Dan on Twitch

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davidfox1983

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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....

On Twitch

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”

So What?

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.

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SethMode

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This seems needless and almost kind of vindictive. Also, Dan never claimed to be a journalist, even when he was reviewing games.

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davidfox1983

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@sethmode: “almost kind of vindictive”

You’re right. I think I definitely sound vindictive which is bad on my part but is again just a side effect of a new personality that’s so opposite from what I loved when I first was introduced to him.

I guess I’m doing a bad job of illustrating this post as a first point of discussion. Instead, maybe it just seems like a mad rant which wasn’t my intention. I’ll try to do better. Not great at writing

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Efesell

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#4 Efesell  Online

It's very clear that you don't spend time on Twitch because this really damning "Well what do you think about this" is the business model. Streamers have to make a living at what they do and that includes weird gimmicks and sub notifications and all of that.

Personally Dan's sound effects are an auditory nightmare that I will never engage with but I don't have any problems with what he's doing.

Anyway as for everything he hated... Dan is a natural self promoter. Him taking to the Twitch ecosystem is like a fish taking to water.

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davidfox1983

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#5  Edited By davidfox1983

@efesell: Anyway as for everything he hated... Dan is a natural self promoter. Him taking to the Twitch ecosystem is like a fish taking to water.

Yeah, well put man. I guess, as I kind of alluded to in the post, it’s a weird thing for somebody that knows him from GB and GI. For somebody that never heard or him until Twitch, he probably fits right in.

Again, there’s a desperation that seems out of place when you have the context of how he interacted with fans on GB (that is to say, not at all and just made cool shit).

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davidfox1983

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> Anyway as for everything he hated... Dan is a natural self promoter. Him taking to the Twitch ecosystem is like a fish taking to water.

A last thing is that it’s a different kind of interaction which is jarring. He baited and had fun with fans on GB. Now he just seems to kiss their asses to get more subs, bits and takeaway deliveries

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sombre

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It's embarassing tbh

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davidfox1983

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@sombre: why can’t I be as succinct with my writing? Just too many half-baked complex opinions to speak it as simply as this but yeah, when I open and then close that tab within so few minutes, “ahhh man, this is pathetic” is exactly what drives me away from Twitch and back to GB

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Ares42

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I'm sorta out of the loop here. He quit GB to go full-time streamer ? Or did he have a gig in-between or something ?

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Efesell

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#10 Efesell  Online

@davidfox1983: I mean.. yes things are somewhat different when you are paid based directly on your viewers.

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petesix0

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I've checked in on a few Dan streams and while I like Dan(Much more for his most un-Dan moments when he eased back on the kayfabe and had seemingly sincere interactions on-camera), it's just not my thing. Wish him well. Even if I cannot say the same for the company he works for now.

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davidfox1983

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@ares42: he left as he got a job at WWE (incredible; did everything he wanted to do then got a job at the company he based most of his life interests around). He’s streaming on twitch in the evenings as a side gig

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petesix0

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@ares42: He's an off-screen podcast producer for WWE and Twitch on his downtime, I think.

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sombre

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It's just a letdown from the integrity he used to have I guess (I know how this is ironic with how hard he's shilled stuff like Taco Bell, I know)

When he's playing a game for an hour, and 48 minutes of it are thanking mikey78 and lovestogame420 for their 1 dollar donations...it's just lame.

But I guess this is just the world we live in

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Efesell

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#15 Efesell  Online

I dunno, it just kind of frustrates me when this sort of vague disdain for streamers crops up.

To reduce the effort it does take to build yourself up and get a community going to make something out of Twitch by calling it 'embarrassing'.

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bigsocrates

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Dan's whole thing is not being introspective and just diving into everything with both feet so this is totally not surprising at all. It sounds like he's just messing around, trying to get people to do dumb* stuff like send him food, seeing what even dumber stuff people will do (like send him a soundbar), and just goofing around. He's also always been a wheeler-dealer type, as you could see in streams like "Burgle My Bananas" so it's not surprising he's trying to get donations and the like, and playing games with his audience around donations. That's just how he is, and it doesn't really sound malicious or even manipulative so much as thoughtless. And again, Dan's whole brand is thoughtlessness.

If people are enjoying the streams and like engaging in this way I don't see why it's anyone else's business. I was worried you were going to say Dan was doing actually bad things like saying horrible things or being super manipulative. Instead he's just being kind of careless and doing whatever he wants, which is, again, Dan's whole thing.

*Dumb as in weird and fun, not dumb as in stupid.

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davidfox1983

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@efesell: yes that’s a valid opinion but my point here is talking about DAN doing it (id only post this on GB as he’s a former employee with previous contradictory opinions)

I’m not ranting on twitch streamers. Just thinking about a prior GB staff member with strong opinions that have been kinda reversed by entering that ecosystem.

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davidfox1983

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Gundato

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@ares42: Unless things have changed, Dan left GB to become a podcast producer for WWE. I think he primarily works with New Day but also works with some REAL knobs (even by WWE standards...).

Some time after that he started doing twitch streaming too. It isn't a full time gig but he tends to go a few nights a week and he seems to be fairly popular.

I've caught a few of his streams. I personally enjoy when he goes a bit deeper on "game reviews" and draws from his history in game journalism and the audio hellscape is fun in short bursts. And watching bits of him playing Twin Snakes was a joy.

I dunno. I get why people are annoyed but... if anyone thinks the guy who was a heel for hours of Mario Party and was the driving force behind Burgle My Bananas and Steal My Sunshine wouldn't go full in on gimmicks, donation incentives, and audio hellscapes then I can only imagine they weren't paying attention. Same with being shocked that the guy who got married in a taco bell and has worshipped Vince McMahon for decades would shamelessly and unabashedly seek out trash tier beer sponsorships (did he get the Coors?).

It isn't my cup of tea but most streamers aren't (although I really should try harder to find some who are). But this very much seems like pure unfiltered Dan for better or for worse. Even the "I am an influencer, not a game journalist" lines up as he very much leaned more toward the "I am just gonna show you this game" kind of QL with occasional rants about non-gamey mechanics.

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Efesell

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#21 Efesell  Online

@davidfox1983: Sure I guess but I'm coming at this from knowing Dan from GB also and nothing about this pivot seems out of place to me.

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davidfox1983

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@bigsocrates:

> It sounds like he's just messing around, trying to get people to do dumb* stuff like send him food, seeing what even dumber stuff people will do (like send him a soundbar),

But it’s not understood as a joke or part of his persona in the chat. It’s a direct request from him with rewards if you contribute. There’s no fun being had here and no “dumb interactions”. It’s straight-up, “buy me shit” which I know is standard for many twitch streams. That’s fine. It’s just weird for Dan

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Sessh

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Not going to comment on what I actually think of Dan doing this stuff, but has anything really changed? He was always self promoting and trying things somewhat akin to "get rich quick" schemes.

He has used his internet fame in his favor multiple times while at GB and for example has always promoted his books etc.

Thus the Twitch stuff just seems to be him being true to himself, as always. Again, not commenting on if that's a good thing or not, just stating a fact.

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RalphMoustaccio

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From what I have seen of his streams (exclusively the ones with a shtick, such as last night's Tyson one), I very much view it as almost a parody of stream culture. It's just another example of him taking something about his personality and turning it up to 11 as a goof.

I get the point of him having made a significant reversal from previously stated opinions of stream culture, but even if he's being 100% genuine in his streams--which, again, I don't think is the point--it's not like there aren't many examples of Dan admitting he was wrong about something and doing an about face in his opinion of them.

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Quantris

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I'm in the camp that doesn't see this as something all that unusual for Dan. IMHO the "I'm in this for me" and "how do I make money off this" aspects were always part of Dan's presence (this is from someone who knows him mostly from his stint at GB). And to be clear I'm not saying those are bad things (quite a solid argument that those traits are directly correlated to his successes as a public figure), just that they're there if you look at his GB-era work and are perhaps laid more bare these days.

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davidfox1983

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@sessh:

> Not going to comment on what I actually think of Dan doing this stuff, but has anything really changed?

Yeah it has. Direct requests for money. Doing whatever it takes to get more followers and cash

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davidfox1983

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@ralphmoustaccio:

> , I very much view it as almost a parody of stream culture. It's just another example of him taking something about his personality and turning it up to 11 as a goof.

It’s different when he’s directly asking for cash. Maybe not unavoidable, but it’s definitely different from his times on gb. And that’s all I’m trying to start conversation about; is this weird? I’d also ask “if it’s predatory” but that’s all twitch streams.

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Gundato

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@davidfox1983: Wait, he is asking for money in exchange for entertainment? Fuck that shit

Only a complete monster would EVER ask viewers for money. Please say he also isn't hiding any streams behind some form of a... Hold up, I gotta go get a thesaurus to find a synonym for 'Premium'. Oh, shit, never mind. Lemme try again

Only a complete monster would EVER ask viewers for Money. Please say he also isn't hiding any streams behind some form of a Deluxe membership. And is he being such an asshole that he is talking about that on stream and running pushes to get more subscriptions?

Do you kind of see where I am going with that?

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Sessh

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@davidfox1983: Sure, but again, he did stuff like this at GB (but only as far as the rest of the crew allowed it), e. g. by promoting his books. Also think of stuff like "what would you guys pay me if I do X", but now it's not adressed to coworkers, but Twitch viewers. And yes, those moments might have been in jest, but he would have actualy done "X" 90% of the time and have taken the money.

Thus I think he'd always have done what he's doing now, at GB also, if he just could have.

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RalphMoustaccio

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@davidfox1983: Why is it "weird," apart from his previous knee-jerk opinions on stream culture? He's not in the industry anymore. There's nothing even vaguely problematic with him engaging in the systems that have been set up. It's not like he invented the donation system on Twitch. It's no different than any other streamer doing exactly the same thing. You brought up Mahardy seemingly being uncomfortable with people donating, and that's very likely because he is still working in the industry, and needs to maintain some separation from being paid directly for his opinions on something, for which you could make a crude argument that that is what streaming comes down to. I'd disagree with that argument, but it's a perspective.

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sombre

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@gundato said:

@davidfox1983: Wait, he is asking for money in exchange for entertainment? Fuck that shit

Only a complete monster would EVER ask viewers for money. Please say he also isn't hiding any streams behind some form of a... Hold up, I gotta go get a thesaurus to find a synonym for 'Premium'. Oh, shit, never mind. Lemme try again

Only a complete monster would EVER ask viewers for Money. Please say he also isn't hiding any streams behind some form of a Deluxe membership. And is he being such an asshole that he is talking about that on stream and running pushes to get more subscriptions?

Do you kind of see where I am going with that?

To be fair, Giant Bomb without premium is absolutely miserable

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davidfox1983

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@gundato:

> Wait, he is asking for money in exchange for entertainment? Fuck that shit

This isn’t about “value for content” or anything else. All I was talking about was the mind shift.

This is a GB forum so this is just the place to talk about previous and prior staff. All I’m saying is that it’s weird to see such a shift in values

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bigsocrates

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@davidfox1983: Your perception is that he and his viewers aren't seeing this as a fun weird thing but they seem to all be enjoying themselves without hurting anyone else so...

I mean having people order you food and offering to dumb things in exchange for money is pretty dumb in just the way Dan likes. He got a free wedding from Taco Bell and he asked people to vote for him on that so it's not like he has never mixed what he thought was fun with a desire for material gains.

It sounds like his current thing isn't for you and that's fine. But we're talking about Dan here. You're acting like this is some kind of highminded person who always claimed to be above everything turning his back on his principles! It's DAN!

People are having fun. Nobody's being hurt. I'm sorry you feel like Dan has let you down but for the rest of us I guess we didn't have any real expectations for him beyond not doing evil stuff.

Frankly I think that working for WWE is arguably more immoral than Twitch begging, and I don't think the Twitch begging is out of character for the guy who asked all his fans to help him get a free Taco Bell wedding.

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Gundato

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@gundato:

> Wait, he is asking for money in exchange for entertainment? Fuck that shit

This isn’t about “value for content” or anything else. All I was talking about was the mind shift.

This is a GB forum so this is just the place to talk about previous and prior staff. All I’m saying is that it’s weird to see such a shift in values

I am starting to understand how Dan playing it up for streams and having gimmicks would take you by surprise...

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davidfox1983

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We're getting a little off-track so how about this: keep up the cool opinions but also, if you've seen his stream, saw just what you think of them? Honest opinions on a stream plz

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petesix0

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#36  Edited By petesix0

@davidfox1983: I think what you're finding here is that for a lot of people Dan's choices don't seem as surprising to them as it is to you. I can't say you're wrong to have an impression of someone that you felt betrayed by when they stepped outside of your expectations, because it is absolutely your place to keep your own impressions of people. I mean I can relate, I guess because I remember Dan's announcement on his last day was almost the first thing I read after waking up and I was just floored.

I don't remember Dan streaming as soon he left(I might be wrong about that), but he's adapted to the situation he has. My guess would be to exercise the excess Dan Energy he would have had for buying numerous inflatable dinosaur costumes to confuse and scare dog. Or maybe people are right, that he needs a satirical bit, or maybe he just likes free stuff. I get that you're upset and we're obv here for it, but hopefully the trauma can help you adjust to who Dan is. Now. I think.

(Edited for clarity x2)

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Humanity

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#37  Edited By Humanity

I think I get what you're saying in that while it's not surprising that Dan has fully embraced the streamer lifestyle once he understood how it works, it is "surprising" after all those years of "wah Twitch I don't get it wah streamers.." The fact that he now 150% embraced everything that being a Twitch streamer is all about is pretty much par for the course and is not shocking in the slightest. You do get this flinch effect when someone who has for years dismissed streamer culture suddenly buys into that very same system wholesale. Dan knows exactly what he's doing just like he has for years - most recently he did a whole bit where he started to apologize for shamelessly getting people to spend money on dumb stuff, only to mid-sentence put on a prize-show overlay and sell the ability to have your username get written on a package label and then get stickied to Dans couch or face.

In a funny way Dan seems to have been built exactly for Twitch and years in the industry have been leading up to this point. While Giant Bomb has around 10 people and they talked about what a struggle it was to plan around those daily streams and produce content, Dan while ostensibly maintaining a full-time wrestling gig is doing 6 hour long streams in the evening on his off time. This isn't to sell GB short or cast any accusations but show just how much Dan is benefitting from being able to channel his passion for gaming as a solo act without restrictions of working within someone elses system. He comes up with crazy ideas and then executes them with full force without any red-tape.

At the end of the day if people want to spend money on him then let 'em. Dan isn't trying to trick anyone here - everything is as transparent as can be. If you think it's a funny joke to buy him meals or pay 30 to have him put a sticker on his face then it's your money so do as you please. Is it gross? Is Twitch gross? Is it predatory? I think thats all up to the individual to decide.

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Onemanarmyy

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#38  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I have no issues following twitch streamers that just do their thing and end up being successful from it. They do get money thrown their way, people give out subs and they get a fair share of shoutouts and thanks directed to them. But with the people i like, it's always coming from a sincere place.

GB and Dan have always treated the streamer life as a morally questionable thing, where random people suddenly yield a crazy amoung of influence that companies can exploit on the cheap & with fancy trips. While stans throw money at these people whatever they do just to get noticed. So as soon as Dan jumped on that ship, that was kind of the angle he took from it.

Here's this meta nightmare stream with awful sounds and overlays and you get to pay for food and sponsors will be auditioned for. It kinda reminds me of that crowdfunding campaign where a guy was trying to make people pay for his twitch career where he offered companies to sponsor him in return for their company logo to be a watermark on the stream feed, as if the stream is a nascar car :D

Given Dan has a inbuilt audience, whatever he does immediatly pops off instead of all these streamers that are trying to figure out how to get more than 2 viewers. You probably couldn't do an all-night mario party game on your own and make money doing it as a newcomer.

I had a ton of fun with Dan at GB, but i have 0 interest in watching him on twitch sadly. I get that it's sort of fun to see Dan get fucked over by Mario Party again and again, but i'm just not into the more performative twitch streamers. Especially when they're at the level of hugeness where the chat & donation interaction almost becomes the main thing. But hey, it works for him and people get joy out of it, so good for those that do enjoy it.

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49th

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You have to remember that paying for this stuff is optional, it's essentially donations. I watch the streams and think they are entertaining but I personally wouldn't spend money on stuff like that and I don't feel like I'm being pressured to send him money either. I'm sure Dan is making bank though and he already has a couple of whales that are paying for stuff every stream so good for him.

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FinalDasa

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#40 FinalDasa  Moderator  Online

Dan isn't the only Twitch streamer who is associated with GB and a lot of what you're describing isn't exclusive to him.

Feel free to share your opinions but remember that insults and demeaning comments are not welcome.

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colourful_hippie

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This post does come off a bit asshole-ish. I don't see this as much of a problem considering he is someone who already has a full time job with WWE and is able to justify the time he spends on Twitch because of the money he gets from the users. If he were to do game streaming as his main gig then he could go the Patreon route and not have to constantly be thanking each person for subs and bits, but he's not.

I'm just happy to see some game content from him because I think him leaving GB left a pretty large void he used to fill with excessive enthusiasm and dumbass antics. I'm not much into Twitch, I only watch his YouTube archives, but I don't get the vitriolic emotions over hearing him thank subs like you seem to have.

I will agree on one thing you mentioned though, I do miss him having another person be some sort of foil to slap down his ridiculous opinions from time to time. Unconstrained Dan can be way too much.

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chaser324

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#42 chaser324  Moderator

All of it honestly seems pretty on-brand to me, Dan's monetization of the stream and his followers included. I personally can't really handle this fully unrestrained Dan for an extended period of time, but if it's what other people like and they want to support it, I don't have a problem with it.

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cornbredx

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#43  Edited By cornbredx

You may be mixing fantasy with reality here, friend. Dan has always been about consumerism and money. He's very open about that. He was never your friend. He was always getting paid to entertain you. Everything you say in this very long post comes off to me like you don't completely understand that- especially if you think this is everything Dan "hated". I'm not sure whatever made you think that.

Yes, you could argue Dan is not necessarily great at the singular streamer thing, but I think that's beside the point. Dan is still doing Dan. He's just not with Giant Bomb anymore. If anything the whole Twitch thing feels, to me, like Dan misses being a part of Giant Bomb because now he's mostly a behind the scenes guy and so he's lost some of whatever little fame he had as well as that group of friends atmosphere.

I don't really understand why it upsets you so much- it feels like it does just reading this- that Dan is making money off his personality, but that's what Dan has been doing all along. I'm sorry if this has disillusioned you. Maybe that's what it is. Maybe you never noticed it before... for some reason. Just a guess. I don't know.

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pearsonpark

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I think Dan’s great, I hope he’s happy and getting to do what he loves. So I don’t agree with the tone of this thread. However I do think that a lot what makes Dan funny is his obliviousness to the humor in what he says and does. And that humor can’t surface without people like the GiantBomb team jokingly calling him on his shit. So I haven’t been able to get into any of his new stuff, but if he likes strangers paying him to do things on a webcam more power to him.

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colourful_hippie

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@cornbredx: lol yeah, I mean the guy intentionally had a Tace Bell wedding. I don't know how much more blatant you can get.

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Shindig

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It's the format that annoys me rather than the streamers on Twitch. I wish there was more elegant hooks in place to monetise that stuff beyond "This person paid me money to say hello or ask a question." Or, "Hey, you're a subscriber now so here's some emotes."

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LilNatureBoyX

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ShaggE

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#48  Edited By ShaggE

Nothing seems surprising about it to me in the least. Dan makes his bones as an entertainer, and most entertainers do what they do for a profit. Nothing wrong with having a side hustle, and nobody has to pay to watch his streams. And he was always business-minded, not sure where you got the idea that he wasn't. Even here, every bit of content made is with the end goal (directly or indirectly) of making money and pushing Premium subs.

Correct me if I'm misreading, but it sounds like you're under the impression that Dan is tricking people into giving him money and gifts, which says more about how you view people in general than it says about Dan. Yes, there are predatory streamers, but they tend to be the ones targeting irresponsible kids and teens moreso than the older fanbase that Dan tends to draw. I'm quite sure the people donating know exactly what they're doing. That's just how you make it on Twitch, which I do have issues with, but my beef is with the system and not the individuals. But yeah, what's so much worse about what Dan's doing than, say, mailbag videos here where people gift the crew with stuff, no doubt sometimes with the hopes of being mentioned on the next mailbag (just like people sending bits to streamers to get a shoutout)?

Now, if Dan were saying things like "Send me shit or GTFO", or "I will not acknowledge your presence unless you give me things", then yeah, that'd be pretty scummy.

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Efesell

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#49 Efesell  Online

Also this thing about Dan making fun of Streamers and youtubers before... Dan mocks everything he is unfamiliar with as a reflex. That's like... his whole move.

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Acura_Max

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You guys act as if he committed a crime.