So I’ve been watching a few of Dan’s Twitch streams and had a few thoughts about it. This turned into a very long post so just hit “back” and disregard it unless you’re really interested.
TL;DR: Dan seems to have become everything he hated.
At Giant Bomb
For all the “oh yeah he’s that Youtuber guy” semi-insults he threw at Patrick, you can’t help but feel a certain air of contradiction. He also seems to realise it from time-to-time.
Dan was always the “whatever, I just want to have fun playing games” guy, which I think most of us loved him for. He didn’t play to the audience outside of the “heel”-type persona he engendered for himself. He just made what he thought would be cool and we ended up liking it because we resonated.
He also used to look down on influencers, streamers and people who “might be getting paid for positive opinions” but overall, he was super fun and cool and didn’t give a damn about business or what other people thought about him. Semi-forcing people to eat nacho-cheese infused anythings, supporting games (Mario Party, Sunshine) that others hated; it was all part of the show and balance that made his time at GB so good.
Now that he doesn’t have the group-based format of GB and is basically just another dude on a couch, things have changed....
He’s having fun. He’s doing his own thing. It’s kinda entertaining but it shows that Dan needs others with an alternative opinion than his to play off against to make good “content”.
His answer... interesting concepts for stream ideas. It’s great but also, it’s so depressing to hear him interrupt his thoughts with “thanks for the bits”, “thanks for the sub” and “if I get this many subs, I’ll do xxx”.
I get the monetary format of Twitch but this is so “un-Dan”. Last time I watched, he was trying to get people to buy him a new sound bar. Before that it was “please send me food”. Other weirdness was putting stickers on his face if people gave him money. That specific example is funny but also kinda weird when there’s a 15 minute pause of him writing down names, checking the chat and then sitting there with a zillion post-it notes on his face that don’t say “this is just dumb fun”, they say “give me your money”. It also has a weird layer of “pay me more than that guy and I’ll put it on my forehead!” but that is also a Twitch-ism and he’s succumbed to that environment now so I guess the “if you don’t like it, don’t watch” argument prevails.
This opinion, of course, comes from somebody with a pre-conception of what a Dan stream would be like but even in comparison to similar streams, he seems so desperate.
Recently, I saw somebody donate a bunch of “gift subs” to him. I’m not sure of the dollar amounts but the reaction from Dan really had a “you shouldn’t be spending this money on me. That’s a lot”. He seemed to have a brief glimpse of “shit, I’m urging people to do this but when it happens, I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing”. It was weird and I agreed. It was the financial result of him following the, arguably _predatory_, business flow of being on Twitch. I saw a glint of his old opinions of Twitchers and Youtubers showing a slight sign of breaking through.
Regardless, he continued on. He’s now in possession of that sound bar he requested people buy for him. He is a Twitch partner. He has some alcohol-based sponsor upcoming I believe. He recently addressed his audience saying (this is not verbatim) “I don’t care about opinions about the industry, I always just wanted to play games with other game-lovers”. A commendable point but how much is that really your focus when you finish that sentence with “oh and yeah, thanks for the bits” and tuck into a meal some sucker sent you?
He even said, and this is verbatim, “I’m not a reporter. I’m an influencer now”. Put that quote in your mind the next time you watch a Demo Derby or he gives a critical opinion of a WWE game (which are, for understandable reasons, not addressed on the stream now. Going one further, speaking about such things on his streams are immediately met with a canned message which tells us he doesn’t want to talk about such matters).
I’m not a big Twitch watcher but the people who I have watched and thought “damn, this person is doing a good job of this” are commendable. Dan just seems like a wannabe of those streamers which would be sad if it wasn’t so blatantly contradictory of opinions he’s held for so many years.
He had Mike Mahardy on with him for a while. He was also thanking people for the bits but seemed more obvious about his discomfort in doing so. Now he seems to not do it and it proves Mike’s integrity which I always knew he had.
Dan doing it just has a weird air of “I’m doing this, I realise it’s weird but this is my online gaming life now so let’s just go with it”
If this seems a bit confusing or I come across as an asshole, what do you think of the following:
If you send Dan money, you can play a fart sound of his stream. It’s funny (maybe) but he will make a point of interacting with you more because you opened your wallet than what he actually thinks of you as a person.
And yeah, if you think his audio quality is bad or his bitrate isn’t good enough, all major credit cards are accepted.