Getting into streaming is no easy feat, as thousands of individuals take to sites like Twitch and Facebook Gaming to stream their gameplay daily. We decided to sit down and chat with Twitch streamer, OoOSkittles, who started her streaming journey back in March 2017. Skittles, known IRL as Kirstie, began streaming full time in October 2017 and has developed a tight-knit community with over 7,800 followers (and growing).
So we’ll start this off with some of the easy questions. What was the first video game you played (or at least that you can remember)?
OoOSkittles: Video games have been a part of my life forever thanks to my nerdy parents! I remember having a Nintendo 64 and playing A LOT of Super Mario 64. Also, around the age of 6 or 7, I vividly remember sitting in the corner of my room while my Sega was plugged into the wall so it wouldn’t die during my EPIC RUNS of Sonic the Hedgehog and Jim the Earthworm.
How did that game spark your passion for gaming?
OoOSkittles: Since I could remember, gaming has always been a part of my life. As I continued to grow up, I realized while I loved going to hang out with friends and have fun, my full relaxation and happiness was when I got to play a new video game or get together with friends to play. As I continued to get older, and my parents allowed me on the internet more, which gave me more range for other video games and making friends online.
So if you had to choose, what are your top 5 favorite games of all time?
OoOSkittles: These questions are always tough for me!
I’m definitely going to say the first version of Guitar Hero because I was OBSESSED with GH when I was a teenager. Especially the Metallica one.
Skyrim is definitely a second choice.
The Fable games are a big love for me.
I am currently a little too obsessed with Dead by Daylight, and I’m not sure that will change lol.
To end it I will throw in probably Borderlands 2. Most of these games I put so many hours into and still find myself going back every now and then.
If there’s one game that everyone should add to their Steam library, what would you recommend?
OoOSkittles: SKYRIM! Everyone should do a playthrough with and without mods. It’s like two completely different games, and there are so many side quests and other activities to do. I have over 1500 hours in that game and for some reason, I still love doing another playthrough!
What is the average day like for you between streaming, work, and school?
OoOSkittles: This coming semester should be a little easier, but we will see. I usually wake up around 6:30-7, go to class from 8-11. I will stay at school a bit and do some homework, come home and nap (if I have time), jump on stream at 2 or 3 until about 10 pm, then time to sleep! On Saturdays, I used to work at a chiropractic office where I was a massage therapist for almost 7 years, but as of recent I just massage people at their homes, mainly stroke patients and previous clients.
You’ve been streaming pretty consistently since March 2017. How do you find a good balance between work, school, and streaming?
OoOSkittles: I don’t! Last semester was really rough. I was working two jobs, streaming 25+ hours a week, and was in three classes – All while taking care of my 17-year-old brother. It was tough, but streaming is worth it. I stream for my community. It’s like coming home to play a video game, but instead, you have friends to talk to during the entire experience. Granted, they usually are laughing at my awful jokes and gameplay, but it’s a wonderful, wonderful experience. Also, because of my lovely community, a lot of my streams during school were me doing programming homework, or just doing IRL streams while I finished some math. Sometimes we just relaxed while I tried to get my work done.
We really like that you dedicate your Monday streams towards ‘Mental Health’ awareness. What was the decision behind bridging the gap between your passion for gaming and driving awareness towards such a critical issue?
OoOSkittles: I have been on Twitch since 2014 and realized in those four years I have been searching for a community that I felt I could be 100% myself. As much as I love gaming, I knew people wouldn’t come to my stream for that reason. I’m not pro at anything, or really GOOD at video games, but I love people and I love giving people a place to call their own. So, I decided after years of moderating for other streamers and seeing how they did it, I decided to take the plunge into starting my own stream.
I am a sufferer of severe General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which I neglected it for years. I did everything people told me to do to make it better from working out, vitamins, supplements, essential oils, etc. Nothing made it better until I got therapy and got on actual medication. I just had to accept that my brain and my body is just wired differently.
I accepted I had an illness, and I felt it was very important to bring that acceptance into my stream. My goal is to be candid, real, transparent, and just everything people need when venting and feeling vulnerable. So, Monday is the day anyone can come in and just vent their little face off. It shows others, even those who don’t talk, that they aren’t alone in whatever it is they might be facing. It has rounded my stream in a way I never thought it would.
You’ve also recently partnered with BetterHelp.
How did that partnership come to be?
OoOSkittles: I actually was a member on BetterHelp, and they were the first place I ever received therapy from. I was with them for 6 months, got much better, and then decided to message them about a business inquiry. I wanted to see if they would be interested in promoting their website on my Twitch stream. Turns out, they already had started a small program with other streamers, which was relatively new at the time. And I joined them as a partner.
For those not familiar with BetterHelp.com, what do they have to offer service wise?
OoOSkittles: BetterHelp.com is seriously one of the most innovative ways for people to talk to a professional. Their prices range from $35-$65 weekly (depending on weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payment) which is usually way cheaper than in person, face to face therapy. You can change your therapist at any time! This is extremely important, in the off chance that you aren’t compatible with the first therapist you’re paired with. You can also go back and read things they said, mark stuff as urgent, even schedule video conference or phone conferences with your therapist. It’s very flexible and gives people a way to ease into talking to someone they never met before. They also have financial aid options, which helps make getting help more available to everyone.
Speaking of brands that help others out, you also recently became a Humble Partner.
What charity have you selected to help raise funds for and what does it mean to you?
OoOSkittles: I decided on the Alzheimer’s Association charity! My grandfather passed away from Alzheimer’s about 3 and a half years ago. He was an incredibly healthy man, but I don’t think people realize how severe Alzheimer’s is getting and if we don’t figure it out now it’s just going to get worse! For such a drastic situation that is only increasing yearly, they really don’t get nearly as much money as they should for research.
Pivoting back to gaming, what has been the biggest challenge since you’ve started streaming full time?
OoOSkittles: LOOKING AT MY NUMBERS!
Streaming is a very inconsistent, discouraging, hard thing to push through if you focus on your numbers. When you go full time, it’s really scary. You are relying on something that could bring in literally no money. It’s all about if people want to support you, and honestly just coming to my stream is support enough for me. I didn’t start streaming to make money, so transitioning into it being my main source of income is definitely scary. I would rather make $3 an hour streaming though, than doing something I hate.
With how quickly you’ve been growing your online community, do you see this transitioning into a full-time career? What does the future of streaming/gaming hold for you?
OoOSkittles: I really just do this for fun, and it somehow turned into something so much more. I am currently going to school to become a Software Engineer and I don’t really know what that has in store for me. Maybe streaming will help me transition into something in that field, but if this became a full career and I got to continue to spend time with amazing people every day, I think I would be crazy to say no to that. I don’t expect it though, and I’m not good in the spotlight. That’s one of the reasons why I recently got rid of my camera.
We noticed that your Twitch emotes for subscribers are a Penguin. And Penguins are all over your channel. What’s up with that?
OoOSkittles: I’ve been obsessed with penguins since I was a kid! I could be having the worst day ever and a picture or video of an adorable little penguin could (and will) cheer me right up! Not sure why I love them so much, but a group of them is called a Waddle. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THAT!?
To wrap up the interview, let’s end it with a little bit of cheese here. If there’s one piece of advice you would give to those putting themselves out there and creating content/streaming, what would it be?
OoOSkittles: Your numbers do not equate to your self-worth or what you are doing for people. Even if you only have 2 or 3 viewers, those viewers chose you out of thousands of others. If you really, truly, want to make it as a streamer or just meet amazing people on Twitch, you need to network. Networking can be difficult, for the mere fact not every stream you find you are going to mesh with. Don’t give up though, and keep doing it if you love it. You’ll eventually find people you can’t imagine living without.
Want to keep in touch with OoOSkittles?
OoOSkittles Avatar and Emotes by Nikasolah
Channel Artwork and Banners by https://www.kkdesigned.com/