2022 Recap & A Happy New Year
Happy New Year’s!
Man, 2022 flew by and a lot’s happened within that time. Most important of all, I’ve lost a lot of money ;-;
2022 started off pretty well for me. I got to be awake and celebrate New Year’s with my 日本人 (Japanese) friends at 8 in the morning New Year’s Eve, followed by having Charcuterie. I don’t remember much of the following months, as I was mostly just working to save up money to buy a house that I was having built. Fast forward to April and I finally signed the papers started to move in to my own house!
Though I was not as happy as you might expect me to be.
While having one’s own home and moving out is a dream for many people, finally doing so was extremely depressing for me. This was the first time I was living on my own. I had never lived in a dorm or in an apartment, up until this point I had always just lived with my parents. My parents told me that if I needed to, I could sleep back at home1 (their house). After I was finally able to move in, I needed to setup my computer and make sure it worked in order for me to work the very next day. I did this shortly after my parents left and I was officially alone for the first time. I powered on through making sure that my computer was hooked up and could be powered on, and then…
I felt alone
I had just setup my computer and made sure it was working, and the next thing I needed to do was to go to sleep. An impossible task at the time, as the feelings of loneliness and abandonment grasped my heart. It was at this point in time that I remembered my mother’s words about heading home1 to shower and rest for the night. With her words in mind, I began my journey home and, well…
For pretty much the entire drive home, I was crying. The feeling of being alone and abandoned was too great. I knew that I wasn’t being abandoned by my parents. I knew that I was moving out on my own accord. But I still felt like I was being abandoned. I spent the next week taking a shower and sleeping at my parents house, then commuting to my house for work (I have a “work from home” job). Throughout the rest of the month, I sort of just, “existed”. I would wake up, do my job, and be left alone to think about how I am alone and I have no one here to help me feel like I’m needed. This sorrow did not go unnoticed.
“Why don’t you start streaming again?”, my mother asked me, “You were always happier when you streamed”.
I’ve always been open to my parents about what I do in my free time, because I always get excited and feel like I need to share it. And she was right! I always was happier when I streamed. There have even been moments where I started streaming while I’ve been sad, and I end the stream on a much happier note (remember my mute streams, anyone? I typically go mute when I am feeling sad).
Following her advice, I started to stream again
Now I have a lot of games to play, and a lot that I have to stream. When I am gifted a game, those games typically take precedence over games that I have purchased (see below2 for my list of games that I needed to play at the time). Taking her advice, and because I was sad, I started streaming Hollow Knight. As is typical when I stream variety, this was my first time ever playing Hollow Knight. As my mother had predicted, by the end of the stream, I felt a lot happier and would start talking during future streams. At one point, I even had people waiting for the next stream and helping me figure things out about the game (such as, apparently it has multiple endings, something I never knew!). Even though my streams were only able to be a short 1-2 hours, I left each stream feeling happier and happier!
I was no longer feeling alone
With people to talk to each day, even if I didn’t personally hear their voices, I was becoming happier and I was no longer feeling my sense of loneliness and abandonment. It’s difficult to imagine that by simply being there while I am streaming would bring me joy, but it does and I am extremely grateful for those who choose to take some time out of their day and stop by.
I was happy, but then life gets in the way
Owning a house is such a big undertaking, especially for someone like myself with a mental disability. While I would love to stream, I’ve still got to work my “9-5” job to bring in money to pay for my house and basic survival needs. To save money, I opt for making my own meals over going out to eat. If you’re in my Discord server, you may have noticed that there are some who complain that I am only eating curry. Curry is such a cheap and filling meal! Compared to a McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich ($4.39 for just the sandwich, without including tax), a single meal of Curry costs me about $2-3 and is super filling!
Doing everything by yourself takes a lot of time though, so I do my best to maximize the amount of spare time I have. When I cook curry, I cook about 10-12 meals worth and store the leftovers in the fridge. This saves a lot of time since I only need to heat up the Curry for lunch and dinner each day. Making my own meals and my job aren’t the only things that take up time. I now also have to clean my entire house, do dishes, pay bills, perform any sort of upkeep that may be needed (add salt to the water softener), buy groceries, etc. all by myself. I don’t have any help from anyone so all of these things eat even more time that I could be spending creating content for people to enjoy. Realizing this, I began to hatch a plan.
It’s time to crack the content creator code!
By now, I’ve realized that it’s impossible to “Stream more” or “Stream harder”. So if I can’t stream harder, then what can I do? Well, I need to stream smarter! The majority of my free time during the last half of the year was spent planning and doing research on how to be a better content creator. I believe I know now what it takes to succeed and reach a wider audience, but it’s going to take a lot of time to get there. But that’s okay! I could hire out video editing to someone online, but I don’t have the spare money with all of the bills I have to take care of. This means, I need to learn a lot in order to do the things that I can’t do.
Time to take things seriously
During all of my free time, I was either learning something new about how content creators grow, or I was busy implementing the next phase of my streaming “career”. Building my website from scratch was one step towards that direction and took over a month of my free time. I could have spent all of that time just livestreaming instead. If I did that, you wouldn’t be reading this now and I wouldn’t have the framework in place for what comes next.
Collabs3 are the future!
This website was built around collaborations. Under the events page, you’ll find a list of previous collaborations that I’ve done in the past with others, as well as any newly announced collabs that may be coming up. It’s part of the framework to success that I’m working on, because the easier it is for me to organize collabs, the more collabs that we can do.
Creating YouTube videos is hard
Another part of my framework for success is to turn my streams into YouTube videos. In the past, I had the idea of just taking Twitch clips and turning them into my videos, but with the lack of clips, that becomes a lot harder as I have to sift through my videos by hand to find the important pieces to save. But I don’t know what people find interesting in a normal “Let’s Play” style stream and I needed to find something different to do that would help me out. Looking through my list of games2, I decided to stream Core Keeper. Following the advice of the many different content creators I was watching, I needed to create YouTube videos that told a story. They needed to have a beginning, middle, and end, just like a story. So I reached out in the official Core Keeper discord and asked for a challenge. Something that I might be able to complete within a single stream. A stream that would last 4-6 hours that could be done over Christmas break. A fair few challenges would arise.
Drama and emotions are a pain
The internet is a cruel place. Definitely not a place for children, and yet, here they are. This makes things a lot more difficult as there are certain societal expectations in the real world that are easy to abide by there, but much more difficult to abide by online (accidents are easier). As someone who advertises themselves as family friendly and does their best to live by the Boy Scout Law4, I understand what it takes to resist the temptation of doing something not socially acceptable on the internet. It came as a bit of a shock to me when a friend of mine was being talked about and treated as a pedophile. Coming out of the shock, my first thought was, “what is going on?”. Then as I took a look at the various discord servers I moderate, I watched helplessly as they were perma-banned from each one. Even if they didn’t interact in that server at all!
Could you imagine being kicked out of all the communities that you’re in permanently over a mistake or misunderstanding? I mentally put myself in their “shoes” and determined that they ought to be feeling distraught with feelings of loneliness and abandonment, a feeling that I was all too familiar with. If left unchecked, this train of thought can lead down the path of suicide, which I’m certain no one was considering when they were kicking my friend out of so many communities that they loved to be around. I had to join on them to, at the very least, offer some comfort and affirmation that they aren’t alone. Even though I had an idea of how they might be feeling, nothing could have prepared me fully for when I joined on them in VRChat.
We all make mistakes. Part of learning from those mistakes is understanding that you made a mistake to begin with. Sometimes this takes the form of guilt and sorrow. When I mentioned that they must be feeling distraught, I half wish I was wrong, but it was also a sign that they knew they made a mistake and they were willing to do whatever it took to make amends. Big or small, we all make mistakes and we should be willing to give others a second chance to change and make amends for even the most brutal mistakes. The US Justice system certainly does, as I believe that it’s primarily repeat offenses that involve lifetime jail time. Being perma-banned from communities is the equivalent of a lifetime prison sentence in the online world. Many things need to be taken into consideration before such a decision is made, including but not limited to: How many times they’ve been confronted about it, the severity of what it is that they really did, the intent behind what they did, how they feel about their actions after being confronted, and how they react after getting caught and punishment decided.
Seeing how distraught they were and how open and honest they were trying to be with me throughout the entire ordeal, I realized that this was a person who deserved a second chance and was being promptly denied such a chance from the community. So, I decided to help provide them with an environment in which they could recover and work towards being a better person than what the community thought they were. To prove others wrong in their swift and brutal judgement. Doing so took a significant hit upon my time spent creating content, but I won’t stand idly by as I watch a good friend of mine be denied a fair treatment. We’re hoping that one day, they can be welcomed back into the communities in which they cherished.
Catching COVID for the first time
While in the midst of still helping my friend recover from the drama, my family was being attacked by a different foe. In 2020, the world fell under attack due to a terrible infection known as COVID-19. Only one member of my immediate family caught the initial strain, but they were away from home so the rest of us never caught it. They survived, but we understood how dangerous it could get. Well, just before thanksgiving season, some of my relative’s family members caught one of the evolved strains of COVID. Luckily, this strain wasn’t as bad, but my relative was a diabetic and they were categorized as high risk when it came to catching COVID. I got the news while I was working and since I happened to work from home and be living by myself, it was decided that they would come stay a couple of weeks at my place to prevent them from catching it. Unfortunately, it may have already been too late.
Arriving at my place, we got them setup with a room and internet so that they could enjoy gaming as if they were in their own home. Precautions were made to help prevent them from catching this terrible disease, but we didn’t take them seriously enough until it was too late. It turns out that my relative had already caught COVID, but wasn’t showing any symptoms until days later. It started out with a soar through and moved on to a fever and coughing later due to phlegm. Eventually they took a COVID test and tested positive. Once it was discovered that they had already caught COVID, we decided it best since they return to their own home where their family could take better care of them.
Roughly 5 days after they’d been at my place for a day, and after they had left to go back to their home, I began to notice that phlegm was seeping down my throat a bit as I was heading to bed. Upon waking up the next morning, I discovered that I would be spending my Thanksgiving vacation, sick with COVID. I had scheduled with my parents to spend Thanksgiving at their place this year, since I would be home alone eating Curry otherwise. However, with the new discovery that I had also caught COVID, my family was kind enough to push the Thanksgiving feast to the following Sunday so that I could attend more easily. I am so grateful that they did that. By the following Tuesday, I was finally feeling good enough begin working again, albeit, with a nasty cough that wouldn’t go away. I was not sick anymore, but the cough lingered for the next month or so.
Finally feeling better, Christmas awaits!
As I was starting to finally feel better in December, I was invited to help with a few video recordings. Neko Bueno, head of Neko State was doing both recordings and the second set of recordings was for my friend Fizzi’s New Year Celebration video. x3
A couple weeks later on December 20th, I happened to pop my head into the planning chat for Totless’ Christmas play that she was putting on and I noticed a panicked tone in chat. The play was to be a re-enactment of “A Christmas Carol”, where Scrooge was another VRChat creator named Uzi Jaccuzi. The problem, though, was that the person who was supposed to act as the younger version of Scrooge (or Uzi in this case) wasn’t going to make it to the play, which was supposed to take place the very next day. Seeing as I had the day off already, I said that I would love to help out! Seeing as the play was the next day, there was a lot that I had to do to prepare in such a short amount of time. And when I asked if VR was required for the role, I was told that it’d be prefered if I had VR, but not 100% required.
Oh great, now I needed to find all my VR gear.
The next morning, I spent all my time from the time I had woken up until noon, looking for and setting up my VR gear and full body tracking. After that, I spent the next ~4 hours working on a new version of my model and did my best to make it look like Uzi within the limited amount of time that I had. One of the fastest projects that I’ve ever worked on! And it still wasn’t fast enough since the play was supposed to start at 4 PM. We had a bunch of backups just in case, but I pushed through and the play ran late so I was still able to use my model on stage. And boy, was it a blast! I had so much fun performing on the stage!
After the performance, I had to go to my parents for dinner and catch up with family for a bit. Upon my return, I found out that Totless and crew were having a chill post-Christmas marathon stream chat session, and I figured I’d join in. What a nice way to start my Christmas vacation. Within a few days though, I had scheduled a couple of Core Keeper streams.
Back to creating YouTube videos
The Core Keeper streams that I had planned were designed to be turned into YouTube videos, and although they were designed that way, I still have yet to finish making the first video. It’s been nearly two weeks now and I’m still working on it. It may have been designed to be a YouTube video, but that does not mean that I am good at video editing or finding the right highlights of the stream that will be entertaining for people to watch in a YouTube video. I apologize that it’s not finished yet, and that there’s still no streams scheduled yet (except for a soon-to-be-announced collab stream), but I’m doing the best that I can to create content to help you smile and have a good time.
A new year, let’s put things into action!
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve been learning and planning to grow my channel and this wonderful community by leaps and bounds (Twitch Partner, here I come!). Part of my plan includes making YouTube videos, and collaborate with people along the way. Let’s hope that I can get better at this stuff, because I don’t want life to turn me into a turtle content creator. At least frogs can cross the road and not get hit by the Semi or eaten by an alligator. To a new year, with much in store for all of us!
HAPPY NEW YEARS!
Growing up, I had heard the phrase, “Home is where the Heart is”, which means, “Your home will always be the place for which you feel the deepest affection, no matter where you are”. Through out this post, and surely throughout my lifetime, I consider my parents home, to be my home. Even though I have my own house and am living inside it, I don’t entirely consider it to be my “home”. ↩︎ ↩︎
List of “Games to Stream” as of April, 2022: Hollow Night - Gifted Game, Rune Factory 4 - Gifted Game, Scarlet Nexus, Yakuza 0, Valley, Warframe, Kitaria Fables, and Core Keeper ↩︎ ↩︎
A collab, or collaboration, is when one or more content creator(s) get together to create a piece of content with each other. In VRChat, most people do this without realizing that they are! But as a variety streamer, many people don’t realize the importance or how to collaborate with other creators. ↩︎
A scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. See the Boy Scout Oath and Law for more details. ↩︎