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Women in Streaming: Nikki and Bunty

8th March 2021

  Interview with Nikki and Bunty

UK based Twitch streamers.

Name: Nikki and Bunty
Pronouns: She/her (although Nikki is non-binary, but doesn't really care about they/them pronouns. Just don't ask her to wear makeup. Ever.)
Based in: UK
Platform: Twitch
Streams: Nikki and Bunty play a variety! Nikki is a big retro fan, from the Spectrum to the PS2, and Bunty also likes to take out frustrations on things like Yakuza 0.

Hi Nikki & Bunty! Tell us three fun facts about yourselves.

  1. We both ate skunk flavour jellybeans for charity, which ended up spat across the room. The flavour still haunts us.
  2. We got married on May 4th, for Star Wars reasons!
  3. We have a cat called Frank, who is very respectful and careful of our parrot Penny, who totally rules the house.

When did your streaming journey begin, and what inspired you both to start?

We started in late 2018, playing the worst old games we could find, for laughs, because… we figured it would be a laugh! We had no idea what would come from it, but a few folk started watching regularly and we decided to try to make a community that we would want to be a part of. Something inclusive, where LGBTQ+ folk could be themselves.

What's your favourite game/content to stream/share? What do you enjoy most about it?

Anything weird and/or bad! We love to play some classic retro games, but our favourites are always the strange ones, the type of thing that makes you ask, "what did I just see?!". Sometimes it's Rockstar Ate My Hamster, or Mister Mosquito, or bizarre interactive DVD games. The worse the better!

Do you feel like there is a stigma for women streamers in the industry?

It's difficult to say that it's an industry-wide stigma because the stigma is perpetuated by a very small minority of people. But that minority is very loud.

It generally goes like this:

Women don't like games, they're just doing it to be trendy / for attention.

And if they do like games, they don't like REAL games. Animal Crossing isn't a REAL game.

And if they do like REAL games, they're not good at them.

And if they ARE good at them, they're ruining games by being political, that is, asking us not to be sexist any more.

Anyway, they're only getting views because they're wearing low cut tops and ruining (INSERT STREAMING PLATFORM HERE) by doing so.

Nikki has been told, to her face at a gaming expo, that she wouldn't be interested in anything there. We've also heard how "easy" it is for female streamers to be successful overnight because they're pretty and people just click to stare at them.

The thing is, you can get more clicks on something if there's an attractive smiling female face in the thumbnail. The other thing is, the audience you get who are there for attractive smiling females are not the audience you want. Streaming is all about building a community, and a community full of the vocal minority that are just there to stare at you is not a community is not one that will gel together and grow and support you.

Thankfully, I (Nikki) avoid this by being old, gay, and refusing to wear makeup in any scenario.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant and got away from me a bit. This never happens on stream. (Spoiler: yes it does.)

What's one piece of advice you'd give to women who want to begin streaming?

Don't be afraid of losing viewers by telling people that their behaviour isn't acceptable. You want to build a community that's fun for YOU to be a part of. Curate that from the beginning, because a cohesive community that grows slowly is better than a huge view count that causes you headaches.

Where can people find you online?

We're over on Twitch at https://twitch.tv/NikkiandBunty and our main shows are on Friday and Sunday evenings. Find us on Twitter, we're NikkiandBunty there too!

Thank you!

Discover all of our #InternationalWomensDay interviews here.

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