Saturday, April 13, 2024
FeaturesStreamer Spotlight

Streamer Spotlight: Moto

Until recently, Twitch didn’t have the monopoly on streaming services. The Microsoft owned Mixer channel was focused on Xbox content and had a thriving community. But when it closed down back in July, many streamers moved over to TwitchMoto is one such streamer.

As a huge Halo fan, she focuses on Xbox content and is currently building up on Twitch the community she lost on Mixer – a community that fosters positivity and inclusion. She’s also a member of the Xbox MVP programme, giving direct feedback to Microsoft on their platform.

So how do the streaming services differ? What can Twitch learn from Mixer? Read on to find out…

When and why did you start streaming?

I originally started streaming back in 2014, it was super casual. I had a podcast (and still do!) with a friend of mine that I met back in Halo 2 days and I thought it might be a good way for us to promote a charity stream we were doing. And I found out I really liked it! I’m super shy but I thought it was fun. As I moved over to Mixer [from Twitch] that’s when I started taking it more seriously. I moved over there in 2016 and that’s when I started streaming full-time.

Why move to Mixer?

Initially I moved to Mixer because at the time I was completely focused on Xbox and I thought it would be a good way for me to grow because I’d be able to find Xbox viewers more easily. My intuition was that in the future they would get an app on to the Xbox so I thought that would be a great way for me to grow. What I found out really fast was that the smaller community really was working for me, I really liked it there, I was comfortable there.

What games do you prefer to stream? 

I would say I have a variety. I tend to fall back to FPS games like Halo or Call of Duty and survival games, a lot of Minecraft. I like to do a lot of indie games, I mix them in, and action-adventure games, racing games — I pretty much play them all! 

What can people expect from your stream?

I would say I’m very positive and friendly and my streams are very random, we jump around a lot. I usually play two games per stream, sometimes three. I try to keep things moving and hopefully fun and entertaining! 

Do you worry your audience fluctuates changing games?

I found on Mixer I was able to jump around a lot easier. Here on Twitch I’m finding if I can stick to a core anchor game or genre it does help, but I’m still working on figuring that out. I’ve really been trying to find out what are my core things that I enjoy most and like to stream most. Right now that’s Halo and survival games.

How does Twitch differ from Mixer? 

Oddly enough when I was on Mixer, everything I heard [about Twitch] was that it was so toxic and trolling. I do see some of that when I’m in some of the bigger channels as a viewer. But Mixer actually was so much more filled with hate speech, it was insane. My last feature I had on Mixer was for Pride month and I think my mods had to ban over 80 people and report them for hate speech. Now it’s down to one or two a week, but obviously my viewership is smaller than it was. It feels more adult over on Twitch, that’s one thing I’m struggling with. My core audience on Mixer was younger so I tailored things to a younger audience and now I’m starting to adjust to having adults that speak in full sentences! It’s just a different vibe.

Is there anything Twitch could learn from Mixer?

Mixer provided multiple channels of communication to its Partners. Even though Mixer wasn’t able to act on everything we ask for or suggested, I did feel like I was heard. Also, as an LGBTQIA+ streamer, I felt safe and supported. When my mods reported hate speech incidents in chat, they took action on most reports within minutes to hours. If I had a feature for Pride month, Mixer provided staff to help moderate (if I wanted it). That meant a lot to have that level of support.

Do you think Twitch is more LGBT+ friendly?

I’m not sure yet. I have had positive experiences on both. I thought as an older lesbian streamer it would be really hard to get people to come to my channel and hang out with me every day and I found over on Mixer I had kids just hanging out and having a good time. Here on Twitch I’m meeting all kinds of new people every day, it’s been overall very positive. As someone who plays a lot of Halo, in the past being in Halo lobbies it was very anti-woman, anti-gay, it was just very unfriendly. And now I’m streaming I’m having hardcore Halo fans stopping in and being very positive about it so it’s been a good feeling.

How do you find being an out LGBT streamer?

It’s been great. Rewind to myself back in 2014 I was terrified to use a camera, I was terrified to stream, I was worried constantly about what’s going to happen if someone says something mean. But as I’ve grown I’ve learned to just be myself. I’ve had so many people message me in DMs saying how much I’ve helped them just by being me and doing what I do. Now that I have that confidence, it’s just been great.

On your channel you “foster a community built on positivity and inclusion” – how do you achieve that?

Anyone who stops by the channel I always try really hard to say hi, to ask them how they’re doing. I know as a viewer it can be intimidating to stop into a new channel. You might like the streamer or like what’s going on in chat but it’s really hard sometimes, at least for me, to take that first step and start typing and talking in chat. So I really try the best that I can to make them feel welcome and encourage them to join the Discord and make friends. I host a tonne of multiplayer days so they can all get in together and play. I have found by playing games together, they start building a lot of friendships. I’m super shy, but if I play a game with you it’s just so much more natural to build friendship that way.

So community is more important to you than just playing games?

I feel 100% that way. I am by no means amazing at any of the games I play. I may have a great moment, but I’m there just to have fun and meet people and hopefully brighten someone’s day, help them make a new friend. I’ve gotten messages that said I made them feel like they mattered. It’s so insane how so small a thing you can do can make such an impact on someone’s life.

You’re an Xbox MVP – what does that mean? 

So the Xbox MVP programme is an award that Microsoft does each year to different people who are in the community doing positive things, whether it’s education, community building, sometimes charity work. After you become an Xbox MVP you have the opportunity to provide a lot of feedback directly to the teams at Xbox, whether it’s on hardware, the Xbox Live service, all the services and games. They are very open to hearing from us. It’s a really good way to give feedback to the teams. I have seen suggestions and things that we’ve recommended actually happen. Sometimes it might take a year to get it in, but they really do listen.

What’s your main goal as a streamer for the future?

Right now my main goal is just learning Twitch and how to be successful there. But I’m still going with what I have been from the beginning: trying to be positive and create a nice space for people to hang out, have fun and get away from real life. Real life can be draining sometimes so I’m trying to provide a bit of an escape. Occasionally we have real talks, but for the most part we keep things positive and upbeat. Moving from Mixer it went from 175 average viewers to now a lot less so I’m trying to figure out how I grow on Twitch.

What’s the best thing about being a streamer?

I am so painfully shy, it’s been good for me to get out there and meet so many awesome people. I am so thankful for my community, the Sidecar Crew, we have such a great group of people I can’t imagine not knowing everyone. Additionally being able to have opportunities to work with Xbox more closely and giving feedback on those products. That means a lot to me as it’s a brand I’m really passionate about. 

What advice would you give to gaymers wanting to start streaming?

I always say treat it like a small business. You need to sit down and think about what kind of content you want to make, who you’re trying to reach and how you’re going to go about that. Try and set a realistic schedule. Especially as an LGBT+ content creator, having a good group of mods is so helpful. Have meetings with them, let them know what your direction is for the channel and they will help shape that culture and shield you from any sort of hate speech and trolling. 

What’s the game that got you into gaming?

My very first game was Pac-Man at the arcade, my dad was in a bowling league so he’d give me some quarters. And I found Galaga! I was playing so much Galaga. My parents bought me an Atari 2600 so I played hours and hours of Asteroids, Night Rider, just these really old games. Eventually I got into Nintendo and SEGA and all of those. But those early arcade games are what got me into gaming.

What’s your game of the year so far?

I was hoping you wouldn’t ask me! So far for me this year I have not clicked with any of the new games. If I had to pick one I would say Grounded, I really like survival games and that was a unique take on it, I’m curious to see where it goes. So far the games I’ve enjoyed most have been from previous years – I finally finished Assassins Creed: Odyssey and Life is Strange 2 and they’re probably my favourite games I’ve played this year.

To find out more about Moto, catch her streaming on her Twitch channel.

Don’t forget you can vote for your Streamer Of The Year at the Gayming Mag Awards right here!

Ed Nightingale

[He/Him] Ed is a London-based blogger and freelance writer, covering music, film, theatre, games and lifestyle. A lover of culture, he can usually be found in front of the silver screen or a laptop - if you can play it, watch it, or sing it then he’s probably got an opinion about it.