Many of us turn to gaming as a way to escape from the real world and to have a little me time, because of this gaming has found a huge surge in popularity during the recent lockdown measures – in some sectors such as mobile gambling this growth has come despite changes to initiatives such as Gamstop which actively try to prevent a growing number of players by adding restrictions had been made to little effect as operators register elsewhere to avoid these restrictions, Maximum Casino’s list of sites not on gamstop are just some of the many that are available – but the recent bad news comes through popular streaming service Twitch and some of the most recent events that have caused some controversy.
A recent number of sexual assault allegations have led to huge changes on the platform leading to many content creators being banned from the platform – for around a week or so at the end of June many victims had reached out over the Twitter platform detailing their accounts of what happened to them through some of these bigger names. The biggest hit would be with the entire Method esports organisation after reports of one of their players had been a little more sinister than others and has effectively led to the whole organisation falling apart – there are now a lot of efforts being made to ensure sexual harassment and misconduct is handled much different through the platform in a bid to reduce the risk of this happening again.
There had also been some other very sad news in the Twitch bubble as popular streamer and one of the pioneers of the platform, Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein, unfortunately, passed away at the age of 31 – he started on the platform as a popular World of Warcraft streamer and has been attributed by many as one of the few big names that helped the platform get off the ground and turn into what it is today leading to huge tributes being paid in homage to his time on the platform as thousands of players in the game would gather together.
This death led to an outcry of influencers within the space and entire communities speaking out about the mistreatment and bullying that occurs online – although Byron’s death had been attributed to long standing personal battles, it had been suggested that the platform may not have helped at all – but his wasn’t the only blow to the community. Another recent loss comes with another streamer in Kenny ‘Blue622’ Tancredi who also passed away this week at the age of thirty, but for unknown reasons.
It has been a tough couple of weeks in the gaming and streaming community as a whole, hopefully the path to recovery can now begin for many but hopefully the worst is behind us – the first half of this year has been tough overall, perhaps we can move forward and start to see a brighter second half of the year.