Trolls, Sex Appeal, and Twitch: Was Sky Right?
For those unfamiliar with what twitch.tv is, it’s a website where gamers broadcast their gameplay, with or with out a webcam, for the enjoyment of others. Looking at these words on a page, we can see that Twitch seems pretty harmless. You go and browse for interesting games and watch others play them whether it’s to learn how to become better or to be entertained by commentary and interact with the streamers via text based chat. If the streamer has enough viewers, they’ll receive donations and even get partnered with Twitch to enable monthly subscribers.
Of course, when you combine the internet, webcams, instant chat, and money you often get very bad things. A flood of both men and women have arrived since day one to display their goodies in order to obtain more viewers, some have even gone to extreme lengths to do this. The person I’ll be talking about today goes by two usernames: Pink_Sparkles and Lipstick_Queen and she is no exception to this:
First, I want to say that I do not condone the insults or name calling found in this video. As you can see, this is clearly not about the gameplay at all, she is not alone in these practices either. Many female and male streamers come onto the website with the idea that if they can appeal sexually to the audience, they’ll make quite a bit of cash without ever flashing their actual goodies. For some like Kaceytron, can walk a fine line to balance the sexuality while remaining within the guidelines set by Twitch. Obviously there are issues with this kind of behavior, but let a wiser man, Sky Williams than I explain that to you (Warning, harsh language will be used in the video):
As told in the video, this article does not blanket the entire female streaming community but rather the few who wish to use their assets to gain money, which then sets certain expectations to the viewers for the other female streamers in their community and brings in toxic behavior. Sky was bombarded left and right for this video by female streamers and supporters while also being praised by three times as many. Well known members of the streaming community even debated with him on the issue. A lot of them danced around the issue trying to make the claim that it was appropriate and should be accepted but at the end of the day, Sky debated his argument and stood firm against all fronts. I was conflicted on this matter until I witnessed Pink_Sparkles’ transition from Cam Girl to Twitch Streamer.
Only a week ago Pink_Sparkles was infamous for wearing a pound of make up, wearing shirts that showed a large amount of cleavage, and had her camera be the main focus of her streams. Nothing special, everyone does this, right? Well, whenever someone becomes too popular for the wrong reason and seems untouchable, the 4chan/Reddit army marches into battle and deals out their own unique form of justice. They perform an act called “Raids” which means they’ll coordinate to flood into a user’s stream, in this case, to harass Pink_Sparkles.
It didn’t take long for the army to wage war with the 25 year old and they soon harassed her chat with reckless abandon. I was actually in her stream to view all of this. At first she seemed to embrace this behavior, which is common due to the harassers bringing so much attention to the user that their exposure grows exponentially. She went from 60k to 100k followers within a matter of days. However, this kind of attention brings in the toxic viewers in bulk and rarely stop with just her. She stuck through the harassment and when finished, the raids shifted gears to either another streamer’s channel or continued harassing her via Twitter.
Over time, Pink_Sparkles seemed to be dying inside with each session. Chat was once filled with a mix of questions ranging from her boob size to how she does her make up then went to nothing but pure harassment. As the following video shows, she continues to stream during the full blown raids and rages into the mic(I’m quite sure I lost a lot of hearing in my ears. The woman can scream.), let’s take a moment to examine the following video:
Obviously she is upset by the raids, however it still feels unreal. Any rational person who was emotionally wrecked by this harassment would shut off their stream, cry, watch a comedy, eat an entire carton of ice cream, and then return in a few days. But because she stays and accepts donations it does make me suspect that she knows exactly what she is doing. The stream went from large webcam and tiny game play to even full blown webcam as she raged and cried on stream, claiming there was an issue with her stream and that she was not going to play until it was fixed. Well, even if she was acting and she did intend to ride this wave of hate to fame, it did seem to take some toll on her(As it would any human being.).
One day I went and checked to find her account disabled. Not blocked, but disabled of her own accord. I discovered via her twitter page that she had ditched Twitch for their competitor, Hitbox for a single day before starting another Twitch Channel by the name of Lipstick_Queen. I rolled my eyes and went into the expected madness as I had every day, wanting to gather as much information as possible before writing this article.
To my surprise, I found that she had transitioned into an actual streamer. For the first time in days, her stream was 80% game play and only 20% cam, even then she wore almost no makeup and had a shirt on that showed absolutely no cleavage what so ever. Her chat was only around 200+ viewers which was a tiny amount compared to the 16,000+ viewers on her main account. Granted, some viewers attempted to troll by calling her names but a majority of other people were commenting on her game play and asking her questions about make up, movies, and her interests which she answered whenever possible. I actually began enjoying her streams.
When asked about the switch, she explained that she no longer wanted to deal with the harassment and did not want fame at that price. I watched this woman for a little over a week and could not ever tell you about her skill in league of legends. In this new stream however, she focused on game play, used terms correctly, made calls that rang true, and even invited viewers to game with her. Granted, she did rage on them when they did poorly but in her defense the viewer did go away from their key board for a good amount of time and hindered her team to the point of complete loss. Still, it was so much better than her previous streams and actually became far more attractive as both a woman and a person when she talked about her love for the game, shared information with viewers about areas of expertise when it comes to diet, exercise, make up, and so much more. The main aspect that really won me over was the fact that she could and did acknowledge her mistakes whether it was in League of Legends by announcing she screwed up and then asked for advice on what she could do to improve and even addressing that she knew what she was doing in her previous stream was wrong and wanted a fresh start to actually stream.
Although trolls did appear, there were a good amount of fans who supported her through the inevitable harassment. Again, I know nothing for certain whether she has a manager who is directing her through the chaos or she is a one woman show who is making these decisions for herself, whatever is happening I believe she is on the right path and she’ll easily regain her massive following by using her current streaming style.
I also want to point out that Sky Williams was indeed correct. Because she streamed with the intent of using her sexual appeal to gain donations, it brought in toxic viewers which trickled to other female streamers. When she put away the make up and cleavage for game play, the community was far more concerned about the game play and less on her apperance and this is how Twitch should be. There will always be trolls, even for wholesome streamers like Draskia, but at least they come of their own douchy accord rather than being enticed by streamers. I sincerely hope Pink_Sparkles or her new username, Lipstick_Queen, will be able to stay true to this new style.
If you’d like to know more about Pink_Sparkles/LipStick_Queen then check out her twitter for her streaming times. If you want to see more of Sky William’s content (Which you totally should, he is incredible!) Check out his Youtube page and while you’re at it, you should check out Draskia because she is super awesome!