Twitch.tv has been a nearly unstoppable juggernaut since it was acquired by Amazon, with viewer and streamer counts both in the millions. Looking around for a streamer to watch on Twitch.tv has never been easier than currently right now. With hundreds, if not thousands, of new individuals joining the platform every day finding a stream can be the easiest thing to do. Yet finding a stream that will keep you coming back and be enjoyable every time is the sort of first-world problems I and many others have experienced.
I first found out about streamer “FistoftheWalrus“ when I was dragged into the roleplaying scene on Ark: Survival Evolved. After receiving the link to this mysterious Walrus character I was promptly introduced to a character on the popular Ark server, TwitchRP. Within the first ten minutes I had decided to follow the stream on Twitch and become part of the community.
My first interaction with ‘Walrus was meeting his in-game character, “Prune Man”. Using the in-game character creator a true monstrosity had been born. As tall as the sliders would allow, as muscular as the model could be, and as wrinkly and dried up as possible – Prune Man was born. With an obsession for Narcoberries, which cause the player to fall unconscious, he set off into the great unknown to find and enlighten other players of the nature and health benefits of prunes. A bit like Juice Plus, but not as shit.
I was hooked, and I instantly dropped 5$ (monthly)
After months of being part of the community and even getting to be part of some of the highlights on his channel I noticed something. Walrus genuinely had fun and enjoyed the company of his viewers. I never felt like he was streaming just for a paycheck and despite there often being between 100-200 people watching him at any given point he wouldn’t hesitate to say hello and converse with singular viewers.
I felt a gnawing hunger one day, to write something, anything about this streamer that I, and no doubt others, greatly admire and enjoy the company of. After a short discussion Walrus agreed to an interview for Critical Indie Gamer:
CIG: How did you first decide to livestream?
Walrus: I started off on Youtube doing DayZ videos with my friends. It was one of my friends from that channel who introduced me to Twitch and suggested that we start livestreaming. I made my FistofTheWalrus account on Twitch but never really got interested enough to stream. It wasn’t until I started playing Battlefield 4 when I noticed the streaming option on my PS4. Seeing as I already had an account I figured “why not?”.
CIG: When did you become partnered?
Walrus: Febuary 23, 2016, it was my birthday actually.
CIG: Did you have any inspirations from others?
Walrus: With regards to starting up on Twitch? No. I never really looked any further into the community other than just streaming on my spare time from full-time college and work. That wasn’t until I started into DayZ again and ran into streamers in the community like TheLoyalPatriot and Lancenyethegamerguy. I was inspired the most when I met Jonsandman and when I saw first hand how close he is to his community. You can’t fake a genuine love for your community and he is devoted to his.
CIG: What were your original goals when you first started out?
Walrus: Have fun. That is honestly it. It still is. The day i stop being entertaining to someone is the day I stop streaming. I only stream because I love doing it.
CIG: When did you make the change from casual livestreaming to attempting to make this a career, or do you think you haven’t yet?
Walrus: All livestreaming is casual livestreaming to me. It’s not a job nor a career, you can certainly make a lot of money off of it but I don’t consider what I do work at all. Maybe others will disagree, but my opinion is just that. Playing video games with friends and internet family can’t be a job for me, nor is it work. I thoroughly enjoy my community they have been my escape from reality these three years. The second I consider what I do as work and not a hobby is the day I no longer enjoy streaming for fun.
I did quit my job as a server because of livestreaming though, however the circumstances of being in college played a major factor. I didn’t have a lot of time to keep up with work, school and college and for a long time I didn’t get too much sleep. I cut work out of the equation because I had made enough with Twitch to be fine for the rest of my school year. I didn’t see a need to torture myself any further. With school out of the equation I will be getting myself a job, I can’t rely on my community, as generous and amazing as they are, to support my living.
CIG: Have your views changed about Twitch since becoming partnered?
Walrus: It’s a whole new ballgame when money is involved with Twitch. You can very easily become fixated on sub numbers to rate your success as a streamer on Twitch. Although a positive thing I have noticed is how open and loving the community is. Iamsp00n, one of my closest friends on Twitch is just one of the many streamers who I have had the pleasure of streaming with. The communities of both his and my streams get along so well it’s practically just extended family members (Spoon might get what I said there hehe).
CIG: Have your goals changed from when you first started to today?
Walrus: Can’t say they have. As long as I can give someone a good laugh and enjoy myself while doing it i’m one happy camper.
CIG: Has livestreaming helped you in your everyday life, if so would you mind telling me how?
Walrus: As a Commincation Major graduate I have gotten a load of experience with live broadcasting which has helped immensely with my rookie radio career.
CIG: Speaking with some people around Twitch they believe that once you are partnered that you no longer have financial issues that are typically associated with an everyday job, would you agree to that statement or would you like to dispell that kind of thought?
Walrus: That’s a dangerous way to think. The objective of being a partner is to improve your community not your paycheck. Financial issues don’t go away because you have a sub button, don’t expect anything, think of it as a labor of love (although hypocritical of me to say since I make money off Twitch). I still firmly believe that you should still get a job or into a career. Things change and Twitch isn’t a stable income to rely on. You could be hitting high numbers for a solid month and suddenly something changes and your back to where you started. ALWAYS have something to fall back on.
CIG: If you could give advice to those wanting to become partnered and potentially make a living off of livestreaming, what advice would you give them?
Walrus: Don’t go into Twitch to make a living. Go into it to have fun and enjoy yourself and the community you create. As corny as it may sound this is my honest opinion.