It wasn't a fun time when I made all of that transition and I lost interest and stopped streaming again.
The final time I started to stream again it was on my old sPa12k account, except this time I changed the username to SparkWulfe. I turned my stream into a "for me" stream. Which to me means, no song requests, no viewer levels, no succumbing to viewer demands ever. This turned out to be quite fun and cathartic. I started playing Super Mario Maker again, this time playing Super Expert No Skips exclusively. I played that for a solid three months and was able to build the stream up to a consistent 100 viewers, which nets you Partnership if Twitch deems you worthy. I applied and got it on the first try. My official partner day is January 4th, 2018. This will always be an important day for me, for sentimental reasons.
Here we are today. I'm partnered on Twitch, but I don't feel like playing Super Mario Maker every single day anymore. I'll still play it from time to time, but I want to branch off and be more of a variety stream. This may or may not kill my stream entirely, but I want to do it for the sake of my sanity. I want people to come to my stream to see me, not just the game I play. To compliment this idea I've decided to put a lot of work into building a presence outside of Twitch. So I will begin to work on this website, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other various forms of social media.