Two years ago almost to the day I dabbled with livestreaming videogames on Twitch with my late nephew, Michael. Livestreaming was one of his ambitions that we were desperately attempting to fulfil in the time he had available. It was a brief, bittersweet streaming experiment which might have been fun in different circumstances.
Since then, and until very recently, my Twitch account has been purely the window through which I’ve been watching the ongoing evolution of my favourite games, particularly Elite Dangerous.
In the past, I was always a little bewildered by the livestreaming phenomenon – why watch someone play a game rather than take part yourself?
However, I am now very much a convert, especially in the last few months as I’ve struggled with long covid symptoms which often make actively playing a game quite unpleasant. Watching a knowledgeable, entertaining and personable streamer has become the next best thing.
For me, the charm of joining one of these content creators on their mission/adventure/folly evokes the early days of 8 and 16-bit computing when hot-seating with childhood friends to beat our favourite games was the height of our teenage social lives.
It’s noteworthy that the shoestring budget bedroom gamer aesthetic that is prevalent among many streamers (if we disregard the recent hot-tub meta found in some weirder corners of the Twitch-verse) can conceal a craft very much worthy of respect. In my limited experience, just playing a videogame – especially one like Elite Dangerous – takes most of my cerebral horsepower. To simultaneously hold court for your viewing audience with entertaining and engaging banter AND manage the technical aspects of the livestream production is quite the one-man-band feat.
In the Elite Dangerous streaming space alone there are so many talented streamers to cater for a breadth of viewing tastes. I’ve yet to discover them all, but I seem to be collecting them like Pokemon on my Twitch account.
It is with some trepidation then that I’ve decided to attempt to emulate this vaunted pantheon of content creators on my Freebooted Twitch channel. I have yet to pin down a regular schedule or a style and I doubt I’ll be as charming, witty or talented as the current luminaries, but I’ll do my best to learn from them.
I’m considering soft launching my Elite Dangerous: Odyssey content tomorrow afternoon (22nd May 2021) with a commemorative expedition from the Amber system to the Pencil Sector, as it’s the second anniversary of Michael’s death (don’t panic, I’ll keep it light, mostly). I’ll tweet details on @Freebooted once I’ve negotiated with the missus.
Please do pop in and say hi, offer advice, or heckle. I’m fairly certain I won’t know what I’m doing and will be grateful for the feedback, or at least your reinforcement of the illusion that I’m not talking to myself.