Cyberspace has opened up a whole new virtual world of opportunities for enterprising individuals who want to make a living in a way that avoids nine to five hours, office politics and the daily commute. But perhaps the most intriguing of them all is the band of individuals who spend their lives playing games, streaming them on Twitch and getting paid to do so.
When you look at celebrity streamers like Ninja, the story seems bizarre enough. Here’s a man who generates a million dollars every two months just from playing Fortnite – and that’s before you add on the celebrity endorsement and sponsorship deals. A flash in the pan? Well, he’s been doing this for 10 years now, and the money keeps rolling in.
However, the career activities of Mr. Blevins seem downright boring compared with some of his fellow streamers. The thing about Twitch is that it is a platform that’s open to all – and some of the streams have to be seen to be believed.
Open to all means just that – the gamers on Twitch don’t even have to be human. FishPlaysStreetfighter features two fish called Robert the Bruce and AG Aquarius. Their tank has been divided into quadrants, and these correspond to different button presses in Street Fighter II Turbo. It’s strangely compelling, and certainly worth showing to the next person who tries to tell you what a “typical gamer” is like.
Casino gaming is one of the most popular genres around. But it doesn’t come across as something that would necessarily be a great spectator sport. Nevertheless, there are dozens of Twitch streamers who focus on playing online casino games, and by far the best-known is RocknRolla, who has 15,000 subscribers. Unfortunately, his channel has been temporarily suspended after he launched into an expletive-ridden tirade at an internet troll – worse, he did so when he was nearing the end of a 24-hour charity fundraising stream.
The great thing about Twitch gamers is that they don’t usually take themselves too seriously. This streamer, also known as FatBoi, streams Runescape and nothing else. Now this is hardly a top eSport, so you might be surprised that he has some 6,000 followers. Perhaps it has more to do with the big guy’s refusal to ever wear a shirt and his habit of breaking into dance when you least expect it.
Here’s another streamer from the gambling world, but his game of choice is poker. He comes across as something of an old-school hustler, and his no-nonsense approach and love of heavy metal music have turned him into something of a cult hero. As well as generating revenue from his game streams, he also offers one to one coaching sessions to those who are willing to pay for his wisdom.
This mother, student and artist has a taste for the eclectic. She loves to explore games that are away from the mainstream, and has covered everything from Harvest Moon to Conception II. Her. Husband Nick is apt to join in, either for a multiplayer game or just to say hello. It’s genuinely like being invited into Aria’s home, and is all the better for it.