Day Two Day Two Day Two. The following bit is a snapshot of my mental state/motivations. Skip to the picture of Nessie if you want the more gaming businessy side.
Another reason I’m hoping to keep up with this blog (NOT GREAT odds) is because I think the huge decision tree I’m climbing is crazy interesting. And I’m sure over the next decade there are going to be plenty of young women and men who are going to try this very same climb, and maybe something about my battered body lying broken on an upwards branch could help them avoid some particularly tricky section.
Focus, focus, focus, offer concrete examples to illustrate your point.
Here’s a concrete example to illustrate my point. The highest societal accolade I’ve ever received was a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, and I think it says something about that degree that I’m not sure whether or not “bachelor’s” should be lowercase and “Philosophy” uppercase. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I could google the answer no problem, I’m just saying it says something interesting about the state of our education system, when I see Monty Python sketches where they’re quoting off Latin like dictionaries, and they learned that shit in grade school, and well it’s just a really dramatic shift in a really short period of time and what does that mean the future will even look like?!
I was saying that I’m an avid video gamer, which I think is the most important thing, and otherwise reasonably well equipped to handle the level of challenge I think this career will entail, but there are so many possible ways to start this thing that I almost don’t know where to begin. There are so many appealing avenues, so many unknown factors, that trying to pick a path, let alone the right path, the narrow path to success, seems impossible.
For instance, it seems pretty obvious that I need to have a Twitch/Twitter/youTube presence, but I have no idea how to approach even one of those platforms, let alone all of them. Do I focus on building a streaming community through Twitch, and spend whatever time I have left compiling highlight videos on Youtube? Or do I spend substantially less time on Twitch for now, and focus more on producing a few quality videos to get people interested? OR do I try and partner with an already established channel, giving up autonomy for access to a much much larger audience than I’d be able to attract alone. Which of those three options, not to say anything about the fifty other possible sub-paths, is the best?
Before I really realized what I was doing all of this for, that seemed like an impossible question. Now, with a general direction to point myself towards, I can at least rule out some possibilities, and start favoring some others. Based on where I know I want to end up, I know there are some things I definitely want to avoid, and some things I definitely want to embrace. So my first tip (if this all works out)/warning (if this doesn’t) is:
- Figure out why you’re in this.
This is a pretty obvious first step to life in general I think, but it’s even more necessary when trying to pursue a dream job, and even more necessary when that dream job has no immediate prospects for actual monetary compensation…
If my main goal was to make a boatload of money, or even a Tonka truckload of money, I would not be going about this in anything close to the way I am. I’ve talked to a good number of people who have voiced very valid doubts about jumping my sturdy-ship life, and I completely agree with everything I’ve heard from them: I am taking a big risk economically speaking. But if I remember my Sesame Street, economics is all about what you value. If Cookie Monster values a cookie more than he values getting some booty, then any economist will tell him to stay home on Friday night baking cookies for himself, instead of hitting up the bars. That is totally an ok life choice, for Cookie Monster, or any of us, no judgement.
But my main goal is neither as much money as possible, nor cookies, nor booty (I mean I’ll take all three though come on now). What I’m focused on for the moment is building a career that I can do everyday and be happy about it. I want to structure my life in such a way that I work every single minute of every single hour of every single day and be excited about it. I want a career where I can play video games as research, and not enjoy them one bit less. I want to work with people I like on things I like, building towards a world that all of us agree would be better than the one we have. That’s the dream, that’s the goal, that’s the wish.
So, how to make something that cotton candy impossible a little more solid.
First thing is to figure out how I can become a popular (or at least, financially sustainable) ESPORTS personality, without coming to hate myself. If, for instance, I ever find myself reading teleprompted ear vomit next to a country star, I think I would hate myself in that moment. And probably for lots of moments later that night, in what I imagine would be a very lonely and cold hotel room bed.
If I were to ever find myself saying “Your business is our first and only concern,” I think I would hate myself.
If I ever tweeted #_______ in some kind of corporate sponsorship deal, I think I would hate myself.
If I ever had to give up on my dream to accommodate my job, I think I would hate myself.
Based on that short list, I’d say I’m looking to build an ESPORTS career based firstly and mostly on who I am and how I view that world, a career that is independent of corporate sponsorship. That means viewer supported, and that means sacrificing potential money in pursuit of something more…pure?
I don’t know, and that kind of stuff is a long way off anyway, so let’s get down to the specifics of how I’m starting out and why.
As mentioned, I’m
attacking the digital world approaching this primarily through three channels; Twitter, Twitch, and youTube. Since I’m hoping to engage an audience that wants wacky/outlandish content, I’m going to be focusing on churning out shorter (2-5 mins) videos with solid premises and unique execution. I lack any real video/graphical editing skills, so I’m going to try and incorporate that lack of skill as part of my “style.”
Since gathering an audience quickly, but authentically (no view bots, unfunny gimmicks, pandering, etc.) is a strong priority, I’ll also be reaching out to already existent channels that are building towards this same goal. I won’t be trying to join any of the major organizations, as I’m probably not qualified for a real paying job with any of the big players (Blizzard, Valve, ESL, Riot). But that’s alright because the amount of control I’d lose in a big company is probably too much to consider, even for the short term. So buck the fig companies too.
That means what I should be doing today is:
- Finish setting up Twitch channel (panel graphics, overlays)
- Start editing a potential demo video for any youtube channels I’ll be interested in
- I’ll talk about this more in a follow up post
- Do some reddit/twitch stuff
- follow up about potential tournaments
- try to stream a couple hours
- watch TI5, for research
It looks easy, and it will be, because I’ll be having fun the whole time. Or at least, working towards the point where I can have fun all the time. Working towards a future where we all can have fun, all the time.
hehe haha hoho ohno