Twitch Streamers’ Say Competitive Workspace Leads to Burnout

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Twitch Streamers’ Say Competitive Workspace Leads to Burnout

By Movieguide® Staff

Throughout 2020, streaming on Twitch became a viable source of income during country-wide lockdowns due to COVID-19.

By the start of 2021, Twitch peaked at 9.89 million streamers on the platform. However, that number is dropping.

As of July 2022, the platform only had 8.042 million active streamers, many focusing on the latest video game, with millions of viewers watching each day.

Stephen Flavall, who makes a living off streaming video games to thousands of followers, said that the new form of self-employment negatively impacted his mental state.

“Around 200 viewers was when it started getting exhausting,” Flavall told NPR. “Now I have like 2,000 viewers [at a time] and when that many people are asking you questions and telling you what to do, it becomes absolutely unmanageable. I started having anxiety, bordering on full panic attacks.”

Not only is professional streaming on Twitch competitive, those who successfully captivate their audiences stream for six or more hours straight with only an occasional break.

“I would worry about viewers losing interest in my channel if it was offline for a week or two,” Flavall said. “But nowadays my content is unique enough and my viewers are long term enough that my viewerbase consistently returns when I come back.”

“Conventions like TwitchCon, opening celebrations for different game studios and production companies, in-person content creation opportunities, and other private chances to schmooze with sponsors or investors, all give the illusion of taking a break while ultimately actually being another work weekend,” Flavall said.

Taylor Chou, Director of Talent Management at Evil Geniuses, an esports and gaming entertainment company, noted that Twitch is a high-intensity work environment.

“When you’re a streamer, you truly know that every single second that you are not online, grinding, posting, streaming — somebody [else] is,” Chou said. “That’s a lot of pressure for people to learn how to manage.”

“Most of the best ways to deal with burnout start with a support system,” Chou added. “When you’re a streamer, make sure that your community has a sense that this is a person they’re watching.”

The streaming era brings with it new challenges for parents, as their children are now content to watch other people play video games. Twitch streamers are much like other performers, with a persona and fanbase, and there is a need for discernment.

Whether playing video games or watching media online, the research supports that this can negatively affect focus and proficiency in school among younger users.

Movieguide® previously reported:

​​A new study from the Center of Gambling Studies at Rutgers University found that middle-school children that use the internet, social media, or play video games in excess have lower grades.

The findings concluded by offering parents and children one hour a day of media use on the weekdays and a max of four hours on the weekends.

“Interactive technology is widely used to promote children’s educational access and achievement,” author Vivien (Wen Li) Anthony said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has been essential to facilitating remote learning. At the same time, there is a growing concern that excessive technology use, particularly for entertainment, may adversely affect children’s educational development by facilitating undesirable study habits and detracting from time spent on learning activities.”

As Twitch grows in popularity, media discernment becomes essential—for both the viewers and the streamers.

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