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An Inside Look At Singapore’s Twitch Streaming Culture With Amanda A.K.A BADA-BING is a live streaming video platform that gamers around the world use to share their video gaming experience — be it rummaging through vast digital lands or a play-by-play walkthrough of a difficult level, there is something for every gamer out there.

Broadcasts of eSports competitions, as well as the more recent IRL (in real life) genre, have been popular with the viewing audience.

With more than fifty-five million people watching video game streamers on Twitch every month, you’d think at least one of them would be watching someone from Singapore. Yes, there are Singaporeans who game for an audience, both as a hobby as well as a full-time job.

Today we delve into the world of Twitch streaming from a Singaporean perspective with Amanda a.k.a BADA-BING, a popular streamer on our little island.

So, Amanda, tell us about yourself.

My name is Amanda, and my online handle is “BADA-BING”. I’m a makeup artist by day and a streamer/digital illustrator by night. Before moving on to PC games, my gaming life was dominated by RPG console games such as the Final Fantasy series, Kingdom Hearts, Xenosaga, Star Ocean, etc.  

I was introduced to Dota2 in late 2012 and it is now one of the main games I stream on Twitch. Apart from Dota2, I play PUBG, horror (Layers of Fear, Detention, Outlast, Dreadout), indie, and RPG games (Tomb Raider, Witcher series). I stream on Twitch’s creative segment sometimes, where I get to show my viewers my art processes.

I enjoy outdoor activities too – it is not healthy to sit in front of the PC all day although I would love to.  

How did you start out streaming on Twitch?

A good friend of mine started streaming and encouraged me to start. I enjoyed the whole process of building my channel and watching it grow. I stream using OBS and used some of my savings to get a simple webcam. I kid you not, I started streaming Dota2 with 20fps on my laptop. All my in-game settings were set on low and my Ping was never stable. It was awful.

Thankfully, with the support of my viewers — and I’m grateful for them — I got my current set up, which has released me from the shackles of 20fps gaming!

Which Twitch streamers do you look up to?

I look up to streamers such as DizzyKitten and Ephey. I learn a lot from their streams, such as viewer interaction and being true to themselves. I suppose sometimes when you put yourself out there, you want to appear perfect.

I admire how they are okay with showing their flaws; laughing at their mistakes, and loving themselves for who they are. 

What do your parents think of you speaking to “strangers on the internet”?

My parents did not think much about it as I constantly assured them and explained what streaming is like for me. They trust me enough to know I can take care of myself so all’s good.

The only problem they have is when I’m streaming till late and they get woken up by my random giggles. 

What do you think your niche is and how do you to stand out from the crowd?

Some streamers choose to build an online persona, however, for myself, I would say that what you see is what you get. How I am on stream is pretty much how I am IRL. I stream games and art that I’d love to share with my audience. Keeping the conversations as real as possible and with the best music. 

I am also a digital illustrator and all the creative content, emotes, sub/bit badges, intro that you see on my stream are all drawn and designed by myself. I also run a commission for other streamers when I design and draw their emotes.

We’re able to stream almost anything on various platforms, be it cooking, singing, gaming, IRL and music. The possibilities are endless. By being yourself, you are already differentiating yourself from others. As cliché as it sounds, there is only one you.

Streamers have their own way of standing out, such as having their own special stream segments, viewer game week, icon, etc. It’s up to their own imagination, which is what makes streaming so fun. 

What keeps you going?

My viewers for sure. I would not be where I am without them. I think it would be great to eventually become a full-time streamer, but for now, I stream because I love to. Being disciplined and setting aside time to stream consistently is important for me.

I used to stream only once a week, maybe even less when I got busy. When I made the conscious effort to stream as often as I can, it becomes a fruitful experience. I game so much either way, so why not stream them. 

What do you think about your viewers and how do you feel when a donation comes in?

40% angels, 60% internet trolls. I adore them either way, they really spice up the chat and I hope the community I’m trying to build will continue to be kind and supportive of each other.

Blessed. Any form of support means a lot to me and it motivates me to keep dishing out better content for my viewers. Some donations are for food expenditure because my viewers know how much of a glutton I can be! Of course, the funds go to improving my stream set-up and getting new games.

What are the highs and lows of your streaming experience?

The highs would include all those moments that come from playing with friends, be it accidentally running over my friends in vehicles, getting killed and killing each other with stray grenades in PUBG or those misclicks in Dota resulting in Sheever Ravages, air echo slams or purposefully shoving my friends into the enemies with a Force Staff!

You see, anything can happen in the game and it’s hard to list everything. An easy fix would be catching my streams! Another memorable milestone for me was when I reached my stream goal of getting my first CPU for my birthday.

Lows would definitely come from those days where I’m not in the greatest of moods and tired from a day of work. I wear my heart on my sleeve so I stay true to myself even on stream. Backseat gaming is also something all of us streamers have to deal with.

It’s when the viewers make remarks over your every move, be it negative or positive, but I’ve gotten used to it and learnt how to deal with it better or at least I hope I have! Overall, the positives heavily outweigh the negatives.

Can you tell us about the craziest things that have come out from your whole streaming experience?

Nothing crazy has really happened per se. Since I have my social media listed on my Twitch channel, I do sometimes get DMs asking me for photos of my toes, nudes, and even asking where I got plastic surgery done or if I am transsexual. LOL. Eventually, I disabled any incoming messages from strangers as it gets annoying when I’m streaming. 

Do you think streaming is a viable source of income/job in the Singaporean climate?

Streaming is not limited to a fixed geographical audience. Streamers on Twitch are able to stream any content they like, in any time zone. We can reach international audiences easily, but whether they choose to stay on our streams is up to them!

I am sure a lot of Singaporeans look down on the idea as it’s risky and takes a while to produce any results, or none at all. But if it’s what you love, why not just do it? Not many get to turn their passion into a career. It takes immense courage and hard work. Eventually, I believe it will pay off. 

On my end, streaming is definitely a viable source of income. However, being a makeup artist will still be my main source of income, it is also my passion. I’m really happy I get to do what I love for a living. 

What can you tell people who have flirted with the idea of streaming?

If not now, then when? Don’t let anyone hold you back from doing what you love. Start by taking baby steps and explore the idea, you might end up really loving it, which I’m sure of.

For Singaporeans, there is a warm community of Singaporean streamers on Twitch and we’d be more than happy to welcome anyone into the family! It’s nice to be able to share what you love doing, i.e gaming, other interests, with a community you’d love to build.

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In a society that rewards paper qualifications with a stable income and eventually a stable life, a career in streaming is definitely a viable alternative albeit a short-term one. With technology and the internet removing geographical limitations, your viewers on the Internet can help you build a name for yourself and expand into other ventures.

Find your niche, be it skill, humour, drama, curiosity, or gimmicks, and be open to sharing your love for whatever you want to the audience. There will always be someone in the audience that will resonate with your message and you shouldn’t harp on the numbers too much — everything has a beginning and it’s akin to getting on stage in front of an audience; you need to take that leap of courage to put yourself out there.

Doing what you love will pay for itself but much like everything else in life, hard work will never betray you.

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