[Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on our sister-site PlaystationEnthusiast.com]
Gaming culture is an ever-evolving space. How gamers communicate and reach out to one another has changed from perhaps hushed corners and Magic gatherings to now popular live-streams of the Dota Championships that were watched by over 20 million viewers. As this culture expands its outreach and adapts to various mediums, so too has the audience changed.
In particular, game streams and Youtube content have become a strong pillar in the gaming infrastructure. “Let’s Play” videos, walkthroughs, and podcast discussions have played a major role in the building of that pillar. Personalities began to emerge from those videos and fans began to flock around certain channels and people, excited by watching and listening to the opinions of their favorite personalities.
Youtube videos and Twitch streaming became an integral part of how gamers interacted with each other and with developers. Twitch streamers became near and real celebrities who are now able to make a living playing games online for people to watch and listen to.
Enter Boogie2988. Known for his intensely personal vlogging series, his hilarious outtakes videos with the caricature Francis, and his ever present personality, he has created something special. On Twitch, Boogie has over 200,000 followers while on Youtube, Boogie commands over 2.6 million subscribers at the time of this writing. He has created something special.
With both Playstation 4 and Xbox One now having integrated apps supporting Youtube and Twitch content, it made sense to reach out and discover what one of the most successful streamers think of games streaming, the new console generation, and what might be to come. Here is my interview with the remarkable Boogie2988.
Luke Lohr: For those that don’t know or haven’t seen your content online, what is it that you do? How long have you been using video games to make a living?
Boogie: “I create short videos on Youtube with a variety of topics and types. I do sketches, gaming news, and personal Vlogs. I have been doing it for about 7 years and it has been my primary source of income for the last 4! For the last 2 years I have been streaming video games for Twitch as an additional part time job. It has been fantastic!”
LL: In your time as a streamer, how has that culture (gaming or otherwise) changed and grown?
Boogie: “In the past 2 years I’ve seen the number of Twitch users grow. Just not people watching, but the number of people streaming. We’ve seen dozens of games become popular and we’ve seen games either being made famous or famously panned because of Twitch.”
LL: From what you’ve seen, has the PC community influenced the console one or vice versa in terms of streaming being a viable source of entertainment?
Boogie: “I think the majority of streamers stream from PC or use PC’s to do their streaming. The current generation of consoles have the capacity to stream but they don’t allow the control that PC software and setups allow you to enjoy; Stuff like using green screens, pop ups, overlays and the like.”
LL: The launch of the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One were both ripe with talking points, but one of them was the integrations of technologies that lent themselves towards the streaming community. Things like content sharing, Twitch, and perhaps Youtube’s gaming initiative are more prevalent than ever. How does this change your perception of the consoles and what thoughts come with that?
Boogie: “I think the consoles are an attempt to be ‘one in all’ machines similar to PC’s. I think they have a lot of catching up to do, however. It was an especially poor choice of hardware for what they wanted them to do. However, as an ‘entry level’ project to streaming they’re fantastic. Many people using consoles get very large audiences and this can awaken their choice to become partners with Twitch. Some will stay on consoles, some will move to PC to do new things. Both are awesome, though!”
LL: Your alternate persona, Francis… He’s funny, he’s dumb, he’s smart.. How much of that is Boogie and how much is just for fun?
Boogie: “Francis has always been a part of myself. All of that anger and rage that is built up inside me comes out with Francis. But Francis is also a parody of other gamers and the outrage culture we display. Sometimes it can be something as simple as a resolution and we lose our collective minds. Francis is always there to get across that point, but also mock gamers for being so angry all the time.”
LL: Do you think that streaming culture and Youtube has changed the way developers are creating games? Particularly in knowing that players like yourself might bring attention to things?
Boogie: “I absolutely guarantee that developers keep both Youtube and Twitch in mind. This can be simple things like designing a game that will be fun to watch or stream, to contacting streamers and youtubers directly and trying to ask or even pay them directly to play their games. Because of how cliquish [the] gaming press can be, many developers have chosen to go directly to streamers and Youtubers and this has been very wise of them to do so. Five Nights at Freddy’s is a perfect example of a game that was made famous by a Youtuber.”
LL: How powerful is the Youtube/streaming community on the gaming community as a whole? On consoles versus PC?
Boogie: “I think more people listen to Youtubers and streamers than any other source these days. I think Youtubers getting millions of views and streamers getting tens of thousands of viewers at once… the power these creators wield is incredible. I think they are able to introduce new games and new concepts to all kinds of new people and since their audience trusts them, they are able to share games in an amazing way. I think this is even true for the console services. Their exclusives can get a real push by people streaming those games!”
LL: Are there any games that you would consider great, but that your audience doesn’t enjoy you streaming?
Boogie: “Quite a few! I love Hearthstone, but it doesn’t connect with my audience. Magic Online is another very niche product. But they prefer to watch games in which I interact and troll other people, like H1Z1.”
LL: Now for some fun questions. What’s your favorite game to come out in 2015 [so far]? Any earlier candidates for game of the year? Worst?
Boogie: “So far my favorite game of 2015 was The Witcher 3. Just an incredible value at a fair price, but the game itself is one of a kind. You really don’t see RPG’s like that anymore and I’m very glad the team at CD PROJEKT RED got it right. Worst game of 2015 so far has to be Evolve. Its not so much that the game was terrible, its a really good concept and it was fun. It just needed way more content than it released with. But if this is the worst game of 2015, then 2015 has been a very good year!”
LL: What is Francis’ favorite game? Least favorite?
Boogie: “I don’t know if we’ve ever written that. I would imagine the games would be the same; Candy Crush. Dude hates that game but if you watch my videos you know he’s spent quite a lot on it.”
LL: Lastly, do you have any advice for Twitch and Youtube hopefuls?
Boogie: “Stick with it. Most streamers and Youtubers will not see money or fame in their first few years. But if you’re passionate about it and stick it out, there’s a real chance you could be in the millions one day.”
Stick with it. Good advice for a variety of situations life may throw at us. Those words are the embodiment of Boogie’s attitude regarding his own success. In countless videos he can be seen giving words of encouragement to his followers about life, gaming, or struggles they may be facing.
In a statement of personal honesty, I can tell you that I join many in looking forward to the opening of Boogie’s vlogging series: “What’s up ladies and gentlemen of Youtube? Boogie2988 coming at you live through the power of the internet.”
It reminds me of a number of things: that I should stay positive in frustrating times, that I have people who enjoy the same culture as I do, or simply that my enjoyment in games is one not to be ashamed of.
Streaming has created an entirely new aspect to the culture of video games and it is one that is likely here to stay. Whether you know Boogie’s content or another popular streamer, it’s quite possible they’ve had an influence on the games you will play in the upcoming days, months, or years. If you’re a creator, writer, gamer, or simply a reader passing by I’ll echo Boogie’s advice and just say this: stick with it.