For the last several months, I decided to stop being a keyboard warrior when it came to trying to make change happen. I got fed up with talking about fixing a problem but doing nothing to fix it. Motivated by what the school kids managed to accomplish after the shooting in South Florida, I felt that the time was ripe for me to try adding some good to the world.
Knowing that Puerto Rico still had not received anywhere near enough aid, I decided to start there. An idea that I had been entertaining for years could finally be implemented. I had wanted to play a video game stream on Twitch.tv. Wanting to combine high-quality entertainment with doing good in the world, I believed I had found the winning formula.
To take this winning formula even further, I selected playing a video game that everyone in the United States has heard of – Pokemon. Thanks to Pokemon Go, the video game had a massive resurgence in pop culture. I decided to play into this nostalgia by playing the entire series. Seven Generations in a row of Pokemon.
Starting with Pokemon Red Version, one of the original two games to grace the United States, I got to work. I also recruited like-minded individuals who wanted to raise money for a good cause, but who also wanted to play different games and felt that I was truly doing something good. However, it turned out that there was much more work to do than this.
I was and am a relatively unknown person in pop culture. When translated to Twitch, I had a massive hurdle to overcome. Why would anyone watch my stream, even if it was a charity stream, when there were already established people doing the exact same thing? I even lost a few members of the actual charity to this phenomena. I could not blame them for finding a better opportunity. However, I was unsure how to make meaningful changes.
However, I refused to give up. I continued to stream Pokemon from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern Time on as many days as possible. After asking professional streamers what the best way to attract an audience was, they all said: consistency.
I continued playing, and from time to time, people trickled in to watch. I imagine that given time, I might actually develop a fan base. But certainly not on the timetable I originally envisioned.
One of the most common critiques I got was that my interface could be cleaned up. I contacted a friend who makes some money building Twitch overlays. Meanwhile, I did some work of my own to build a better stream. The results are certainly visible to any who watch, and the trickle of people has slowly increased.
Still, I feel like this has turned into building myself up rather than raising money for charity. I am far into my Pokemon marathon, recently reaching Generation 5. Considering that there are only a total of 7 parts of the Pokemon Series including remakes, I am running out of room to attract viewers with the games alone, which returns me back to the problem I am having trouble overcoming.
The most important thing that I have learned from doing a charity stream is that personality and ethos are the most important things required. Only slightly less important is timing. I realize that playing the game from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET means that many people in the United States will not see my Stream at all. Originally, I had planned to overcome this problem with multiple people collaborating with me, but now I seem to be the only one doing this specific charity stream
However, changing my time means messing up the consistency I have. It also means putting myself in even more competition with well-known streamers. Primetime in the United States is from around roughly 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. I could risk playing around then and perhaps get some more views. However, I also risk competing with people far more established than me. Their ethos will crush my essential nonexistence into the ground.
I am open to figuring out what else can be done to improve my chances of gaining the momentum that is truly required for a charity stream to function. But right now, the only thing stopping me from giving up in defeat is that I am enjoying the games I am playing. After Pokemon, I might change my time to a later slot as I shift to Dark Souls instead. This game will attract a different demographic, and with it, perhaps a new chance to try and raise some money for a cause that desperately needs it. Hurricane Season is right around the corner. I am worried, along with many others, that the island is not ready for another Hurricane Irma or Maria.