The Marmeladenoma on Twitch (screenshot used with permission).

A Twitch’s fairy tale: An 85 year old lady from Germany is warming the hearts of the gaming community

Her real name is Helga Sofie Josefa, she is 85 years old, lives in a small town in the southwest of Germany, and she may just be the oldest streamer out there on Twitch. As “Marmeladenoma”, which could be translated as “The Jam Granny”, she reads fairy tales to her viewers and tells them stories from her childhood. After one of Germany’s most famous gaming personalities gave the old lady a shout-out in his own stream, not only her viewership exploded. She also received an unexpected amount of donations from the community.

The “Marmeladenoma”, who doesn’t want to give her full real name, started streaming on Twitch half a year back. Her grandson Jannik, a 15-year old teeanger and avid Twitch user, told her to try the platform for herself. He suggested, that she could read some of the old fairy tales he used to like, when he was a child. He would take care of the technical set-up, while his grandmother just has to do the reading. “Well, let’s give it a shot”, thought the old lady, neither expecting that this experiment would last long, nor that anyone would be interested in her reading old books. As it turned out, both assumptions were wrong.

Above: The moment, Gronkh donated 250 Euro to the Marmeladenoma.

In fact, the viewers reacted nothing but positive to the new member of the streaming community. Though Twitch is best known for live gaming content, the platform has recently made some efforts, so that other creatives try it out as well. Artists may use “Twitch Creative” to broadcast their workflow live to an audience, that is interested in watching other people draw, cook or, apparently, just eat food. Under these circumstances, reading fairy tales to other people almost seems obvious.

At the age of 85, the Marmeladenoma might well be the oldest streamer on the entire platform, on which you are considered old, if you are above 30. During my research, I only found this 62 year old streamer, who comes remotely close to the age of the Marmeladenoma. During the last months the Marmeladenoma has built a small but faithful community, who likes to listen not only to old fairy tales, but to stories from her childhood, as well. When I spoke to the Marmeladenoma, she told me, that she grew up on a farm with seven brothers and sisters and lots of animals around her. Today she has children, grandchildren and grand-grandchildren on her own. Every sunday, she welcomes members of her family at her home for a traditional lunch. More than ten people gather around her table. It’s a kind of family life, many people don’t experience any more these days.

This is reflected on her Youtube-Channel, which her grandson set-up as professionally as her Twitch presence. Many users write comments about how they miss a grandparent reading stories to them. The Marmeladenoma brings back that warm, comfortable feeling, that all’s well, that ends well. In that sense, her content is not that far away from the usual gaming stuff on Twitch. She provides an escape into another universe, just like traditional computer games do.

It was a couple of days back, when the Marmeladenoma’s viewership skyrocketed from just a couple of hundred into the tens of thousand. During her usual friday stream, while she was reading the german fairy tale of “Der kleine Muck”, the german gaming and YouTube legend Gronkh paid her a visit during his own stream. Gronkh is among the Top 3 creators on Youtube in Germany with 4.3 million subscribers. His Twitch-Stream is watched by 45.000 viewers on average. When he told his fans about “the dear granny” and even gave her a donation of 250 Euros the community went crazy in the most social media kind of way. In the end, not only more than 30.000 people had watched her stream. The Marmeladenoma received 4.500 Euro donations in total.

The old lady was completely baffled by the warm support and the generosity from Gronkh and his community. Both her Twitch and YouTube-channels have grown rapidly during the last couple of days. The video, in which she thanked Gronkh for his support, has been watched more than a million times by now. Next, she wants to figure out, what to do with the money. Sadly, a travel to Tirol, something she has dreamed of for a long time, won’t be possible for health reasons. Most likely, she told me, she will use the money to buy better equipment for her stream. So, her new fans can expect to hear a lot more stories in the near future. The fairy tale of the Marmeladenoma may just have begun.

This is the english version of an article, that appeared first on my german website moritz-meyer.net.