All of these streamers have fun making their streams not only them but unique from the rest. This next streamer has a cute kitty that says hello when you come in, a voice changer, and a personalized skeleton that he can be on-screen that has fire erupting from it from time to time and color changing eyes. The voice changers are always a crack up and makes watching his stream that more fun.
- What is your Twitch name? Skullstream
- Is there a special reason you chose that name? Death reminds us to live, and the concept has a kind of freeing power about it. It evokes questions like “What’s really important?”, “Do I have regrets?”, and “If I were gone tomorrow, what would people remember about me?” I guess the irony of my name and my stream, is that I want it to be a place where I’m living in a way where I would have no regrets, and to hopefully remind others to try and do the same. Death has also been kind of a theme in my life, strange as that sounds. My earliest memory was of being at my Uncle’s funeral and not really understanding what was happening. I can remember the smell, the panicky feeling, and the somber countenances on my family’s faces. Realizing not everyone I knew was going to be around forever really stuck with me as a kid, and the concept was hammered home as I lost my Uncle, Grandfather, Mom, and almost my brother all before I was 17 (I’m 30 now). Because of it, I really don’t have a tolerance for things that aren’t important to me or the people I love, and do my best to do things that have meaning and carry weight. But that doesn’t mean those things can’t also be fun! Most worthwhile things should be fun.
- Why did you become a Twitch Streamer? I had no friends! (kidding) I went into the accounting field which is kind of a pseudo-nerd occupation where employees are ashamed to admit participation in activities outside of watching sports, playing golf, or traveling (none of which I’m fond of). That put the kibosh on meeting new gamer buddies in real life going forward. My family, except for Lady Skull, always treated video games as a fad, or a kid’s hobby. I never had support for my favorite activity, or support for anything that wasn’t school or work related for that matter. To compound that, my close friends (most of over 15 years) over time have become busy with their careers, kids, and home ownership. That doesn’t lend as much time to gaming like we used to. Just the nature of growing older I guess. But, Twitch tho! On Twitch I get to act like king of the nerds and meet people like myself. I love it. It excites me. The people I meet have been so cool – streamers and viewers alike. There’s this sense of hope and camaraderie among the Twitch community that anything is possible, and no matter your situation you should follow your own path. Even in my own circle (a place I call the Oxymorons Discord), I’m not the oldest, youngest, or nerdiest. I’m right where I need to be, where I’m most wanted, surrounded by people who have a mindset that I respect. I love that.
- Why did you choose to stream for Twitch? I used http://Justin.tv for years prior to its rebranding into Twitch. Among the platforms, it has always had the greatest variety of content and streamers. The thing that really hooked me in though was very anecdotal: ManVsGame. His show really broke new ground for professionalism and production quality. I still consider his show the bar to measure oneself against as a streamer, and I still enjoy watching him and Day9tv – one of the other noteworthy pioneers on the Starcraft scene.
- How long have you been a streamer? I opened my account 4/27/12, started dabbling in streaming in October 2014 on and off, and then really threw myself into it in May of 2016. At May 2016 I had 30 followers, using a single i7-2600K and a shitty mic. Since then… well… things have evolved, haha. I now run a dual-PC setup, using a custom face-rigged skeleton model, and just reached 1200 followers. It’s no fairy tale story. Buried in there is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears as I learned how to make my stream what I would consider a “success”, or at least a somewhat cool place to hang out. Many of those lessons were hard learned, but I’m in it for the long haul. People depend on me now and stuff! (Boy, that feels weird to say)
- Do you only stream or do you have another job? If you are comfortable in telling my readers, what is your other job? If only! My work/ commute/sleep schedule leaves me with approx. 60 hours per week to allocate. About half of that (30 hours) is spent streaming, supporting my friends who stream, doing stream research, or improving my viewers’ experience. The other half is spent doing IRL stuff, and stock trading research. I am planning to allocate more of my time to trading in the near future which should also allow more availability to stream. I don’t do it for the money. I’m so far in the financial hole streaming-wise that there’s no unearthing myself, and I’ve given far more than anyone would ever expect to receive. I stream to do it, because I enjoy it, and because it makes me happy. I give and advise because spreading my good fortune around is the right thing to do for my friends, and that makes me happy too.
- What are your favorite games to play? Metal Gear, The Witcher, and fighting games have always been my favorites, but I’m kind of a jack of all trades, master of none (though I was ranked 62 in the world in Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance at one point, and achieved Rank 1 in Heroes of the Storm on three different accounts during its beta period). I’m competitive by nature, even with myself. I’m always looking to push forward and improve. It’s why Dragonball Z is one of the core visuals of the Skullstream experience. I relax through gaming but my brain never really goes “slack”.
- What are your favorite games to stream? Metal Gear 5 was awesome. It had the right balance of structured gameplay for me to sink my teeth into, but it’s also open-ended enough to generate some unique moments. I threw a small child at a guard once to avoid detection. Okay maybe more than once. I went apeshit on some guards who kicked my dog. I narrated a conversation between my female Snake and Quiet where femSnake said Quiet should go find a real bra. I could go on…
- Do you have any games that you would like to recommend to my readers to play and why? Any of the series in the prior two questions, but some games I would recommend that people might have missed are Fran Bow, Detention, Dead or Alive, Life is Strange, Bloodborne, SOMA, Undertale, Shadow of the Colossus, Persona 5, and Zone of the Enders.
- Was it hard to talk to your viewers when you first became a streamer? How long before you became at ease with streaming? It’s still challenging! I’m an introvert (INTJ)! I’m an accountant! Small talk does not come naturally to me! Even after a year of pretty intensive streaming I still wonder if I’m being entertaining to viewers. Honestly it’s that thought process that has held back my personal growth and that of the stream more than anything. At the end of the day I logically know it doesn’t matter as long as I’m having fun, but I also want to provide an entertaining experience. The less I care, though, the better a time everyone has.
- Would you like to tell my readers anything else about yourself or your channel on Twitch? Two things: 1. I have an open door policy. I respond to all whispers and all messages on any medium I receive them on without exception. That’s how I responded to this interview, in fact! If you have questions, want to bounce an idea, just want to shoot the shit I’m on Twitter, Twitch, and Discord under Skullstream. I love talking about all things streaming and gaming. Hell, if you have accounting questions or trade ideas I’m game. 2. If a closely knit group of adult gamers who give a shit about people sounds like the kind of thing you’d want to check out, the Oxymorons discord is the place to go. Our oldest member is 54 years old and our average age is somewhere in the 23-30 range. Many of us have kids, and all of us have real responsibilities. It’s not a Discord self-promotion pool (none allowed unless approved by all the admins) and is a true community of friends. We also have channels for user-made art (some of our users are AMAZINGLY talented professional artists), food porn, gaming news, and media posting.
Want to go see the kitty that says hi to you or see the really cool skeleton glow, or maybe hear Skull use his voice changers. Or even better just hang out with a really cool guy, then you can catch him at is channel twitch.tv/skullstream.
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