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Twitch’s new Creator Camp will help streamers cope with burnout, fan challenges

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By Julia Alexander, Polygon

Twitch is introducing a new series called Twitch Creator Camp, as part of a mission to help streamers know when to step away from the computer.
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Creator Camp is a series of livestreams and videos created in collaboration with top-partnered streamers that Twitch hopes will help its users build an audience. The company described Creator Camp as “an array of insights from successful creators including videos with a focus on the most frequent topics surfaced by Twitch’s creator community,” in a press release, adding that streamers can participate in “weekly live video sessions where successful creators present best practices and interact with viewers in real-time.”

Part of the camp’s initiative will focus on an important, and growing concern in the Twitch community: burnout and mental health. Both YouTube and Twitch creators have announced in recent months extended breaks from the platforms so they can tend to mental health issues.

Jessica Messinger, Twitch’s creator marketing manager, told Polygon burnout and other mental health concerns that affect Twitch’s community are important, and that Creator Camp was designed with that in mind.

“In addition to a full suite of resources in our Help center, Twitch Creator Camp has a section called ‘Mix it up,’ which talks about the importance of taking a break when you need it,” Messinger said.

In January, Lirik, a popular Twitch streamer, posted a lengthy statement on his subreddit about his mental health and fear of burnout.

[post_ads]“It burnt me the f--- out,” Lirik said. “I have gone from chilling and kicking the s--- with you guys to being self-conscious of myself not being entertaining or up to the standards of other communities. Almost like I needed to constantly defend what I built. It made me sour. It also made me realize that I needed a break and more focus on my life. As much as I like streaming, it is all I do. Before you say you only stream 6-7 hours a day ... streaming isn’t just an on-air job. Like, be realistic here people. It is lirikFR lirik here, not f---ing Game of Thrones HBO production staff.”

Enabling better mental health practices on Twitch doesn’t start and end with streamers self-preservation. The mental health of viewers, and their relationships with streamers, is equally important.

Recently, streamers like Dr. Lupo and Ninja have spoken directly to viewers about their depression. In May, after receiving a donation from a suicidal fan, Dr. Lupo reached out directly to the viewer, before tweeting about the incident and urging his followers to seek help when needed.

“Ended stream with a not-so-happy tip from a viewer,” Dr. Lupo tweeted. “If you are considering options to escape your pain, I guarantee you talking to someone and having a good cry is a better option than every alternative.”

Ninja commented on the situation, addressing how it affected Dr. Lupo, a close friend of his, and exploring the serious issue affecting many prominent Twitch streamers.

“You are not alone, there are millions of people that go through it every single day, and do not donate to a streamer and tell them that you’re about to kill yourself,” he said on a recent stream. “Like, you can just say that you’re not in a good place and you want some advice, I don’t know... and the advice will be what I just told you — to go and seek help! Putting that pressure on a streamer is, it’s not very humane.

“It literally crushed Ben tonight. It’s the internet too, so it’s like who do you even trust?”

A Twitch representative told Kotaku last year that the platform works to “stop promotion of content that can lead to suicide or self harm, which includes mitigating the risk of an individual being exposed to negative encouragement,” adding the company is “constantly evaluating” its policies.

Twitch is now trying to help streamers learn to navigate that territory. The aforementioned “Mix it up” section will go over some of these issues.

“That section also highlights [Twitch] partners discussing how to engage with a community offline and the importance of life balance,” Messinger said.

The Camp is designed to help streamers learn about the tools available to them to deal with all types of situations, from helping fans to dealing with aggressive viewers. Streamers’ safety, Messinger said, is crucial to Twitch.
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“We take harassment very seriously and understand how important this topic is for the entire Twitch community,” Messinger said. “Twitch Creator Camp provides streamers with information about tools and features to address these types of situations which includes a dedicated section about our community guidelines and a section about moderation and safety. Everyone deserves to feel confident that when they stream on Twitch.”

More information about Twitch Creator Camp, including a calendar of events, can be found at twitch.tv/creatorcamp. The first broadcast will happen at 2 p.m. PT on July 31.

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: Twitch’s new Creator Camp will help streamers cope with burnout, fan challenges
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