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‘Twitch Therapy’- 3 Reasons Why I would Recommend Game Streaming

MariaNicolette
MariaNicolette Member Posts: 25 Connected
edited September 22 in Coffee lounge

Thank you to @MariaNicolette for this fantastic guest blog all about streaming video games during the pandemic. You can follow Maria on Twitch by following this link, and on Twitter at vespora 

‘Twitch Therapy’- 3 Reasons Why I would Recommend Game Streaming

During the pandemic I craved two things: my hobbies and human interaction. I came to the realisation that a pandemic-induced boom in online solutions triggered by the need for people to engage and interact had changed the dynamics of how we explore our hobbies and interests as a society. For gamers – from the fully fledged gamer geeks to the gaming hobbyists like myself – Twitch came to the rescue.

Prior to the pandemic, like everyone else, I enjoyed several hobbies. From gaming to socialising, attending events and networking, volunteering and enjoying art and culture, dressing up for comic cons, or going shopping as a fashion fanatic, even attending music festivals and exploring places in the UK and abroad while travelling. Then all of a sudden, like some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare the whole world was thrust into isolation.

Though I am one of the lucky few with a family surrounding me during the lockdown, I found myself spiralling into depression from the sheer lack of entertainment and social interaction. This became a common occurrence for most households; in June 2020 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that ‘almost one in five adults (19.2%) were likely to be experiencing some form of depression, indicated by moderate to severe depressive symptoms, during the coronavirus pandemic’. It is little surprise then that as humans we find solutions towards fulfilling that void in life to overcome isolation-induced depression. Entertainment and social interaction is core to our being and so we sought out virtual means for social interaction and created a mass movement: Twitch Streaming.

Technology became a larger part of my life during the pandemic. From online food deliveries soaring to video-calling friends and family across the globe telling them that I love them and miss them. While experiencing real-life has no direct alternative, as humans we become resourceful in the face of adversity and in an effort to practice resilience we find options to engage with the world outside the four walls of our homes. As a gamer, like millions of others across the globe, I turned to Twitch – and the statistics are staggering, ‘according to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg, the live-streaming sector grew a full 45 percent between March and April (2020); year over year, the industry is up by 99 percent. Which is truly impressive — those gains are directly attributable to the novel coronavirus.’

image of a young woman wearing a gaming headset, Maria

Reason 1: Gaming Regularly and Good Habit Building

Part of the idea around Twitch is to set up a regular timetable for your gaming sessions. This is so that followers/viewers who are interested in attending your live gaming session know when exactly to expect to find you online. They can be aware of your session, and if they especially enjoy watching your games and interacting with you, then you can make sure not to let your visitors down by being vigilant with a timetable. Not only this, I find that having a regular timetable for myself, makes me commit to my gaming as a hobbyist, rather than being a gaming fanatic that plays every single day. With my timetable I am able to make time for both my daily responsibilities, my requirements around my disability, and my gaming hobby.

Reason 2: Social Interaction and Gamer Community

It can be an incredibly scary thought to interact socially on Twitch. For example, I get visibly tired quickly and have to work my sessions around my disability. However, the world of Twitch in my experience has been a wonderful environment where people come to enjoy my channel and don’t concentrate on my disability. They are kind and spur me on! It is my gaming they are interested in and my followers want to interact with me. I have been added to several Discord channels as an extension of my twitch gaming and it is such a great way to connect socially with other gamers. It is a fantastic opportunity to say hello to people, to introduce yourself, to interact with people and tell them ‘hey, I will be on at 6pm on Thursday, come along!’. Gamers support gamers and you will be able to experience the joy of how supportive gamers are.

Reason 3: Therapy and Wellbeing with Gaming

My lifelong health condition is a source of stress for me, although I have learnt to live with it. I find that hobbies bring joy and relaxation to my life; gaming and game streaming especially offer a therapy to me that goes beyond just a hobby. I game for fun and I have found that gaming transports me to fantasy worlds I could only imagine. I love fantasy fiction, intricate digital design and art – all these wonderful creative aspects come together in the virtual environments of gaming. I feel elated and this in turn energises me. By the end of a gaming session I feel my endorphins rising and this helps me feel less tired.

Furthermore, I am a social butterfly, so when I stream my gaming and spend time chatting to my followers, narrating my gameplay, I find myself overcome with energy. I love attending events, networking and engaging with people since my day-job is in PR and Communications. So, I find the combination of gaming and streaming an essential therapy that feeds my body and mind, as a result revitalising and calming me to the point that I can deal with anything in life. Gaming therapy is a thing!


Thanks again to Maria!

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Comments

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,590 Disability Gamechanger
    This was interesting to read, thank you for sharing it.

    I’m really surprised about how supportive you find gamers are. I find the opposite - many are abusive and negative. Maybe I am just playing the wrong games?

    That said, I do find people can be supportive if you get to know them, but at first people are very “cold” and unwilling to interact if that makes sense.

    Your point about playing regularly is a good one as I often find I am too tired when I get a chance to play a game to actually play it properly so maybe having some structure to it would improve things.

    I don’t think anyone would want to watch me playing a game except for comedy value :D I am really bad at them :D but I do enjoy them which is the whole point I guess. :)
  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    What an interesting post. 

    I used to be into gaming from the Commodore 64, right the way through to the PlayStation 3. I guess you could call me a retro gamer. How Technology changes eh.

    Unfortuately, for me, there came a time where I started to struggle and eventually, stopped due to my visual impairment. I found that the majority, if not all of the PS3 titles I liked, all the instructions were on-screen based. Which I found a struggle.

    Are there any games or gaming communities available on Twitch for  the  visually impaired?

    Thanks,
    CSno01 
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 4,971

    Scope community team

    Hi @csno01

    The only blind streamer I know of is Superblindman, their channel can be found here.

    Have you tried The Last Of Us Part II?
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  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Thank you @Ross_scope. I will take a look.
    I haven’t played any of the last of us games although I am familiar with the franchise. It looks really good. Is there a channel available on the network dedicated to the game? 
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 4,971

    Scope community team

    The reason I mention it @csno01 is that it is the most accessible game ever made. I am severely sight impaired and normally require help from others to successfully play new games, however with TLOU P2 I was able to pick up and play without issue. It's brilliant. 

    If you do a search on YouTube for "The Last Of Us Part 2 accessibility" you will see what I mean :) 
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  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Hi @Ross_Scope _scope, 
    I will take a look. Thank you very much for the suggestion. :-)
  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    I have done a bit of research with regards to  game streaming and I have found the following link:


    With this being a new thing to me I didn’t realise there was so many services available. I am a Mac user and was wondering which ones would be compatible with Mac? 

    Thank  you. 
  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    csno01 said:
    Hi @Ross_Scope _scope, 
    I will take a look. Thank you very much for the suggestion. :-)
    With regards to the above Ross, does twitch TV allow you to play the games or just interact with other Players?

    Thank you
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 4,971

    Scope community team

    csno01 said:
    I have done a bit of research with regards to  game streaming and I have found the following link:


    With this being a new thing to me I didn’t realise there was so many services available. I am a Mac user and was wondering which ones would be compatible with Mac? 

    Thank  you. 
    Those services there are for playing games, you stream them through the internet like you would a movie on Netflix. For some, like PlayStation Now, you need to have a PlayStation to use the service, whereas others like Google Stadia you can use through the Chrome browser.

    Services like Twitch are for broadcasting yourself playing the games you have so that others can watch and in answer to your other question yes you can interact with others on Twitch, those who are watching your stream.
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  • Caranora
    Caranora Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I'm an online gamer and it's kept me sane during Covid, I don't twitch because of my asthma and breathing problems, but I do have a successful YouTube channel, I have found the gaming community mostly very supportive
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 4,971

    Scope community team

    Thanks for sharing @Caranora


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  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,486 Disability Gamechanger
    And then they went and lost all your data. One of the most serious data breaches in history. 

    https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/6/22712365/twitch-data-leak-breach-security-confirmation-comments
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 4,971

    Scope community team

    Just going to share this here in case there is anybody interested :) 

    Power Up and Play is Scope’s new fundraising event, built for streamers and gamers alike. 

    Designed in collaboration with disabled gamers, Power Up and Play shines a light on the importance of accessibility and the power of inclusion.

    Whether you play to beat your best score, to relax or to share your unique experience of gaming, there’s an activity or challenge for you.

    Watch the trailer for Power Up and Play below, and visit this page for further information and details of how you can get involved.



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