Twitch, Senran Kagura and me
I often think that deep down I’m doing livestreaming wrong. That I should be doing what others are doing, and coming up with ways to be successful; the next big thing. Bryan told me once that he admired my perseverance, and I’m not sure whether he meant my willingness to challenge Twitch when I feel they’ve done something wrong, or the fact that I’m still going at it for this long, knowing that my modest growth wouldn’t register on the radar of someone trying to make playing video games a business. I don’t begrudge anyone their success, I want as many of my other friends who cast to “make it”, or at least feel good about doing it at all. The numbers affect you psychologically if you let them, it can be soul crushing to spend each day wondering why you’re not where you want to be. I’ve been there too.
All the while, I’ve felt that I’ve been true to myself, and that is what matters to me most. Some of you are aware of what I did a year ago, with the help of some friends and a sympathetic ally, we took on a giant over the right to play Senran Kagura Estival Versus. It was a cause I didn’t have to take up, I could have just as well left it alone since I wasn’t very invested in it at the time. But something came over me instead, maybe it was a temporary madness, or a spark that lit the fire of my soul. Just as with every other controversy I and the rest of Operation Rainfall dealt with last year, there were three groups of people who reacted differently to news of the ban. The anticensorship crowd who was quick to condemn Twitch in anger and recommended people give up on it to use Hitbox instead. The other niche and anime streamers who were mostly indifferent, but with a “oh, that sucks” vibe. And lastly, those who were glad to see it gone. I tried my best to be mindful of this, but unfortunately I let my own temper get the better of me and got into more than one heated argument with another streamer. I knew something had to be done to put this fire out before it raged out of control. Unbridled anger wouldn’t work, but a constructive, convincing argument did, as well as the timely intervention of a friendly Twitch admin. The rest is history, as they say. I still can’t believe we got them to overturn it.
Now I want to explain something to you that most people are not aware of. Twitch does in fact have a lot of closet anime fans. More than I would have ever guessed. The popular perception is that they don’t take kindly to it and that’s why this game got targeted for removal as well as Yandere Sim. I’m not convinced that’s the case, many -actual- visual novels (which we established Estival Versus is not) have been allowed to be streamed without issue, with the exception of the Sakura games. I’m still not happy Yandere Dev’s game was banned without reason or discussion on how it can be resolved, but I’ve slowly come to accept that I’ll always have differences with Twitch on some of the calls they make, and that it’s a lot harder to pack it up and leave or give up streaming than people realize. Unless you’ve done it yourself and built a community, even a small bunch of regulars you could call friends, someone unfamiliar with Twitch wouldn’t know what a sacrifice that would be to throw it away.
People give me shit sometimes over my tastes in games and love for anime culture, but I’m lucky that most of it is in jest. Whereas others are more subtle about it, I choose to let my freak flag fly. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. You may call me the devil himself, but I will never stop defending the things I love until I am gone for good. I’m a stubborn tsundere bastard, but I do in fact have a heart and I believe I went through what I did so that other people could enjoy sharing this game on Twitch and be happy. We’ve come full circle today, and I got to see that happiness spread all over, and my heart filled with overwhelming joy. That’s what made it all worthwhile. To see XSEED Games be able to share their enthusiasm for this great, fun video game on their own channel without having to fear reprisal. I feel I can rest easy now, no matter what may come next.
So have fun for me. I’ll be right here with you. Here’s to another year of the best Japanese gaming has to offer.