For my intervention online, I wanted to utilize a streaming website that I often visited called ‘Twitch.tv’. While my original idea was based on the Korean tradition called ‘Mukbang’, I decided to focus on the interaction between the chat and streamer. Through research, I was able to see most forum users answered that they enjoyed Mukbangs due to the social aspect – the feeling of eating or being with someone else – rather than entertainment itself.
I first created a channel called “helpmesos”, and I would ask the viewers on how to do certain actions. The first day, I focused on real life advice, such as tying a tie and shoelaces. I was a bit hesitant about showing my face to an audience I had never met or seen before, but took the risk for this project. The viewers were fairly confused by whole scheme, and most of them ended up playing around. Only few viewers gave actual advice on teaching me what to do. While I was a bit disappointed at first at the lack of help from the chat; the chat started becoming frustrated at my failures in the given tasks. Their messages tended to be aggressive, which some of the chat and I found fairly humorous. Since my account was created on a Korean computer, it was also shown as a Korean stream which attracted Korean viewers. Overall, being able to interact with so many people online and see their reactions was exciting. I had to wonder why they were spending such a long time on my stream, when they could be spending their weekends with family and friends. In the end, it felt as if I had become their friends they could spend their days with.
The second day was more focused on everyday life tasks. The first task on how to tie a tie. I had never really learned how to tie a tie properly before, so I was a bit worried. A lot of the advice that the chat gave me either scrolled down too fast, or was too vague to help me. In the end, I figured it out on my own, but the chat seemed to fairly happy, believing they were the reason I was able to tie the tie.
For the second day, I focused on chess and card games. Chess, surprisingly, had a lot of people streaming the game. The biggest issue that came with chess was that I was naturally bad, and even with the chat giving me assist, I was unable to win a game for the whole day. However, me being terrible at this game actually lead to more interactions with the chat. The chat constantly tried to give advice to me on how to properly play the game.
While the stream was not grandiose, I did notice frequent visitors as well as viewers that stayed for a long time. While saying that the viewers stayed for entertainment might be valid, I believe that most of the viewers enjoyed the interaction with me. A lot of big streams are too focused on their games or lives to be able to pay attention to the chat, so me reading out almost every comments must have been a breath of fresh air for many viewers.