Brandon Nance, a streamer resigned from his position at Hi-Rez gaming after a Smite steam that led to a angry outburst when a $5 donor said that watching Nance’s live streams had helped him cope with his suicidal thoughts. This led to Nance going off on a mini-tirade saying that suicide is a selfish, stupid thing to do. He also called the viewer an asshole before sharing his thoughts on anxiety and depression in general. It’s strange that this seemed like such a hot button thing for him, one comment sent him on a 5 minute tirade essentially about how much people who consider suicide and call themselves depressed or anxious. It was pretty brutal overall, if you want to watch the video yourself you can. I’m not really going to elaborate on the content of what he said that much, that can be for you to decide yourself, and I’m actually writing this article for a different reason. In short, I actually agreed with some of the things that he said, unfortunately the few good points he made were overshadowed by some colossal bad ones, as well as his overall dickish attitude which was pretty insufferable throughout the whole video. I do find the backlash interesting though, because it has been obviously pretty heated.
It is pretty interesting to me though, the way that people can suddenly turn on a streamer, or an actor, or a writer, pretty much anyone involved in a medium where they are sharing their opinions to a unknown and vast audience of strangers. It’s usually a very one way relationship, Person A produces content, Horde B absorbs it. Obviously they are following this person for a reason. They must, for the most part, agree with the persons opinions, or like how they make their content, or be interested in the subject matter that they are producing. Basically they have to appreciate a good portion of what that person says or does, or they wouldn’t be following them in the first place. I mean I guess you could follow someone that you hate just because you hate them? That would definitely have to be a minority though, I think for about 90% of the viewers out there though, the reason they are keeping up with someone is positive. So what does that mean when the person says or does something you don’t like? Is it right for the Horde to suddenly flip the tables and attack you in order to make you pay for your opinion? Even if it’s a terribly shitty opinion, isn’t that your right as a person? That’s how you gained your popularity in the first place.
To be clear, I am not talking about the viewers who, once they realize they don’t like or agree with what someone says just unsubscribe and don’t watch them again. I totally get that and have done the same on numerous occasions. I am referencing the people who, once they find something that they take offense to, will attempt to attack that person until they are no longer in the position they were before. Case in point Brandon Nance now having to leave Hi-Rez games due to the backlash that this has created. He even references it at one point when he states that “People were honestly attacking me for saying that Suicide is not the answer, people were getting massively upvoted, saying things like ‘Suicide should be a person’s choice.’ I can’t battle things like this, honestly. I don’t know how people’s hate for me in a video game got so great that they’d take the side of suicide just to continue arguing.” Now that he has angered the horde, people will go to great lengths to argue with him, just for the sake of arguing. Why? 4 hours ago you were watching him stream and enjoying what he does and now because he has shared an unpopular opinion that is his right to have you no longer want him to be able to maintain his position as a popular streamer? I just don’t understand people’s desire to tear down other people’s success.
This is something I usually think about in reference to myself, because I would like to think that one day I will have a large following of people who want to see what I write and want to know what my opinions are. Sure, right now I could stop today and I seriously doubt that anyone would notice but what if I was as popular as Nance was? Would I try to censor the things that I say and think in order to make sure I never set off the angry masses? I hope not. I don’t even think a person really could get that popular without having opinions that are unique or interesting, and the only way you are going to get that is by being yourself. So am I going to have to just avoid sensitive subjects? Will I be willing to say something controversial if I ever am successful knowing that by doing so I would risk losing all of the followers I have spent so long developing? I don’t really have the answers to any of these questions other than to say that I hope when the time comes I am more sure about what to do, and if I don’t hopefully my readers will forgive my missteps.