Boomers journey to streaming!
I have been streaming for just over 6 months now, and got affiliate back on Halloween. I have to say that streaming, along with family and friends support, is what has gotten me through this pandemic. It has also re-invigorated my love for games. To understand why this is, I think you need to understand what videogames have meant to me my whole life.
You see I’m old…at least in gamer standards, I am known as a boomer, this means I have been playing games for a long time. I got my first console when I was 5, it was a commodore 64. The first game I had on it had no graphics at all, the map, hero and enemies were all made with symbols from your keyboard, it was called Kingdom of Kroz.
Later that year I got an Atari 2600 and played the crap out of F14 Tomcat (which had the reset button on the console as the deploy landing gear button, it sucked if you pushed it for too long) and Comando. For you youngsters that don’t know back then we didn’t have the internet and we didn’t have multiple consoles. What does this mean? It means I had to share the games with my brothers, taking turns. It also meant that if I was stuck there was no youtube video to show us how to get out of it. We either spent hours figuring it out, or had to ask a friend, which usually turned into you and your friends spending time figuring it out. This proceeded through the nintendo, super nintendo, etc.. years.
As I got older games got better and so did platforms. In my teens I met other people who loved games as much as I did. We would get together and play, but most games were only 2 players so the others were sitting around watching and talking. It was low stress and so much fun to watch. We were also heavy into the game Magic: The Gathering, so sometimes we would have some playing video games, and others playing magic and we would swap around. The important part was that we were together.
Once technology caught up and it was affordable 2 things happened. First we could have lan parties and boy did we. This was pre xbox, so lan parties were everyone bringing all of their computer stuff (including speakers because headphones couldn’t do surround) and setting up. We would have network cables all over the place and people set up wherever they fit. On several occasions we got together at a friends place for spring break and had a week long lan, with people coming in and out as they had to go to work, or sports or crash for sleep, or got 4 people together and marathoned Diablo and Diablo II from start to finish.
Second was between live console sessions and lan parties we could play together on the internet. Now it was super slow internet, you were lucky if you had a 150ping, but we could do it. This is where competition started with Jedi Knight II. I was part of a few clans and competed in tournaments. From here we moved into half life deathmatch, and team fortress and counter strike (beta, about 8 years before 1.6, lol).
Then came MMO’s, there was WoW, FFXI, Conan, lord of the rings, etc.. We played lots of them. However, I am also heavy into martial arts, and due to that time commitment fell behind my friends.
As we got older, university and work took over and gaming moved to an occasional fun thing. This is how it was for almost a decade of my life. I still loved gaming but never prioritized it or had time for it with “Adult things”. This brings us to present, where I didn’t realize how much I missed and needed gaming until COVID hit.
You see, I’m an extremely social person. I have always wanted to be around people, and as you can see with my gaming history, it has always been with others, about comradery with others, it was never a lonely journey, it was always about the people in some way. With lockdowns due to the pandemic, I was not feeling myself. Then I started playing Valorant again and that perked me up. The social aspect, the chatting about it with my friends, and finding new friends, helped fill that social void, but something was still missing. I missed shooting the shit, and just chatting and discussing the games.
This led me to the decision to start streaming. I was nervous but finally set up OBS and started my first stream. I was slow, only people from Val and friends for the first few streams, but then something magical happened, someone found my stream and actually engaged me in chat. We had a long conversation about the very topic of this article, I didn’t realize it at the time, but this affected me more than I knew. I didn’t realize until I closed the stream and went up to spend time with my wife, and she asked me why I seemed so happy. In that moment, I realized that my passion for games came back, that a social aspect of my life that I had been missing and needed for so long was back, and it, in a way, completed me.
So now I stream regularly every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as well as any free time I get, and at the end of every stream I feel relaxed and ready to take on anything. So for those who have come to spend time with me, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you!! For those who have not, you are always welcome and I look forward to meeting you.