This won’t be your typical news post for today. This post instead is a brief story I wanted to share about something that happened to me last night. Yesterday saw the release of the adventure game Firewatch, which was followed up last night with many people on Twitch streaming their playthroughs of it.
One of my favorite streamers begin playing Firewatch late last night and something happened that I wasn’t prepared for at the start. I won’t spoil the narrative of Firewatch, but early in the game’s introduction you learn about a character suffering from an unexpected disease. As the streamer continued to read the game’s dialogue he began to speak slower and you could see the words becoming more difficult to speak.
After a brief pause in reading the dialogue the streamer slowly took off his headphones and walked away from the webcam. For a few minutes viewers were left looking at a game screen with no streamer behind the microphone. After a short time the streamer returned and discussed how the disease had affected family members close to him and thanked chat for their support.
Both the sense of the moment being live and a human being affected by the game impacted me deeply. I wasn’t prepared at all for it being just another night tuning into a Twitch stream. So much of Twitch can often be spam-filled chat and yelling streamers that the powerful moments such as these are not talked about.
I don’t want to spin this brief story into an opinion piece about why Twitch matters or anything of that sort. I just wanted to share this tender moment that in the end caused some tears and a memory that I won’t soon forget. In particular, I thank that streamer who shared a personal part of his life with us viewers.
Firewatch is available now on PC and PlayStation 4.