Three Things I Learned From My First Gaming Stream

Be comfortable, be yourself, and enjoy the ride

Three Things I Learned From My First Gaming Stream
Photo by Hitesh Choudhary (Pexels).

My husband started streaming on Twitch about a month ago, playing mostly nostalgic action RPG Dark Cloud 2 using a PlayStation emulator on his PC. We decided early on that we wanted to do a “husband and wife” stream at least once a week on Saturdays playing co-op games.

We decided to start with It Takes Two. It’s an action-adventure platformer where a man and woman - who are in the midst of getting a divorce - get turned into dolls and have to find their daughter to change them back. It’s fast-paced and full of puzzles that require a lot of teamwork. Perfect for newlyweds to play together!

We’d been wanting to play the game for a while anyway, so we figured what better opportunity to play than on stream so our friends and family can watch too.

April 2nd was our first newlywed stream and while I’m not completely converted to a full-time streamer just yet, it was a lot of fun and I learned a few things that I wasn’t expecting.

You’re (probably) going to be self-conscious

Unless you have the highest self-esteem and have never once thought you looked ugly, you are probably going to feel a little self-conscious being on camera and playing a game for the first time.

I was freaking out about what to wear, how to do my hair and makeup, and even what I should have to drink so I didn’t look stupid on camera. I ended up wearing a button-up shirt that I love, wearing my hair pinned back, fun makeup and drinking green tea.

It didn’t matter that I was wearing clothes and makeup that I felt good about off-camera; the MOMENT we went live, I felt on display and like I didn’t look right. I fiddled with my hair and fidgeted in my seat for two and a half hours.

And you know what? No one cares what I was wearing. Everyone that popped into chat was just interested in watching us play the game and commentate.

You’re probably going to be self-conscious during the stream, so what does it matter what you wear or look like? You’re there to play a game for a few hours, so wear something comfy and remember that everyone is there to watch you play, not pick apart your appearance.

In all three of our subsequent couple streams, I’ve worn a sweatshirt or t-shirt and my hair up. Better for me to be comfortable than not when gaming.

Staying in the frame is harder than I thought

I really thought this would be easy. We set up the camera angle and our chairs in exactly the right way so that we would be centered and in the frame before going live. So how come not ten minutes into our stream, I was halfway off-screen?

Usually my husband streams alone, but now there were two of us trying to stay in the frame properly. It made things more challenging; not impossible, but certainly a tad annoying.

The camera he uses will track faces so that the person is in the center. But what happens when there are two faces? Chaos. The camera couldn’t decide which of us to focus on so it went back and forth a little. Again, it doesn’t really matter because the main idea was for viewers to watch our game. But it was a little frustrating.

Even without camera glitches, I move around a lot when sitting down. I cannot for the life of me sit still. I always fidget and shift my weight and cross and uncross my legs a million times to try and be comfortable. That doesn’t help with the camera angles either.

I try to sit mostly still but what can you do? You do your best to stay in frame, but for the most part, our audience didn’t seem too bothered by it.

There are not as many awkward silences as you’d expect

I was really nervous about filling up empty or quiet spaces during gameplay. When I play video games, often I’ll have the TV on in the background or I’ll listen to a podcast while I play. I don’t make it a habit to speak out loud when I’m by myself playing a game.

But the silences were few and far between. Not only do we typically have a good chat going during the live stream, but I also have my husband there as a buffer. Not everyone has a partner while streaming, but it definitely helped me with any quietness.

Our dog had to go outside in the middle during the first stream. Usually, when my husband is streaming by himself, I can take care of the dog without him needing to stop. But when we are both there, we need to take a break. He has a “Be Right Back” screen but I wanted to stay and chat for the couple of minutes he’d be gone.

We had just gotten a raid (which is always exciting) and I wanted to introduce the channel to them. I thought I would have some trouble thinking of what to say on the fly, but I just answered a couple of questions and talked about what we normally play.

Sometimes there isn’t anything to say, but the game speaks for itself. It Takes Two is a heavy story-based platformer that doesn’t really need a lot of commentary because it carries itself. Other games we’ve played since (such as Super Monkey Ball) are more casual and we can chat more. It’s all relative.

I like being in the background of my husband’s streams. I like being in chat and using his emotes and watching him play. But being on camera is another side of that, and I have been having a lot of fun.

I was nervous at first but now after a couple of streams, I feel much more comfortable on camera and as a player. That first leap is the hard part, but everything else comes naturally.


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