Video Game Streaming as a Parent

There are thousands of streamers making entertaining video game content on a daily basis. With all the external pressures from real-world challenges, it can be difficult to find the time and energy for consistent streaming. The challenge can be especially difficult for gamers who have kids!

We recently spoke with upcoming Twitch streamer HercDaConqueror about how he is growing his Twitch channel. In the exclusive interview, he also shared some great advice on how parents can effectively balance their childcare responsibilities with the demands of streaming. 

Gaming Journey and Family Values

Two Average Gamers: How’d you get into streaming? What’s your origin story?

Herc: Video games and football have always been my biggest areas of focus. They’re my getaway from reality and have allowed me to form bonds with people I would have never expected to. After watching a few streamers, I started thinking about how I could stream my own gameplay. I was hesitant at first since I didn’t have a lot of equipment, plus I think I’m just okay at video games. Some of the people I had met in the gaming community pushed me to do it and I finally gave in. I went from not streaming at all to having 5 friends in my stream at a time. They started boosting me up which led to me investing more in my setup.

TAG: We know that family is very important to you. Tell us about the fam!

H: I have 5 beautiful children and a wonderful wife. It’s a lot of work but I cherish the moments I have with them. We just moved into a new house and are preparing for a wedding next August.

TAG: Sounds like you have your hands full! How have things been going during the pandemic with a full house?

H: At the beginning of the pandemic we started potty training my youngest son. Meanwhile, I was helping out the older kids with homework. Since there’s a wide range of ages, the work was distributed across different difficulties. Not all of the kids are in school so we’ve also had to keep some of them occupied during the day. I hadn’t anticipated this part but it’s been fun.

Streaming as a Parent

TAG: What are some of the biggest challenges of trying to balance streaming and parenting?

H: Summertime is always the most challenging. It was easier for me to stick to a schedule during the school week, but there’s a lot more variability during the summer break. The kids expect to be at the pool every day! I would schedule streams for specific days of the week but wouldn’t have certainty around the start time. 

TAG: Do you ever find the scales tipping one way or another?

H: If I’m overextended during the week then I dedicate more time on the weekend to the kids. It’s important to have time to disconnect, but it’s also important to make sure they don’t feel left out. I’m super excited since they just went back to school and I get the house to myself for a bit!

TAG: Do you have any restrictions on gaming for your kids?

H: Yes, which is crazy to think about because I didn’t really have restrictions from my parents when I was growing up. We didn’t really have online gaming back then. These days, you’ve got games like Call of Duty where you’re dealing with random adults and kids who use foul language. 

TAG: How do you protect your kids from that exposure to profanity?

H: I played Fortnite with my kids to see what the environment was like. I saw that he mostly played with kids his age and didn’t actually hear many problems. Of course, there were times when his squad would include strangers, but for the most part, it was relatively calm. They just want to enjoy the game. 

TAG: We’ve seen and heard your kids on stream a few times. What’s your philosophy behind family integrating into your stream?

H: My family is essentially an extension of me. The way you see me on stream is raw and uncut like you’d see me in real life. I do try to shield them from negativity, but I haven’t had to deal with that. Every time my kids show up on stream, the viewers seem to love that – it humanizes me. They get to see the father part of me; the husband part of me. I think it gives me an advantage in the streaming space.

Tips for Parents Interested in Streaming

TAG: For other moms and dads thinking about starting their own channel, what advice would you give?

H: Just do it! People are going to like you and follow you because you’re being yourself. Like any other job, the easiest way to do well is to know somebody. It’s no different in streaming. There are plenty of online communities that you can join to start interacting with gamers who are already doing it.

TAG: What’s an important factor when starting out?

H: Make sure your streaming is within reason of your familial expectations. I only stream 2 days a week, because any more than that would be strenuous for the Mrs. Even though I stream primarily around bedtime, it’s still a lot of responsibility to get the kids ready for bed. Start small, even if it’s just 1 day a week. Otherwise, you are going to burn yourself out, which will ultimately have a negative impact on your family.

TAG: Fair points. What’s something that’s been frustrating about Twitch?

H: The DMCA stuff really grinds my gears! Someone who pays for a Spotify premium service should be able to use said music on another platform. I’m paying for access to that music and I feel there should be some integration that would allow Spotify to play in the background. You shouldn’t get penalized for this when you are paying for the subscription.

Growing your Streaming Channel

TAG: What tips do you have for streamers looking to grow their channel?

H: My number one tip is to network, without making it seem like you are only here to network. The people who have helped me grow my channel are people that I genuinely care about. Because of that mutual bond, they are always looking out for me. When you start networking, have a goal of engaging in genuine interactions with individuals. Make sure that their thoughts and opinions align with yours.

TAG: What tools have you used to get your stream to its current state?

H: Outside of building my PC and peripherals, I use OBS studios to stream my gameplay. I finally invested in a stream deck which has made it easier to create an entertaining atmosphere on my stream. I also use Twitch Guru to give shoutouts to individuals in my stream.

Where to find Herc?

TAG: Thanks for all the tips! Now that people know a little about you, how can folks reach you?

HercDaConqueror shares thoughts on streaming as a parent
Image Credit: HercDaConqueror

H: 

TAG: Anything else you’d like to share?

H:  I’d much rather have 50 followers and have them be dedicated to watching my stream vs having thousands of followers but only a handful in chat.

Parenting will always have its challenges, but you can still enjoy some time streaming video games online with the right preparation. Herc continues to demonstrate how to juggle the two and we’re thankful that he was able to share his advice with the Average Gamer community!

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