Chapter 2:

Playing a classic game

Life Stream: Helping a cute girl gain views and followers

I began to nervously shake as Leona stood in shock.

“Please say something. I’ll have a heart attack if this silence keeps up any longer,” I thought.

She finally closed her mouth and smiled.

“So how do you plan to do that?” she asked.

Fair question. I had only blurted it out in the spur of the moment. My brain began frantically thinking in order to come up with a good solution.

“I can collab with you and help with editing and promotion,” I answered.

I did have SOME video editing skills, and I had always wanted to try my hand at online marketing. After all, it’s much easier to communicate online than in person for me. Though I had little to no experience with either of them. My face went red as I sunk my head into my hands.

“Looks like you’re trying to impress me. Well, you’re trying, and I’m already at rock bottom, so why not,” Leona smiled.

She then grabbed my hand and began dragging me somewhere.

“Wh Where are we going!? I’ve got to bring these groceries home!”

“You said you wanted to help, so I’m taking you to my apartment. We’re gonna make a video!”

I couldn’t believe this girl. Though I was more shocked when I found out she lived in the same apartment complex as me.

“Wow! What a coincidence! Guess you can drop off the food after all,” she chuckled.

After dropping off the groceries, I snuck out and went to Leona’s apartment. It was one floor above mine. I knocked on the door and she opened it.

“Welcome Crowboy! No need to worry about your shoes, this whole main room is my studio.”

It felt weird not taking off my shoes, but she said it was OK and was still wearing hers. The main room truly looked like a streaming setup. There was a bluescreen and greenscreen, a nice sofa and TV, a large work desk with a gaming computer and microphone, and a high end gaming chair. There was space to move around without feeling too cramped, and cameras were set up around the room.

“Well, waddaya think? This and my look were all brought to you by my entire life savings,” Leona proudly stated.

I was impressed. She truly was all in on content creation. One thing I noticed she lacked was a large video game collection. Even on her channel, she did not have a lot of variety in terms of gaming.

“Hey Leona, why don’t you have many games? I think you’d gain more views if you played a greater variety of games,” I said.

“Oh, well the truth is I’m kind of short on cash. Since my parents have cut me off, and I’m not making ends meet, I’ve had to sell some of my games, and forgo buying new ones just to scrape by. E-fortress is free to play, so I usually just stream FTP games,” Leona somberly answered.

I now understood a bit about why she was distraught in her stream. She HAD passion, but sadly it wasn’t paying bills. Worse, she was at the point where she had to sell her beloved games just to scrape by. I wanted her to succeed. Considering she just mentioned her parents have cut her off, she might become homeless or forced to do unsavory jobs if her fortunes don’t reverse.

“You said you wanted to film a video, so how about I grab some of my games and we stream those,” I suggested.

Leona looked at me with amazement and gave the OK.

In a flash, I returned with my Game sphere and some old games. Leona gawked at the haul.

“Wow! I’ve never owned one of these. Though I’ve heard of Brawl Brothers! That’s that really popular fighting game they always play at tournaments. Oh, is that Squeegee’s Penthouse? I really want to play that one!”

I helped Leona get everything set up. Luckily, she had all the necessary equipment needed to stream the game seamlessly.

“This one you should do live. This is a classic and the fact that you’re going in blind is bound to generate some views. Just don’t say anything too controversial and your good,” I stated.

“Wow! You sound so confident. Are you secretly some retired streamer?” she asked.

“Nah, I’m just some loser that browses the internet daily.”

After Leona was set up, I logged in on my laptop.

“You should set me as a moderator for the stream. I can at least help by keeping chat in check,” I stated.

“Sweet! Though I doubt you’ll have to do much.”

After picking out a catchy title for the stream, I sat back and watched her play. Her energetic and edgy personality really brought the stream to life. Her viewer numbers were low, but that was to be expected. She ended up going for 3 hours.

“Hey chat! How much more is left of this game? It feels like I’m near the final boss,” Leona said.

“Still lots left if you want to 100%, but final boss through the next door,” I typed.

“Sweet! I’ll beat this sucker 1st try!”

It took her a few attempts, but she eventually beat the game.

“That was amazing! I can see why everyone loves this game. Well guess I’ll end the stream.”

“Are we gonna raid anyone?” I typed.

Leona turned and looked at me oddly.

“Raid? Um, I’ve never raided anyone before.”

I motioned for her to come over.

“It could help boost exposure,” I whispered.

“Oh, like saying sub to my channel?”

“NO! Never go on someone else’s channel and blatantly self-promote. Though if you become part of someone else’s community, you might get some crossover support, and possibly end up becoming friends with them. Any streamers you’re into?”

Leona thought for a moment.

“I did know someone in school, but I flunked out before they could make a big debut. I don’t even know if they’re even streaming.”

“Would it be OK if I suggested someone? I could pick someone that does similar content to you or has a similar vibe.”

“I don’t know, despite how I act, I’m kind of a social reject in reality.”

I could perfectly relate to her plight. Heck, I was only acting so bold because of her energy.

“How about Valentino512? He’s a down to earth streamer with a fair-sized audience. He primarily plays games but is hilarious and will sometimes have funny outbursts,” I suggested.

“Sure, not like I’ve got anything to lose.”

Leona returned to her seat and began the raid of Val’s channel. Coincidentally, he was playing a later game in the Squeegee’s penthouse series.

“Yo! I just beat the first game in the series!” Leona typed.

“Chat member says, “Just beat the first game in the series”. Wow, not bad chat member,” Val read out.

“He… He read my comment! I can’t believe it!” Leona screamed as she jumped up and down with joy.

I didn’t anticipate this, but if it increased Leona’s motivation, and potentially her viewership, that was all I could ask for. We ended up watching Val’s stream for another hour. We’d both comment on the stream and play along with other chat members when Val did something dumb.

“Wow, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever commented on someone else’s stream. Usually I just lurk,” Leona laughed.

“Heh, me too. Guess your influence is really rubbing off on me,” I smiled.

“So when can we do another video? Tomorrow? Two days from now?”

“Whenever! Not like I’ve got anything else to do.”

“Great! We’ll meet tomorrow at 3! I want to try a new dare challenge!”

After saying goodbye, I headed back to my apartment. I think this is the first time in a long time I’ve ever felt this happy and motivated.

Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64