Blaugust Day 6: The Joys of Streaming

#Blaugust
Header courtesy of Belghast of Aggronaut.com.

It’s Day 6 of Blaugust and I’m still on a high from my streaming tonight so I wanted to talk about the joys of streaming today. It’s a short one, but I hope you won’t mind!

Streaming has become pretty popular recently, with news buzzing about big name streamers and how they’ve “made it” and lots of people trying to get started with their own video game stream. In the middle of all of this, I’ve been streaming quietly in the corner, playing horror games on Saturdays and random games throughout the week. And you know what? It’s fun!

I’ve mentioned before in my Why I Stream post that I have always used streaming as a sort of surrogate friendship. It’s not that I don’t have friends, it’s that most of my gaming buddies are in different timezones, and until very recently I didn’t have people to hang out with while I played games. I craved that, especially after my good times in gaming centres and watching friends enjoy themselves talking about their favourite game with guildies.

Streaming was a gateway to this for me. I’ve just shut down my stream after around two-and-a-half hours of playing Final Fantasy XIV. Do I get a ton of viewers? Not yet, maybe one day. But the people who come to hang out with me are invaluable — they’re friends, people whom I love speaking with and whose company I enjoy. I look forward to streaming because I get to spend time with my buddies, and that’s something I haven’t been able to do in a long time.

Interested in taking part in Blaugust?

Check out the Nook on Anook, or Belghast’s post on the Gospel of Blaugust and get started! You don’t have to write a gaming blog, and your posts don’t have to be about gaming to participate. So come along and join the fun!

Life Lately (14/06/2014)

Life Lately (11/06/2014)

I’m still here! My sincerest apologies for being so absent lately, life has been pretty busy, both in the wonderful realm of “real life” and my gaming adventures!

Many of you know that my mum has been in and out of hospital the last few months. The good news is she finally was scheduled for her surgery last week, and while there were some minor complications during the surgery she was released on Friday! I got to go visit her at the weekend, and it was really nice! For the first time in a while I didn’t bring my laptop as I was busy all weekend. I did learn that I make a mean fried egg sandwich while I was up! She is recovering fast, and will be back to her normal self within a few weeks.

In gaming news, I have been hopelessly addicted to WildStar since its launch last week. My spellslinger is only level 18 but I’ve tried my first adventure and had a blast! I’ve honestly been clocking most of my out-of-work hours into this game lately, so I haven’t been giving other games, or my blog, the love they deserve. For that I am very sorry!

Now, I had honestly considered taking a long break from Final Fantasy XIV because of my newfound addiction, but with Square Enix announcing Rogues, Ninja and marriage in FFXIV I’m really excited! Especially because SE even went ahead and announced same sex relationships. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s great that they made the step other companies have been unwilling to do.

I will be back on my streaming schedule as of tonight, all being well, so feel free to catch me on my Twitch.tv channel for Scaredy-Cat Saturday at 10:00pm GMT+1 today!

Twitch acquisition by Google/YouTube?

Is the Twitch acquisition by Google's YouTube going to go through?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, anyone who is familiar with streaming website Twitch knows that there are rumours of a Google/YouTube acquisition for $1 billion. If you’re interested in the back story, you can read the Polygon report, but here I want to talk about my personal thoughts and how this might impact streamers.

Obviously, my channel on Twitch is relatively small, with only 150+ followers so far, as I’ve only been streaming there for a short time. However I am a “Turbo” user, meaning I pay monthly in order to receive certain benefits (such as no ads, custom colours in chat and a different set of emotes) and also subscribe to two streamers on a regular basis. I also have intentions of continuing to stream there more regularly myself, and while I doubt I’ll ever have the viewerbase of some of the people I love there, I still feel it has the potential to impact me as a viewer and streamer alike.

Firstly, there are positive sides to this acquisition assuming it goes through. For example, Google is notorious for having excellent server coverage across the globe, which is something Twitch currently, unfortunately, lacks. It’s no secret that their data centres struggle from time to time with the massive population of European users, not to mention an incredibly poor experience in Oceania. With a Google acquisition, could we expect to see increased stability and better service worldwide?

A lot of streamers are pretty concerned about the bid. YouTube has notoriously not been the most supportive of its content creators recently, making it frustrating for viewers to comment on videos, hassling creators into using their real names on videos (and repeatedly prompting them to do so if they say no), and various issues with copyright claims. If these kinds of issues come to Twitch, this would make the experience of streaming and watching streams extremely frustrating and not at all user-friendly.

However, with all that said, there are just as many streamers — including those with larger viewerbases — who don’t seem at all concerned, and are patiently awaiting more information. On the plus side, the reports explain that talks are still ongoing, and nothing is settled for sure just yet. Also, there are claims that part of the discussions will be on how independent Twitch can continue to operate if they are picked up by another company, which is great. There are plenty of companies out there, especially games companies, that have managed to retain their independence despite being acquired by a bigger company. I’ll withhold too much of my judgement until we get more information, as at least for the timebeing it’s still just a rumour. We’ll see how it goes!

What are your thoughts?
Let me know in the comments below!