My streaming story began six years ago, but my love for video games was kindling back when I was just a little Gubba. You can read about my journey here in my memoir Confessions of an American Streamer.
I embarked on my journey into the video game world at the age of 3 or 4. My earliest memories involve Super Mario Bros 3 and Duck Hunt! I loved holding that plastic gun and pointing it at my old lunky TV while the pixel dog laughed at me shooting ducks.
Nintendo and Mario are the roots of my video game experience, and my most cherished gaming memories revolve around this game franchise and console. My family had a Nintendo Entertainment System, and I’d rotate through our games daily—eager to immerse myself in new worlds. Eventually, we upgraded to a Nintendo 64 and I remember the mind blowing graphics! The game worlds were so lifelike I thought, and little me ogled over teenage Link in Ocarina of Time, haha!
I spent so much time immersed in these worlds, so much that I remember one friend saying it was a big waste of time and would never get me anywhere.
Along with our Nintendo consoles, we had a gaming computer in the Family Room. This computer, although not connected to the internet, was filled with hundreds of games. Nowadays I’m catching dubs in Fortnite; back then I was solving mysteries in Putt Putt, Sesame Street or the Logical Journey of the Zoombinis. As a child, I was glued to computer games. A casino game was installed on this computer, and I remember rolling into the casino at 4 years old, playing Blackjack, Keno, Pai Gow and Roulette and running my virtual Bankroll up to Thousands! Making virtual cash was pretty cool. #GubLife. I don’t gamble in real life, but I’m grateful my parents allowed me to play video games as much as I pleased when I was younger. Had they been stricter, I might not be a streamer now!
I understand kids need boundaries, but I was naturally inclined and fully understood how to balance gaming with the “Real World.” I also learned how to properly care for a computer. I had an internet connected computer in my room at 12. Thinking about a child that young with unregulated Internet access seems terrifying NOW, but I had a natural “computer sense”—I never clicked weird links or pop ups, explored crusty corners of the internet, or befriended creepers lurking in the digital shadows. I inherently knew what not to do.
My friends were always stoked to visit because I had my own Internet computer, so they got to experience that freedom as well. I spent my time in chat rooms with friends, various social media sites, and random gaming sites.
The Internet was an open door to video gaming! From trolling the world of Club Penguin to gaming with my friends online in RuneScape, my love for gaming and gubGerring grew! But if I have children, they won’t have unregulated access to a computer, haha!
I remember going to my friends’ houses and experiencing their computer setups. Most of the time, their computers were gooked up and full of garbage because they downloaded mysterious software and clicked all the weird links. The pages would load slowly and the cursor would slowly blink across the screen. I always thought “What in the gubGer is going on here?” Then my friends would share how they downloaded a custom cursor and that’s where the troubles began. I would explain how they needed to do a reinstall—ASAP. These early technology memories make me chuckle.
I was introduced to Twitch in 2015, and I couldn’t believe people played video games for a living! I watched those—now primitive—streams in awe from my couch, and I knew I had to try it! Well, I did and here I am six years later surfing the streaming waves. It’s amazing to look back NOW and see where I started and how all those early video games prepared me for my career today! And Cheers to those who said video games will never get me anywhere!