in Fails, Markel!

Twitched

I’ve lost count of how many nights I’ve done this to myself, including tonight:

  • mid-day: “You know what would be great? Doing some streaming tonight! That sounds like it would be fun and relaxing.”
  • late afternoon: “Today has been really busy; I’d still like to stream some later.”
  • evening: “I still have things to do; maybe I can still sneak in like an hour or so of streaming.”
  • late evening (say, 10 or 11): “I can’t stay up much later; guess I’ll stream tomorrow instead.”

I did actually manage to stream some when playing Burnout Paradise with my son this past Friday, but that’s become the exception rather than the rule. (And it was cut short when my Xbox 360 power supply decided it hates life.)

Streaming is something I often want to do, but getting the motivation up to just sit down and get started has been pretty difficult for whatever reason. I suppose it’s the classic dilemma: when I do it, no one watches, so I have a hard time mustering up the desire to turn everything on and start playing.

For instance, when it launched, I played Tokyo Mirage Sessions on stream for several days straight, and (I’m serious) I never rose above one viewer from what I could tell, and anyone who started watching didn’t stick around for longer than about ten minutes. I stopped after a few days, and even stopped playing the game completely. (I never finished it.)

It then leads to a weird litany of criticizing myself, such as:

  • I’m not very good at this game; why would anyone want to watch me play it
  • This game is something I’m pretty sure only I am interested in; why would anyone want to watch me play it
  • I can’t keep anyone who drops in engaged; clearly I’m not very good at presenting what I’m doing or I’m just not an interesting personality (or the worse bit – do I talk to myself when no one is watching? not talk at all? what do I do?)
  • Is there something I’m doing wrong? Layout? Sound? Stream quality?
  • I have so much work to do and want to spend time with my family in the evening; I’m too exhausted to do this

Those of you I have spoken to in the past regarding impostor syndrome and my trouble with that over the years may notice common themes here.

I’m not sure what the key is here. Do I need a gimmick of some kind? Do I just play a bunch of stuff and not care about what happens or whether I pull in anyone at all? (My motivation for games in their current state makes even this interesting, but that’s another post.)

My annual Extra Life fundraiser stream is coming up in around a month, and I’ll be hoping to meet or beat last year’s donation total. At some point, I can’t depend on the people I work with to make all the donations like they have in the past. I’d like to have at least some people who watch otherwise and would be interested in tuning in to the marathon when I pretty much drive myself insane for a weekend to try to raise money for a good cause.

But every year, I do this with the best of intentions: I do the Extra Life stream, and I tell myself that I’m going to try to build off that, and then there’s a business trip, or something comes up in my schedule, or whatever—and I drop the combo.

Here’s a question for you – and you can answer it where/when you please – when you have something you really want to do, but have trouble getting the motivation up to do it, what do you find that helps you to do that thing?

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Leave a comment:

  1. I don’t know the answer to that last question about motivation, but I would like to talk about your Twitch popularity. Personally I think the problem is that the market is extremely saturated. People becoming popular comes down to luck but also having something that makes them stand out from everyone else.

    It also seems to me that Let’s Plays on YouTube appear to be more popular because they aren’t affected by timezone, however it’s a lot harder to get discovered there than on Twitch.

    At the end of the day, you should be playing for you. Sure, stream incase someone wants to watch, but IMO that shouldn’t be the end goal.

    • TBH I’m not worried about “popularity,” or even anything approaching partnership (I have no designs on making money from this thing) but rather even a handful of people who would occasionally watch and/or chat so I had someone to engage with. Otherwise, it’s just me playing a game with a camera on my face.