Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Video-Game Streamers Open Up about Their Lives in NFB/ARTE France Web Series

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Video-Game Streamers Open Up about Their Lives in NFB/ARTE France Web Series

Article excerpt

Web series looks at video-game streamers

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TORONTO - It's a subculture that's becoming a thriving business model, social gateway and career aspiration for some: live video-game streaming.

"Streamers," a new web series from the National Film Board of Canada and ARTE France, examines the growing phenomenon in which participants can build an online community, gain communication skills and even make money through monthly subscribers, spontaneous donations and sponsorships.

Montreal-based filmmaker Guillaume Braun created the series, in collaboration with Marie-Eve Tremblay, by immersing himself in the world of streaming service Twitch and interviewing some of the platform's biggest stars, who spend many hours playing games as their fans watch.

Twitch users can either just be a viewer or become a streamer and broadcast live, showing both their gameplay and themselves providing commentary onscreen. Users can also send each other messages and post in chat groups.

"It's a new opportunity to have a career in something you like doing, pretty much like in sports or other fields, where that did not exist maybe 10 years ago," said Louis-Richard Tremblay, a producer on the series.

"Being surrounded with 10-year-old boys now, when you ask them, 'What do you want to do in life?' often they say 'I want to be a YouTuber' or even a Twitcher now, or a streamer. It's part of their professional desires."

Braun, who has worked with the NFB on several projects, is an avid gamer and spent four years on Twitch under the avatar "Will" for the series. He also narrated the episodes, in which popular streamers talk about their online lives through their own Twitch cameras.

"Technologically speaking, it's insane how fast it's going on -- new features, new stuff, multiple new platforms where people can stream," Braun said. The space is getting more crowded, he said, citing Facebook and Microsoft's Mixer as competitors to YouTube and Amazon-owned Twitch.

"The whole demographic and ecosystem kind of exploded, especially in the last two years where streaming is more mainstream than ever. …

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