During most of my time in high school, I had to quit playing video games so that not only could I attain the grades that I wanted but also narrowly balance all the extracurriculars that I piled on top of me.

There was always quite a lot on my plate.

Chorus

Band

Yearbook

Student Council

Swim Team

Honors Program

AP Classes

Fandom Club

Acting and Designing Sets

Dance

There just did not seem to be enough time in the world to actually play my favorite games and have a sense of community as I found new ones to play. Actually playing the games seemed to be the problem, as in any game that I would play there was a certain commitment surrounding it. In League of Legends, games could last anywhere from twenty minutes to hours long, not to mention if I left I would be leaving behind a team of four disappointed players, likely my friends.

This was when I found the online world of streaming and watching people play games. It was just less of a commitment to me, as I could easily turn it off when needed or even listen to it in the background as I did more important endeavors. One of the platforms I have become highly familiar over the course of this pandemic has been Twitch. It is a streaming hub where you can watch almost any game at any time being able to interact through chat and use cute lil emotes.

To be honest, it sounds a little lame when I try to put it into words, but trust me it has saved my life and filled me with entertainment for years now.

I was eventually able to find a community within twitch, people that inspire me everyday. They come from so many different backgrounds, having different majors and jobs. Although the time zones seem daunting, I am great friends with people from all of the world including Australia, Pakistan, the UK, Denmark, Canada, etc.

They were one of the main reasons why I have become so confident in my major switch from Theatre to Art, as they have supported me in making a small business out of creating emotes. My friends have supported me as I improve my little doodles that I make with only my computer and a mouse.

Through my interest in Twitch, I have been able to fill this hole that was inside me when I first started quarantine. Making things for people and seeing them so excited to use them has brought me endless joy. Not only am I able to watch the video games that I don’t always have the time to play, but I am able to improve my art practice and meet new people through my passion for games and sharing a laugh.