#SupportSmallStreams! Boosting More Friendly, Inclusive Let’s Players

Life Is Strange

Not too long ago, we ran our first #SupportSmallStreams post in response to an ask we received on Tumblr. When we reached out to all of you in the community, it became startlingly clear just how necessary a list of inclusive Let’s Players was for everyone. And why not boost them here? There are literally thousands of Twitch streams and YouTube channels out there with potentially friendly spaces, including ours that recently launched. Just because we cultivate smaller communities right now doesn’t mean we aren’t looking for new gamers to join our teams. 💕

If you’re looking for Let’s Players on Twitch, YouTube, or both platforms who maintain spaces that are welcoming to those marginalized in the gaming industry, this is the spot to keep an eye on. We’ll continue to make an effort to curate this list for you, but we need your help in order to do it! Share the shit out of this post. That way, more Let’s Players will find out about it so we can boost them, too. See? It’s like a never-ending fist bump, only you’re getting a list of super cool spaces to follow.

A few of you asked whether we would run another one of these posts in the future. Don’t worry! The answer is unequivocally yes. We believe wholeheartedly in the hard work and dedication of small gaming communities, and we want to support you! Take your time getting that channel together or fiddling around with your new stream. We’ll be here to boost you once you’re ready to be included. Be sure to subscribe to our own YouTube and follow our Tumblr for updates on the next round!

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#SupportSmallStreams! It’s Time to Boost Let’s Players With Inclusive Communities

ReCore

A few days ago, we received an interesting anonymous ask through our Tumblr account that ultimately gave us pause.

Tumblr

It’s no secret that the Let’s Play community at large has a toxic culture problem, both on Twitch and YouTube. Many popular channels are rife with casual racism, homophobia, misogyny, and harmful language of similar ilk simply by nature of being related in some way to the games industry—and that just isn’t cool. It was obvious to us that the eager response to our Tumblr message meant the industry is sorely lacking in inclusive, friendly environments where every gamer can feel safe. Well, shit! Obviously, that means we have some work to do. In an effort to boost the small streaming communities working hard to offer a safe space for all gamers, we asked our creative friends in the FemHype community to share their own channels, whether big or small. That’s what this post will serve as: your list of safe gaming spaces to support on Twitch and YouTube.

This is a fairly large post, so I’d suggest some liberal use of command+F in order to find a particular game that might interest you. I’ve broken the list down into three sections: gamers who offer spaces on Twitch, YouTube, and both. Pick your preferred platform and make some new friends! All of these gamers are working hard for visibility and to make their communities inclusive. Let’s give them a hand, okay?

Please note that if you provided a link to your stream/channel, but haven’t uploaded anything yet, we unfortunately couldn’t add you to the list without anything to go on. However! When you decide to add some clips, drop us a new message and we’ll add you to our next list. 💕 This will hopefully be an ongoing series, so be sure to check back for more new friends joining our efforts!

[Edit] Don’t forget! If you’re a POC streamer on Twitch or UStream, consider filling out the #DiversifyStreaming2K15 form so that the incredible teams at both #INeedDiverseGames and Spawn on Me Podcast can promote you. 🌟

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Permission to Rez: Agency, Avatars, & Gaming With Anorexia

Alone in the Dark

One of my earliest memories was being told I shouldn’t be excited about snack time. This was news to my bright, unmarred concept of identity. What self-respecting kid wasn’t thrilled by the very hint that snack time loomed? Who among our tiny, nomadic clans clawing for a turn on the sole motorized plastic car didn’t swiftly abandon their prize several minutes shy of the lunch bell? But ‘didn’t’ and ‘shouldn’t’ were two very different things, and my first lesson in Freud’s psychic apparatus was swiftly remedied. I was told I “didn’t really need” snack time like the other kids did.

That was in preschool.

While I didn’t understand the sentiment back then (I was always recklessly obstinate when it came to school authority—fuck you, I’m eating string cheese), I was well-versed in the concept by first grade. I was the dreaded monster all those old bedtime stories told you about: a Fat Kid. Parents, teachers, and fellow students have always been kind enough to insinuate or outright declare my weight, which naturally began to inform the picture I had of myself. In some part, video games both reinforced this concept while at the same time helped give me strength in order to combat the very same inescapable label society impresses upon all of us.

Back then, I thought—and to some degree, still do, because self-deprivation can be sinister and lifelong—that Emily Hartwood from Alone in the Dark was worthy of being featured as a playable character because she was conventionally attractive. The reason why she managed to harness her own agency in order to survive a horde of monsters bursting through windows and trap doors, however, was because she kept fighting. This was a defining moment for me. True, I saw myself as worthy of affection insofar as I was deemed physically appealing, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t fight to be acknowledged. My loaded gun would simply have to be my skill with a controller.

Continue reading “Permission to Rez: Agency, Avatars, & Gaming With Anorexia”

PSA: The Let’s Play Community Has a Toxic Sexism Problem

[Aureylian @ YouTube]
[Aureylian @ YouTube]

If you’ve been on YouTube in the past 10 or so years, you’re bound to have run into at least one “Let’s Play.” For those who may not know, Let’s Playing (now more commonly called LPing) is when someone documents their playthrough of a game through videos, and less often, screenshots, all while adding personal commentary and focusing on their experience with the game as an individual. This has become a hobby and passion for countless gamers of all genders, races, languages, and cultures across the ever-growing internet—to the point where it has gained so much pull within gamer culture that it’s also become some peoples’ careers thanks to things like Google AdSense and Twitch. Unfortunately, though, this community, like most, is not without its faults.

Picture this: you’re a 15-year-old girl who’s been playing games like Tomb Raider, Portal, Minecraft, Pokémon, Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Smash, and more your whole life, and you just found out about the online gaming community beyond troll-filled forums and online walkthroughs. Your brother has also just started creating his own Let’s Plays. Initially, you think it’s kind of silly, but after he introduces you to his and other LPs, you warm up to it. In fact, you’re really excited to start making some! So you start finding LPers that you like and befriend some of your brother’s friends on Twitter and YouTube because they, too, share a lot of your interests. Upon befriending them, however, you find yourself extremely uncomfortable with their idea of jokes, as well as the scrutiny you face within the group.

This, unfortunately, was my experience. From vulgar rape jokes to “harmlessly” using “sleeping with [their] girlfriend” as a prize for winning a bet, it became clear to me that my new friends and acquaintances weren’t really Prince Charming. And at that point in my life, honestly? That wasn’t the problem. I still held that “boys will be boys” mentality—something I’ll bring up later. I was, by default, expected to be okay with it, and not only was I supposed to be okay with it, but I was supposed to be okay with it because I was my brother’s sister—just a girl. To associate with them, I needed to be a “bro,” and by doing that, I needed to be okay with them not having any respect for me as their equal, and I also had to work twice as hard to play well, because otherwise it would be “because I’m a girl” if I didn’t. I found myself beginning to lose interest in Let’s Playing altogether because of it, and eventually reached my final straw when I tried to call one of the guys out on the bet I mentioned earlier, using my newly-realized baby!feminist voice to explain why objectifying his girlfriend wasn’t okay, only to get a response to “be careful” where I direct my “feminist crap.”

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Out of Character: An Interview With Twitch Streamer Kaceytron

When I think of social media hearsay, I instantly recall the intro to the 2002 Missy Elliott banger “Gossip Folks.” Girl that is Missy Elliott she lost a lot of weight / Girl I heard she eats one cracker a day / Oh well I heard the bitch was married to Tim and started f***ng with Trina / I heard the bitch got hit with three zebras and a monkey / I can’t stand the bitch no way.

Kaceytron is a bespectacled, busty, and brash Twitch TV partner who has been a successful fixture of gaming live streams since early 2013. She’s known for playing League of Legends, acting out on stream, and interacting with her chat for several hours most days of the week, just like most well-known and well-established streamers. 

If you do a simple search for Kaceytron on Twitter, you may confuse the 24-year-old retail manager-turned-gaming entertainer with an evil harpy who is out to enslave poor innocent victims (men) with her indecent and impudent ways. Here is a small sampling of the Twitter direct mentions and indirect derisions I found during the past hour while writing this piece:

@kaceytron you say your carrying the team on cs…you can’t even open a door you fat slut never mind fit through one, #Cleavage4Views

“lol that camwhore kaceytron responded to me even though I didnt tag her. God damn what a disgusting slice of diseased pie. Fuck Outta Here”

“I can guarantee 95% of the people who watch her stream just come to hate and she deserves it all.”

What, exactly, is it about Kaceytron that so enflames and enrages some viewers? The people in her stream chat are outspoken in their endless love or seething hatred for her, and she responds to haters just as often as she responds to fans. Yes, she does display her ample cleavage on stream, however, Twitch only implemented a rule to keep streamers from appearing on camera fully nude or in lingerie. One reason they had to make this rule? Men and women were playing “strip poker” versions of games, flashing body parts for donations, or simply playing games casually — stark naked.

Continue reading “Out of Character: An Interview With Twitch Streamer Kaceytron”

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