One of the biggest questions I get asked from brand new streamers is; can I stream without a webcam? My answer is; Absolutely! You should never feel pressured to use a webcam, especially if you have issues with anxiety like I do. You should always to do what feels comfortable for you. For me, I wear colorful wigs and it helps me feel less like the scared, nervous, anxious person that I am, and helps me feel empowered. Even though you don’t need to stream with a webcam, the majority of streamers (myself included) will highly recommend that you do.
Most streamers have a webcam because streaming is based on interactivity. It helps you feel connected to them when you can see them reacting to you or the game. For example take a look at this short highlight of mine and imagine watching this without a cam; you can hear that I was terrified; but watching it along with the audio is just so much more satisfying. On the flip side when a streamer looks directly into the webcam when talking or responding to the chat it feels like they are looking and talking directly to you.
You might be different, but I am much more likely to connect with a streamer if I can visually see them. It helps me see who they as a person and let’s me see their personality, than if it was just a voice. They say the eyes are the window into the soul and letting people in can truly help you network and build your community. I found this survey on a Twitch subreddit and you can see for yourself that people prefer a cam but will still watch streams without a cam especially if their vocal personality is outstanding. Think of Lirik or an older Sacriel. I use these twitch streamers as examples because most streamers have heard of them.
Another amazing streamer who doesn’t use a webcam is QueenOfArt. Although she isn’t the first to be partnered on Beam without a webcam; she is certainly the most active and most widely known. I spent some time talking to Queen about her thoughts on webcams and her success in streaming without one on Beam. She has a very unique perspective and experience and wanted to share this with you.
Why did you chose to stream without a cam?
Because I felt that as an art streamer I wanted people to focus more on the art than have distractions, even as a gamer, I want people to focus on my content and not me as a person or how I look like. I fully believe that I can make my personality and emotions shine through, regardless if people can see me or not. I made a connection with my audience through their hearts and not through their eyes.
Did you find it harder to grow your community without a cam?
Simple answer? No. I feel like I work hard for people to realize they make me smile versus being able to SEE they make me smile, but I still worked equally as hard as someone who uses cam, to make sure their viewers know how important they are to me. I love every single person that stops by my streams, and whether I engage in conversation with them or just greet them the way the deserve to be greeted, I feel like I am able to get my feelings across without needing visualization.
Do you think your art and all the images you drew of yourself has helped people envision you since you don't use a cam?
I believe it has, honestly. People do seem to think I am a small, energetic, and lovable person, and that’s pretty much what chibi art embodies. I AM 5’3”, when people hear this, I can imagine the gears on their head already thinking “Awwwwww” and possibly even imagining me in chibi form. It’s a bit… funny, lol. I am a busy person thus most of the time I am tired, so I am not energetic - but I am small and I’d consider myself lovable. I wouldn’t say chibi form isn’t far away from reality. :P
What advice would you give to someone who is debating on not using a cam vs using one?
My advice would be, do what makes you feel comfortable. If you’re choosing to not use a cam, make sure you engage more. It’s important for the viewers to make a connection to the streamer, it’s the whole reason why we come back and keep watching, right? As a streamer we need to make use of what we can to be able to let our viewers know that they’re important, and they’re getting quality. The harsher thing about having no camera is, you need to always have a presence, always talk and make sure you’re also being true to yourself. If you’re not and you’re not having fun, even without a cam, people WILL know. Your tone of voice can say a lot about you :)!
Until next time…