Goodbye Twitch and Thank You.
This last month was my 10-year anniversary on Twitch. Despite the lapse in time, I can still remember my first day on Twitch (Justin.tv at the time). I was watching a streamer named Swiftor play Grand Theft Auto 4 before street release date. It was awesome for me. Despite G4tv being on television, I had never seen video games be played live, with a chat alongside it. I quickly became in love with it, working my way up to becoming a mod in Swiftor’s room, helping him grow a community, and eventually becoming a streamer myself.
In terms of broadcasting, I was hooked on Justin.tv after my first stream. The broadcast itself brought in over 200 people in which everyone was talking about the Fallout 3 Brotherhood of Steel DLC. It was amazing. JTV (Justin.tv for short) became a platform where I could create something I enjoy, while also talking with like-minded people. I would stream for nearly 9 years after that first show. Broadcasting really changed who I was. It helped me figure out who I wanted or didn’t want to be as well. Life lessons were learned from this and eventually I decided to go at it with a hobby perspective and graduate university with a Computer Information Systems degree. To me, that degree was partially because of streaming. I had learned that I enjoyed computers and tech, while also enjoying the business behind it.
The stream in 2018 came a long way since that starting point. Gone are the days of 360p and using Flash Media Encoder as a streaming software tool (thank you creators of XSplit and OBS). Here, are the days of 1080p and streaming turning into people’s careers. It has been absolutely amazing to see the growth of content types and media in general. It has also been mind-blowing seeing Twitch grow to what it is. I don’t think any of the beginning Twitch streamers would have expected this.
Now, to the present. As many of you know, I stopped streaming in mid-May. In these last seven months off of Twitch I’ve had the opportunity to really analyze myself. Using the time that I would usually stream at, I focused on both the positive and negative things in my life and it yielded some surprising results. Some things I found out: When you’re a Twitch streamer, you always want to do the best for your community and the Twitch community at-large. Sometimes that means sacrificing what you really enjoy in order to grow and accomplish goals. Sometimes, that means not thinking about yourself and the others around you nearly as much as you should.
While a streamer, things had started getting quite negative for me. Whether it be health, relationships, or work-life issues, the balance was never there. My life suffered immensely as a result. I failed to grow as a person and became complacent. My mind became incredibly toxic and I felt paralyzed trying to do usual life activities. There were restless nights experiencing this and as mentioned, other parts of my life suffered deeply as a result. I could write a whole story on just the psychology of Twitch as a streamer, but that’s not for now. I will say this, I felt a massive jolt of dopamine when my stream had been fun and meeting goals. When it wasn’t, it felt like the world was ending and that I would never get out of the slump. I spent hours upon hours on stream animations, templates, game ideas only for a lot of those ideas to not really work. I became addicted trying to fix something that maybe wasn’t even broken. But how could I know when thoughts of negativity and doubt were being cast at every moment of the day? Unfortunately, that was my life with Twitch the last few years and my day-to-day life was negatively impacted severely. In short, I wasn’t the best person I could be.
Over these last six months while reflecting, I’ve seen growth as a person off Twitch. I’ve met new friends, started working out and have been learning about the human body, received a promotion at work, and have devoted hundreds of hours giving back to my community. I’ve learned empathy, compassion, and a vast amount of information on other’s minds, my own, and the human spirit. I’ve worked with a few shelters in the area to find animals their forever homes, I jumped into photography as a hobby, learned to meditate once again, worked immensely on my cooking skills, and the list goes on and on. What I don’t have are those negative behaviors and thoughts anymore that existed when I broadcasted.
I appreciate what Justin.tv and Twitch did for me, but today, I appreciate all of the new things I’m learning while not streaming. As a result, I’ve made the decision to no longer stream video games on Twitch. While this was a tough decision, I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate everything I’ve learned and everyone I’ve met throughout these years. I can’t say thank you enough. Right now, however I feel healthier, more in-tune with myself, and I feel growth in myself for the first time in a long time. I’ll be honest, I’ll miss running E3 every year, or playing games with my friends on Twitch, and our yearly Subathons and charity events, but I feel this is what is best for me.
All stories have an ending and this is mine with streaming video games. Thank you again everyone for the years of support, friendship, and fun. Be good to each other.
-Bobby “meBobbyG” Glass