By Petar Vukobrat
September 18, 2018
Streaming has been one of the biggest trends that emerged over the last couple of years. Not only was it something that essentially began out of thin air, but it’s also something that people didn’t even know they wanted.
Nowadays, it’s one of the most important and integral parts of the gaming world. Streaming became a part of the status quo, and it’s also used as a very potent marketing tool.
For the very best, streaming also became a viable, rather lucrative career path. That might sound a bit ludicrous, but in essence, streamers are entertainers through and through.
Perhaps the biggest allure that streaming has is the fact that it’s available to everyone – you could download the necessary software, buy a cheap camera and start streaming your own gaming odysseys in a matter of minutes!
That’s a pretty exciting concept – the idea that complete strangers could spectate your own gameplay and perhaps even become fans!
Because of this, a lot of people tried their hand at becoming streamers – and failed miserably.
To become a good streamer, an individual has to have a plethora of different virtues – and not many people have them. You have to be entertaining, fun, you have to be able to engage hundreds or thousands of people for longer periods of time – and that’s hard.
Streaming doesn’t differ much from stand up comedy – a comedian stands in front of a crowd and presents themselves and their view of the world. If they’re funny, they get a reaction, if not they get booed off the stage. But in streaming, if you’re not particularly good at it, you don’t even get a boo – you get absolute, deafening silence.
Without concrete feedback, it’s hard knowing whether or not you’re cut out for the job or not.
Most people think they have what it takes – and yet they don’t. Since everyone can dish out a symbolic sum and buy a camera, or some editing software, there’s this notion that anyone can become a content creator or streamer, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Many people don’t have the tools to comprehend their own shortcomings fully – and in the entertainment world, you either have “it” or not. That’s just the way things are.
The few streamers that have something unique and original to offer to the Twitch world are going to succeed sooner or later. Their paths might be different, and they might use different means to achieve success, but their virtues and overall value will become evident over time.
And it’s a tough journey to be on. The road from complete anonymous to breakout star streamer is something that only a select few get to experience; however, the appeal is still ever-present.
Right now, there is still this aura of optimism regarding streaming and the notion that anyone can do it.
The times we live in are exceptional. The wonders of modernity are seeping into the very pores of our lives, they’re bettering our surroundings and improving our day-to-day existence. If someone told you ten years ago that adolescents would be able to play video games for a living and that it would actually be considered as a valid career path – you would’ve probably laughed.
But the world is changing, and in some cases, it’s for the better.
Streaming, much like any other profession out there, isn’t for everyone. But it’s this allure that’s ever-present. An idea that you too could stream and earn a living. An idea that everyone can be the star, that anyone can be underneath the spotlight, entertaining the masses.
We all dream of affirmation and approval. We all want to be at the center of attention. But we’re not all given the tools to entertain. We’re not all equally gifted.
And that’s the ugly truth no one really wants to say out loud. When it comes to creating content, not all of us are created equal.
At one point, there’s just too much content and not enough people to consume it. Natural selection kicks in, and while the cream of the crop does get to have their cake and eat it too, the rest – that far outnumber the select few that make a living out of it – are left to wonder “when will my time come?”
For many, it never does. While streaming isn’t a creative job per se, it does involve creativity and a multitude of other virtues. In that sense, it’s a lot similar to other creative jobs like design, or art, or acting. Anyone can try their hand at it, but only a couple will be adept enough at it and make it into a career.
The only thing with streaming, and why it took off so much is the fact that it doesn’t require an education. You don’t have to enroll in a prestigious acting school to learn the “tools of the trade.”
You can just download OBS, set-up your camera and start playing. The bar is lowered, and everyone can join the party.
But just because everyone can, doesn’t mean everyone should.
In the end, if you’re thinking of going down this road, you absolutely should, but don’t invest too much into it, seeing how the odds are stacked against you from the very get-go. Trying to grab someone’s attention and become a streamer is hard, and it’s going to take you a lot of time and effort.
If things develop and start picking up steam, then gradually invest more into developing your online presence, but never go all-in without a backup plan.
Some people quit their jobs thinking that they’re going to be “the next big thing” in the streaming world – and they weren’t. So now they’re not only unemployed, but they get maybe ten or fifteen viewers, at best.
Hardly anything worth bragging.
You can always have a normal, day-to-day job and still build a streaming/content career, and when you accrue a big enough following, then you can decide whether or not to go all-in or not. But even in that case, don’t go down this path if you don’t have something different and unique to offer to the streaming world.