Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My team

Your average person finds the idea of being an extreme fan of a football team normal, but would usually think of being an extreme fan of a Youtube personality a lot more bizarre.  I have seen a lot of people who are happy to watch sports on TV question why anyone would watch someone play video games online, but the two things are very similar.  In both cases you could go do the activity yourself, but instead you watch someone much more skilled do it instead.  Everyone knows about Toronto Maple Leaf fans, but not a lot of people know that all kinds of gaming focused Youtubers have the same sort of thing.

Brian Kibler, a Hearthstone streamer, welcomes people to the club when they subscribe by saying "Welcome to the Dragon Army.  I appreciate your support."

Rhykker, a Diablo 3 player, says something very similar, in that he welcomes people in as part of Rhykker's Raiders.

Also, an aside:  Rhykker has the sexiest voice I have ever heard on a human.  He doesn't do anything for me visually, but that voice.... spalooosh.

Both of these people are basically trying to establish long term support by making people like they are part of a team.  That being part of that team requires nothing more than a desultory click, and that Rhykker / Kibler don't know the person at all, hardly seems to matter.  They are both successful at what they do.  It isn't any different from Maple Leaf fans, of course, since players on the Maple Leafs have no idea who individual fans are, and all you have to do to join the club is fork over some cash for random Maple Leaf swag and you are in.

It all makes me laugh.  I watch videos by Rhykker and Kibler sometimes because I like their content, but the idea of being all excited about joining the team is pretty hilarious to me.  It is exactly the way I find sports fans bizarre - I just don't get the thing where you identify so totally with a group or individual that gives precisely no shits about you in return.  I just don't do that whole team thing the way so many people seem to.

Which brings me to Firebat, who is a Hearthstone streamer and Youtuber much like Kibler is.  Firebat has a team thing too, but the way he says it is amazing.

"Thanks for the subscription, and welcome to the BatCave Team Thing.  I appreciate your support."  He has a team, because you have to have a team for people to join to maximize your earnings, but he so obviously finds the idea ridiculous that he can't even just say it.  He puts a Thing on the end of the team because of the fundamental absurdity of the proposition.  Looking at his face when he says it I really think he does appreciate people enjoying his content and likes doing what he does, but can't quite get past the marketing required.

I am with you there Firebat.  It is absurd that this is how you need to act to make it all work, and it is ridiculous that it works even when you are obviously mocking it as you go along.


  1. Are you still interested in M:TG at all? If you are, you should check out Luis Scott-Vargas. He's top notch, having gotten top 8 in the last three pro-tours, and hilarious. His thing when someone subscribes is to spin his mouse wheel.

    1. I don't play M:TG at all, so I doubt I would get much out of watching an M:TG streamer. I just don't know the cards at all anymore.