Let’s Play With a Stream! …and Other Musings

It started with a pandemic.

From the pandemic came a charity stream.

From the charity stream came the idea that, maybe, this was something to continue. It seemed like a bunch of fabulous WordPress people were hanging around on Twitch, whether permanently or only during the pandemic, and it seemed fun enough. After all, I had started a Let’s Play channel on YouTube, only to abandon it because of poor time management the hours needed to edit the videos and post them, so streaming seemed like all the fun of playing and narrating through a game without the editing time.

Mass Effect
Although significantly fewer opportunities to edit in the AmbiGaming globe.

And so I dipped a toe into the whole streaming thing, running a few midnight streams before I had any followers to play with all the equipment, and otherwise learning on the fly. I had a lot of help from my friend Badgers, and was also very happy to find that Jett from In Third Person stopped by during my test streams to offer advice for my sound issues.

Fast forward a few weeks, and the charity stream was a success! Together, we raised over 700USD for Direct Relief, a charity dedicated to, well, direct relief during crises. In this instance, the crisis was COVID-19 , and they were mobilizing to get personal protective equipment to front-line medical workers during the pandemic. It was a worthy cause, and a way I could help while keeping appropriate social distancing.

direct relief

And what a fun day! With only one minor technological hiccup caused when I deviate from my plan, the day of the stream came and went with a lot of fun, laughs, and special guest appearances from MombiGaming, who even took the controller to play the opening of Dragon Age: Inquisition. She still talks about how she “killed the dragon” when it came to closing the first rift in the game.

When it came to streaming on a schedule, however, I hesitated. As some of you might know, I didn’t really have a plan when I started the blog, and was somehow able to manage the intense schedule I had given myself for a number of years before having to take a break. So my initial reaction to taking on a new video game project that involved performing on the internet for strangers was… to recoil slightly.

the horror

Don’t get me wrong: I love the interactions. One of the parts of the Let’s Plays that I liked was finally saying the game narration that happened in my head out loud, and it’s even better when there are other people reacting to the game to riff off of. It’s fun having to put aside time to play a video game.

So for now, that’s what I’m focusing on. Some folks have asked me what I’ll do “when I become affiliate,” and honestly, the answer is that I don’t know. My life and work look very different to what they will look like six months, or even a year, from now, and to make plans using information I don’t have is not generally how I like to do things.

HOLD TIGHT AND PRETEND IT'S A PLAN Poster | Jay Hinkelman | Keep ...

So for now, it’s all about the games, and all about the fun. I’m pretty pleased with the set-up I have, even though I’d like to have a little more physical space where I game, but that’s been an issue for a long time. I enjoy taking the short music breaks, and folks have been requesting songs from games that I might not have otherwise found, creating a fairly-regular singalong time in the middle of the stream. At the end of the stream, it seems like the folks in chat enjoy the sung goodbye song.

And for that, I’m glad. I might not have a DogbiGaming camera, or a way to show off all the geeky paraphernalia I have to currently keep packed away in boxes due to space issues. I may not have a green screen, or a fancy Streambox, but I like to think that TheAmbiGamer channel is one where people can come and hang out, have some fun, chat about games, and maybe make some music along the way.

Just as AmbiGaming Corner started originally for me to have a place to talk about video games in a way that was meaningful to me, and to find other people who like to think about games the same way I do, streaming is going to be a way for me to play my otherwise-solitary games with folks who like to play, too.

Have you been bitten by the streaming bug? What have your experiences been? What’s your favorite part about it? Or do you prefer your gaming to be offline? Let me know in the comments!

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