After weeks of shouting, thetapLurk was approved. I'm still not sure whether or not anything I did had an affect or if it was just random chance by the grace of a coin flip at Twitch. As I sat down to write this blog post I didn't think there was a way to get through this without acknowledging it. There's still a small part of me that feels self conscious for all the borrowed mind space, but every story needs an ending so let's put this one to bed.
This past Monday I finally got the email that my thetapLurk emote was approved. I was caught off guard by the fact that it was actually approved, especially after being told multiple times about the 'no single letter,' rule. Obviously I believed I had a fighting chance, else I wouldn't have made all the ruckus that I did, but I was surprised that my immediate reaction wasn't elation. I was first caught of guard by a resounding, 'oh.' Only at first, and then that's when the excitement started kicking in. I was at work and I rushed over to my dad shoving the cellphone in his face exclaiming that the emote had finally been approved. (What? You thought the Internet was the only one that had to deal with the brunt of my rants?)
You ever find yourself finishing a book and then left with that feeling of what now? Or maybe even finishing a video game you've spent 200 hours in and then checking off that last side quest? That's where I'm at right now. If you remember, I actually scheduled Tuesday night off this past week, and it was mainly due to the fact that I was on the verge of writing out a long open letter twitter thread to twitch about the inconsistency of their rules. That's just what my generation does. I wanted to be around to answer any, if at all, responses that would be headed my way. Luckily, it didn't come to that, but there was that, 'oh,' feeling again. I had all this pent up energy stored and was ready to make a fool of myself, but I ended up with my emote after all. So why am I writing this out? Partly because it makes a good read, I hope, and partly because I felt like there needs to be some acknowledgement after all the noise I made.
I spent a lot of time thinking about it and I came to the conclusion that if the only thing I'm doing is yelling because of one emote, then I'm just throwing a tantrum. There had to be a bigger reason for all of this than just what was at stake for me. I think there are still parts of the emote approval process that needs to be addressed over at Twitch. As difficult as the situation is, Affiliates should have the option to allow their current standing emote remain while pending approval of another one. If the process is going to be left up luck of the draw depending on the eyes of the approver then we shouldn't have have our fate be tied to chance. I'm not asking for instant approval like Twitch Partners, but I do think there needs to be a much more forgiving system. I was fortunate that the artist I worked with was kind enough to fix the emote without charging. This won't always be the case for everyone, nor should they have to experience it. These emotes aren't just some silly emojis, they're a representation of the streamer's cultures. The atmosphere that they are creating in their chats with their viewers. Any revamp to the system that allows Affiliates a little more control than what they're getting now would be a much welcomed addition, however like I said earlier this week in my tweets, I digress. For now, I have a feeling of pride every time I see thetapLurk flooded in chat, and not because I feel like there was anything I did, but because of the people that were supporting me. I spent a lot of time 'Jeff Goldbluming,' as I was pointing out this and that, and I had friends coming in support with their own examples. I had reassurance from viewers that they weren't subbing because of an emote, and I even had other viewers gifting out subs even without an emote to use. So everytime I see that cute little Captain America behind his shield, I'm reminded that I'm surrounded by a lot of amazing people online, and I thank you.
Oh man, okay so that was totally meant to be a quick final thought on the whole mess but it ended up being a lot longer than I thought. I swear, you can ask people in chat, I mentioned that I was trying to think up a theme for this week's blog post and I thought I had settled on tech issues, but whoops. It's getting late now so I'm not going to dive as deep into it as I wanted to. I think the best way to sum up this week's issues actually comes from Saturday's stream. Earlier in the week I had issues with my capture card not working and it actually caused my OBS (Open Broadcast Software, program used to stream) to crash. I took the time to get it all fixed and even did a really long test stream on Mixer. Everything was perfectly fine, but come time for Saturday's stream it started borking again. However, I found that as long as I didn't click 'ok' on the 'OBS has crashed,' window I could keep streaming. If that doesn't sum up technology then I honestly don't know what does.
That's the thing about tech issues. You never really know when they're going to pop up. You can go months without a single issue and think you're absolved of any more issues, but then there they go again reminding you that they're still haunting you. That paranoia is enough to suck the energy out of you, but I think if there's any silver lining to take away from it all is that it's kind of amazing to see the resilience. You never really have to look too far on Twitter for someone dealing with one thing or another, and usually without fail they keep coming right back after being knocked down. When I first started streaming I remember I straight up texted my cousin, RG, that I didn't think streaming was for me. I couldn't figure out how to sync the audio and video of both my camera and my gameplay and it was frustrating to the point of wanting to just quit. Thankfully there was still this spark that kept me going because I don't think I can imagine my life now without streaming. I guess what this is boiling down to is that there will always be the easy route of quitting laid out before you, but when given the opportunity to keep pushing past the limits of your knowledge, the limits of your patience, or the limits of your confidence, you'll often find that you had it in you all along. Now if you'll excuse the self congratulatory ending, I'm going to go to bed. Summing up the sum up? Don't give up. I once wrote 120 page script on the subject called, "For Sale," and now I just did it in one blog post. Progress. Goodnight.
Streamer, writer, creator. One day I woke up painfully aware of my existence and I've been apologizing for it ever since.