I think the biggest take away from this week is the ongoing drama that is my tier one emote and you better buckle up because I'm fully aware of how silly it seems to be so up and arms about this nonsense.
For those who don't know, I commissioned the wonderful Bilvy to create a Captain America lurk emote to be the new tier one emote on my channel. ThetapSeeks was the very first emote I had made and it will always have a special place in my heart but I felt like it was time for a change. As an affiliate, the only option I have to replace an emote is to delete the one that I currently have and then upload the new one. Pain in the ass? Sure, but it usually takes about a week for the emote to be approved and all the subs are back to enjoying their emote. Except for this time Twitch decided that my emote was against their rules and denied it. Apparently, "single letter emotes," are banned on Twitch. Let's just humor this idea that my Captain America emote is just that, a single letter, and examine how silly this is.
Yes, if there are a plethora of single letter emotes then people with ill intentions could use them to bypass filters and spell out offensive stuff. This is a reasonable rule, but only when followed. Gamersmack was the first to come to my defense and point out the litany of Super Mario emotes featuring the iconic M on his hat. You could make the argument that Mario gets a pass because of his iconography status in the video game space but the list of single letter emotes doesn't end there.
So yeah, "no single letter emotes," isn't exactly sitting well with me. It seems silly to be so upset about something like this given that this doesn't begin to crack the surface on some of the issues Twitch needs to focus on. I've had people advise me that this might not be worth fighting given that even larger streamers have a hard time winning this fight. I'm just angry that a lot of people are being restricted, unevenly, because of those who would abuse the system. A simple revision could fix it. I could replace the A, I could add a butt, I could do a lot of things, but all of those feel like admitting defeat in the face of something incredibly stupid. Which I won't.
The main issue is I keep coming back to how the people who sub to me are without an emote. If you asked anyone of them they'll tell you that they are there because they support me and they don't mind that the emote is gone. I love them for that but that's not good enough for me. I've said it before but I'll say it again, I will never disrespect the honor it is that people allow me into their lives. That they take time out of their day to watch the silly stuff I do online, and it blows my mind that some of them are even willing to spend money to support it. I shouldn't have to be caught in this limbo of Twitch deciding on what is and isn't appropriate, especially given I could probably replace Captain America's A with a butt and it would have been approved the first time. Even if this went off without a hitch and my emote was approved, the process is flawed. I hate that we have to take down the approved emote and then wait on pins and needles for Twitch to flip a coin and grant access to the next one. So maybe if Twitch could stop hiding behind their thinly veiled 'no single letter emote,' defense and offer up a better reasoning than what they're giving I wouldn't be so quick to lean towards favoritism. I wouldn't have spent money on this particular design. I wouldn't have asked an artist to spend their time creating it. For the people who are quick to offer up 'well if you don't like their rules then you don't have to stream on their platform,' I say you're right.
I experienced a lot of Internet issues this week and it finally culminated in a giant mess on Saturday. After a night of troubleshooting and hair pulling, I was finally led down the path of trying out Mixer. If you don't know what Mixer is, it's a different streaming platform that's on the rise. There are some pretty nifty features they've got to offer such as synced up multi-streaming and FTL stream delay which results in about a second delay. Unfortunately streaming to Mixer proved that my Internet woes weren't exclusive to Twitch but it did offer up a chance to see what the other side was like. I've been streaming for so long on Twitch that the question of streaming on another platform had never crossed my mind before. In fact, the very first month that I ever started streaming, Youtube gaming had recently launched and I was faced with a decision of going with Twitch or Youtube. Twitch is the top dog, there's no questioning that, but the chance to start on a new platform was enticing. As ProfessorBroman puts it, "being number one on the second largest streaming platform is nothing to sneeze at." Ultimately the community on Twitch is what won me over and I never thought about it again.
However, there was something exciting about being on a new platform this past Saturday. I was reminded of the early days when I was first starting and learning how to stream except I was comfortable this time. I was in a new space with a new reach and a chance to bring in even more people to this community. Yes, the backdrop of Internet hassle and missing a stream with my regulars was still weighing down on me but a spark was created this past Saturday.
The exclusivity clause does not otherwise restrict Affiliates from using other streaming platforms to do live streaming. For instance, an Affiliate is permitted to start a stream on Twitch and, after ending that stream, immediately start a new, separate stream on another platform -- assuming the Affiliate is not also using Twitch to broadcast that same content at the same time.
There's nothing preventing me from streaming on other platforms, (except maybe a broken Internet but I'll touch on that later), and so this idea of carving out time to stream in more places is exciting to me. Before you get the wrong idea I want to hammer home the point, I have no intentions of changing the schedule on Twitch whatsoever. Monday through Thursday as well as Saturdays, you know the drill. What I've got going for me is working right now but there's this new spark to start branching out and seeing how far I can take this content creating dream. The main goal for The Tap has always been to create your next favorite entertainment platform. So when I ask myself where my loyalties lie, Twitch, or you, the answer is always going to be you. The Internet is a history book of giants that never saw their end coming. Geocities, Xanga, Myspace, Aim, Vine, and so on. Who is to say where Twitch will be in the next five years, hell, who is to say where I'll be in the next five years? The goal for The Tap has always been to be your next favorite entertainment platform, no matter where we go.
Okay, that's enough chest puffing and anger for the rest of the blog. If you can't tell I'm pretty heated with this whole emote nonsense. Actually, at the height of it I got drunk Friday evening which started my Twitter rant, and although I'm pulling back, for now, I'm not done arguing about this. Instead, I wanted to provide an update on what's going on. If you were around Saturday you noticed that my Internet finally kicked the bucket. Frame drops and stream disconnects aren't new to me. They would rear their ugly head every now and then but they never seemed to last for more than a minute to two minutes. Ignoring this was my hubris slapping a band-aid called, 'that'll fix itself,' on the issue. I finally sucked it up and got an ISP tech out and he replaced a lot of old wires, I'm talking Road Runner days, and did some of his Internet magic. I ran a 'stream to twitch,' test for about 30 minutes at 6000 kbps and it was rock solid, which was more than could be said for Saturday. After that test seemed good I streamed to a secret test account and had some friends pop in to confirm that things are peachy. I gotta say that I wouldn't have been able to get this far if it wasn't for Bexsona, Gamersmack, VestofHolding, and MorninFrost helping me troubleshoot and test things Saturday night and Sunday afternoon (Thank You).
In conclusion, it's been a week. For a week of mounting frustrations, I'm glad it ended on a high note. I was really worried that my Internet woes would decommission me for a while but that's not the case. I'm happy that I'm going to be able to continue doing what I'm doing, and I'm even more excited to see how far I can branch this out. Moving forward I've still got to figure out what I'm going to do with my tier one sub-slot. The artist I use is still not taking commissions so I'm just waiting for that to open up because I can get a replacement for the Captain America one. Is this the last you've heard of the emote drama? Probably not. I know that keeping this argument might not be the wisest thing to do but I'm not done yet.
(WE START BY DIPPING THEM IN WARM MILK CHOCOLATE, AND ALLOWING TO REST FOR 15 MINUTES. THE COOKIES ARE THEN SERVED WITH A GLASS OF COLD MILK)