I’ve streamed hundreds of hours of video gaming on my Youtube channel, and I’ve noticed that viewers fall into a few basic categories.
Good – These are the best! They are viewers who “like,” subscribe, and sometimes even pledge money on Patreon. They might be Lurkers who quietly enjoy the content, or they might be active participants who ask relevant questions, give helpful suggestions, offer friendly banter during live chat, and leave supportive comments on my videos. I love and appreciate them all.
Bad – Viewers who detract from the overall experience, but are easy to deal with and only mildly annoying. They tend to be one of the following sub-types:
- Me Monster – I love hearing about my viewers but the Me Monster takes it way too far. They seek therapy, job advice, homework help, or an audience for political soapboxes, dominating the chat room and making other viewers uncomfortable.
- Mod Maniac – Talks about nothing but mods and asks about mods until I finally give my “Why I Don’t Use Mods” spiel, then they vanish.
- Self-promoter – Viewers who only talk about their own channel and ask for subscribers. I understand the desire to build an audience, but promoting yourself during someone else’s livestream — uninvited — is uncool.
Ugly – Youtube has tools for moderating inappropriate comments and blocking unwelcome visitors, so other viewers may not even realize these abusive folks exist. But, trust me, they do. If I seem to be distracted during a livestream, it’s probably because I’m fending off some jerk using multiple accounts to harass me in the chat room.
- Hater – Jumps into the chat room with “you suck,” “this game sucks,” and other negative garbage.
- Misogynist – A variation of the Hater but opens with such gems as “suck my dick” in the chat room. They often repeat “bitch,” “cunt” or “slut” over and over again.
- Splainer – Isn’t as obvious as a Hater or a Misogynist, because the seem nice enough at first. But there’s an undertone of bullying or condescension to their “helpful” comments, and they will often try to dominate the chat room like a Me Monster. Splainers join a livestream titled something like “Skyrim episode 92” to explain how the game is played (despite the fact that I’ve obviously been playing for at least 92 livestreams); tell me what weapons and armor I should use while totally ignoring my build, play style, difficulty level and/or the needs of the current mission; and give spoilers, such as discussing rare artifacts or plot twists, which 999 times out of 1000 I’ve already collected or experienced anyway.
If you’re just getting started or considering livestreaming, try not to be discouraged. Fortunately, the Good far outnumber the Bad and the Ugly.
~ J.L. Hilton
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