Our Quick Streaming and Video Content Creation Guide for Parents
You probably wouldn't be surprised how often we get asked questions about streaming and creating online video content by parents. Their children are obsessed with watching their favourite gamers on Youtube and Twitch. Children everywhere are now aspiring to follow in the footsteps of their idols, creating great content while enjoying their favourite hobby.
If you're reading this it's likely you know a child who is interested in becoming a Streamer, Video Content Creator or Professional Gamer. We've created this quick guide to provide an overview of what this means and how to get started.
What is a Streamer?
As a parent, you might have heard of Twitch, YouTube, and other streaming and video content platforms. Lots of gamers stream on these platforms daily, and millions of people tune in monthly. Primarily Streamers play games, and record gameplay live so others can view the gameplay and interact with them as they do so, often in the chat window to the side.
Streamers can also use a webcam to record their faces while playing so viewers can see their facial expressions and have a closer and more personal interaction with them. Video game streamers usually run live commentary or give brief comments or small talk as they play these games.
Streaming with your child
Streaming can also be a great way of sharing your child's enthusiasm and passion for gaming with them. There's a couple of things to be aware of if you're wanting to stream with your children. Children under the age of 13 are not allowed to use Twitch and YouTube, according to their Terms of Service. But children between the ages of 13 and 18 can use these sites under the supervision of a parent.
There are various parent and child streaming channels. For example, FatherSonGaming is a well-known channel that features Bill and Jason Munkel, a father and son gaming channel that now has over 200,000 followers and over 8 million views on their channel. They say that streaming and recording their gaming together has helped them to bond better.
The upsides to sharing this hobby with your child are numerous - You get to have fun playing games in your spare time, bond with your family members and you can even make a lot of money if you produce consistent and entertaining content. Yes, you heard that right! Some video game streamers make a lot of money from enjoying their hobby. Popular streamers like PewDiePie with over 61 million followers worldwide and DanTDM have made millions of pounds yearly from streaming video games and producing entertaining content, followed by hundreds of thousands of fans.
There are a few various ways by which game Streamers and Content Creators can make money online with their content. Some streaming platforms such as Twitch allow fans to subscribe to their favourite gamers and get access to monthly freebies, exclusive content and other benefits. Also, there are sponsorship opportunities available. Sponsors will pay to have their products mentioned, endorsed or shown on a stream or video. Sponsored Streamers and Content Creators often wear branded clothing or use branded gaming accessories from their sponsors during streaming sessions. Streamers and Content Creators also get a share from the ads that pop up while streamers watch them playing or when someone watches a video.
Once the Streamer has a lot of viewers on Twitch, they can become a Twitch Partner. This allows them to get a cut of all broadcast revenue and they can start to charge monthly subscription fees.
Games to stream
If your child is less than 17-18 years old, the choices of games for them to play online might be limited a little, however there are tons of games available that are suitable for children. Minecraft is still a popular choice and popular Streamer, Sonja “OMGitsfirefoxx” Reid is famous for her Minecraft streams. They can also play games such as Roblox, LEGO Batman 3, Project Cars, Splatoon, Goat Simulator, which can all be played by children aged 3+. So, if you have young children and are worried about the type of games they might be playing or content they are creating, you can opt for any of these.
Getting started in streaming or video content creation is fairly easy and doesn't break the bank. However there's a few important pieces of equipment that every Streamer needs to make high quality content. Streamers can acquire these gradually, improving their setup over time as their channel grows.
Here's a few items which come highly recommended for starting out:
1. Good Computer:
According to Twitch, the minimum recommended specs for a computer are at least Intel Core i5-4670, 8 GB RAM, a good, recent Graphics Card and Windows 7 or more recent operating system. There are a few trusted retailers who sell computers specifically for Streaming or editing video content, however these usually come at a premium. Conversely, it's important not to buy a computer with components that are too old and won't be up to scratch as it will only need updating again before long. We recommend to avoid buying from eBay as most of these computers will be built with lower quality components or may be refurbished.
The Amazon PC Gaming Store is a great place to start when not too sure what to buy. Their handy tool provides filters for computers based on the level of gamer they are are or the budget. For a Gaming computer built for streaming in this case it's probably going to be the "Enthusiast" level of computer.
2. HD Webcam:
Some laptops or computer monitors may already have a webcam built in to it, but that may (usually) not cut it. Streamers and Content Creators need a good webcam that can show their face clearly, adding a more personal touch to the content.
The Logitech C922 Pro Stream Full HD Webcam is an excellent introductory 1080p webcam with built-in microphone, adjustable tripod stand and a wide field of view, with a relatively low price point that is favoured by a lot of streamers and almost most importantly will last a long time without needing an upgrade. Slightly cheaper options are available such as the Logitech C920 which is similar but doesn't come with a tripod.
3. Green Screen:
Not to be overlooked, these provide that extra touch of quality that separates Streamers and pushes the content level of quality slightly higher than most. A good green screen setup provides a good backdrop for the stream. It is reasonably cheap to pick up a good pop-up set up that neatly packs away. With a green screen, Streamers are able to "key out" the background, making it transparent and making their face clearer on the screen when it's overlaid on top of the game. Also helps make messy rooms magically disappear behind the screen!
This is one of the most important aspects for any budding Streamer or Video Content Creator. A good microphone is a necessity so the audience can hear the Streamer more clearly while they're talking to them, talking over the game they're playing or reviewing a game. Gaming headsets will often give fairly mediocre results and are not convenient or appropriate for a family or semi-professional setup.
Favoured by Streamers and podcasters, Blue Yeti USB Microphone is an excellent choice for a beginner Microphone. While it may appear expensive, it gives great value for money for what you're getting. It has adjustable pickup modes with a very crisp audio quality. To top it off it comes with a choice of 10 colours to match the colour scheme of the setup.
5. Microphone Pop Filter:
A Microphone Pop Filter stops hard ‘b’ and ‘p’ sounds. The filter dissipates air before it gets to the microphone, so ‘b’ and ‘p’ sounds are softened. Also, it brings the microphone closer to the Streamer. The Tiger Pop Filter is large enough for even the largest microphones, and it can be clamped to almost any microphone stand. This will add an extra touch of professional quality to the content.
6. Microphone Desk Stand:
Another great addition to any setup is a Microphone Desk Stand to better position the microphone and gain a higher level of quality on the voiceover or recording. This makes streaming more comfortable and allows the distance to be easily adjustable. Also, the microphone will be more accessible to more than one person. The Racksoy Professional Microphone Stand is a strong favourite among streamers and content creators.
Some broadcasting software is useful and often required to stream or record gameplay. The two most popular pieces of broadcasting software available are XSplit and Open Broadcasting Software (OBS). XSplit requires a paid subscription while OBS is free.
With both of these software packages, users can choose which monitor, game, window or webcam to capture. Also, these packages help to arrange the on-screen layout, add watermarks and preview the stream before going live.
Building an audience
Lots of children want to become Streamers and Content Creators and it can be hard to stand out. There are a few things they can do to become a great Streamer and gain a large following or fanbase. Mainly, being consistent, entertaining, passionate and hardworking can lead to gaining a lot of viewers and subscribers pretty quickly. Streamers usually need to have a dedicated schedule, so viewers know when to tune in if they like the content. A schedule will also help to become consistent with delivering content.
It's important to respond to comments and make use of moderators to delete unwanted comments. Streamers should always be friendly and try to remember the names and some details about regular viewers to deliver a more personal touch. Social media is also an important tool when marketing the brand, streams or content. Most popular video game streamers are also available and have large followings on social media. Creating social media accounts and letting followers know when the stream is live or when new content is uploaded can be really helpful. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram particularly are great ways of maintaining a personal touch with an audience.
As a broadcaster or parent of a broadcaster, streaming platforms allow you to ban swear words and unsafe links. This helps you protect your children from any vulgar content. Broadcasters should make use of moderators to ban unwanted users and make sure filters are switched on for the chat.
One of the most important aspects for anyone wanting to be successful in anything they do.It's important that any children looking to become the next generation of Streamer are doing this as something they are passionate about. Lots of young Streamers hear the success stories and hope to be overnight millionaires and sponsored, this is usually not the case.
However, if Streamers work hard, pay attention to their fanbase and improve their content as their following grows, there's no reason this can't be achieved. Often Streamers that are too focused on gaining money and sponsorship and will lose interest or become burn out. Children should play the games they enjoy and make them happy, this will come across in the content as genuine and passionate.
If you'd like to book a Gaming Party we'd also be happy to provide on-site advice to you and your child about becoming a streamer. Please use our booking form on the booking page to get in touch.