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How Disabled Gamers Are Using Twitch

Many people live stream their video games as a way of turning their hobby into an interactive performance that others can enjoy. The live streaming of video games began to become popular in the mid-2010s on sites such as Twitch. If a streamer becomes popular enough, they may even be able to earn a living from the live streams. There are many different streaming platforms to choose from such as YouTube Gaming, Hitbox.tv, Mirratv, and Twitch. Different platforms may suit different people. Twitch is the most popular service for gaming streaming, and its community is the strongest.

The streams on Twitch are not saved to watch later, so viewers must tune in at the right time to watch. Streaming services are about developing and engaging a community of fans and creators. There are different chat customization options that can allow creators to customize the way they interact with their audience.

Some of the biggest accounts have millions of hours watched every month and can make huge money from their streams. Streaming has become one of the fastest growing and most lucrative entertainment forms. The top three most-followed accounts on Twitch are Ninja (16.7 million followers), Tfue (10 million followers), and Shroud (8.99 million followers). These streamers earn money through ad revenue, subscriptions, or donations. For the top streamers who grow a large following video game streaming can become a million-dollar profession.

Every day, more than nine million people worldwide watch streamers play video games on Twitch. The service has over 100 million users. Twitch has a partnership program, where streamers have the ability to add a paid subscription option to their channel. Of the two million streamers currently broadcasting on the site every month, 200,000 of these are making money from it. Although a streamer’s skill at a game is important for drawing in a following, what will keep viewers there are their personality and charisma. Many of the most popular streamers are more famous for being witty and engaging rather than for their skill.

Many people with disabilities who play video games have found different ways to make money from streaming services. Livestreaming their play on platforms such as twitch as well as competing in e-sports tournaments can be a way to earn a living for many disabled gamers.  For disabled players, this can be vital for helping with medical bills or for supplying them with an income when they may be unable to work due to their disability. Watching gaming streams can also be very enjoyable for people with disabilities who may not be capable of playing themselves. This gives them the opportunity to experience what the game is like, how it is played, and get enjoyment from another person playing. This can provide escapism and a source of entertainment.

For many people, it has helped them manage their disability as it provides a community that offers resources, a break from isolation, the ability to make new friends, and the chance to help other people. The twitch platform is an inclusive and secure community where disabled gamers do quite well.  25% of the streamers on the site are made up of people with disabilities, according to research from the University of Alberta. It can offer significant fulfillment for users.

Why do so many people enjoy watching others play video games? There are many reasons for this such as learning from watching. Many viewers watch so they can increase their knowledge of certain games and improve their own playing experience. Users have also reported they watch gamers playing to come across new strategies and to find out how good certain games are before they decide to purchase them. Another factor is that the social aspect of Twitch is a major driver for users using the service. The more time a person spends watching streams, the greater the opportunity for them to meet and interact with other like-minded members of the gaming community.

Twitch has proven to be a great fundraising tool, as many streamers are playing for long periods of time to try and raise sponsorship and donations. Since being founded in 2011, creators on twitch have raised over $115 million for 300 different charities around the world. Creators encourage their viewers to donate during their live streams. Viewers donate to the creators they admire and support as they want to see them succeed. Viewers are also incentivized to donate based on the rewards offered by the creators of a charity.

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