10 years ago, I don’t think anyone was watching people play video games live online. Today there are thousands of video game streamers, billions of hours spent playing, and millions of viewers watching people play games on Twitch. The times are changing and online entertainment most of all. The future is here, and I was thrilled to discover one of the best and most entertaining people streaming games today: Futureman.
Steve: Futureman, my favorite thing about your Twitch channel is the style from top to bottom. You have an unmistakable vibe that defines everything you do. How did you come up with the Futureman persona?
FM: FuturemanGaming was a culmination of a lot of things. First and foremost I wanted to create an environment where people could relax, have fun, and enjoy each other’s company. Life can be really tough. Video games and the company of others is a great way to help deal. I really wanted to make people laugh and forget about their worries when watching my channel. Even if for a moment.
Also, I looked at Twitch and saw a LOT of saturation. There are so many people streaming and the market is flooded, so I tried to think of ways to differentiate myself and bring something totally fresh to the Twitch scene. I wanted to create something that made people think, “Whoa…wait…whoa…this…is cool.” and after months of researching the technology behind streaming, brainstorming ideas (good and bad), learning some basic Photoshop, and ultimately coming up with the Futureman theme, I launched headfirst into streaming!
Steve: I was lucky to have met you in person a few months back and that’s how I discovered your stream. The thing that strikes me is that you ARE Futureman. How much of Futureman is just you being yourself?
FM: It was a pleasure to meet you as well. MOST of the time I am just being myself, but there are certain opportunities when Futureman steps up and it’s all about that “80s cheese”as seen here. I’m actually a very laid back guy and most of the cast is just an ongoing conversation between myself and the amazing community we have. For me, one of the best things about Twitch is the fact that I can share these real life moments with people all over the world and really be myself.
Steve: How long have you been streaming games? Is this a full time job for you now?
FM: I started streaming a couple times a week in the spring of 2014 under my first Twitch user name- ThePowerFalcon. Played lots of Team Fortress 2 and an indie title named Starbound. I was streaming strictly for fun, had the bare minimum technology, and really no idea what I was doing. Ha, ha. This time was an ESSENTIAL learning period though and laid the groundwork for what would later become FuturemanGaming (which launched in September of 2014). We were partnered in February of 2015 and I took a leap in July of 2015 to full time streaming!
Steve: What were you doing before streaming on Twitch?
FM: Before I found Twitch I was working here in NYC as a teacher at a special needs school. It was very hard work, yet very fulfilling in a sense that I was helping these kids. I think I’ve carried that over to Twitch in a lot ways. I get a fair amount of messages from viewers saying that my cast helps them get through the day, and that was one of the major reasons I took the plunge into full time streaming. That and it’s just such a rare opportunity… I have to see where this goes.
Steve: People watching your stream for more than 5 minutes will discover that you really love music. How does that influence what you do?
FM: Music is a huge part of my daily routine. I listen to it all the time. Now that Twitch is a huge part of that daily routine they have just naturally blended together. The fact that music makes me feel the way it does, is something I love to share with everyone. With the introduction of a music tab on Twitch, I’ve created a special segment for the channel called DJs in Space. It’s essentially a giant dance party with a guest DJ. I have all these crazy visuals that I manipulate live while the DJ does his thing. Very unique, very fun.
Steve: Twitch is sometimes overrun with negativity from viewers in the chat rooms. Your regular viewers have a great attitude, and I hardly ever see anyone mouthing off. Is that something that you have to manage or control?
FM: I think it all starts with the streamer’s attitude. I personally don’t want to hang out with people who are jerks in real life or online so… if you are being a jerk you aren’t going to last very long in our chat. I modded a couple people early on who really helped set the tone and from there I guess it sort of just happens. It’s still a very young and new community, but everyone seems to be on the same page.
Steve: What was the one (or ten) video game(s) that got you hooked for life?
FM: It all started with Super Mario Brothers, Punch Out, and The Legend of Zelda on the NES at my cousins house. Those are the oldest games I remember playing and I remember being so excited for family events at their house because it meant I could play. When I finally got my own console, the SNES (thank you Mom and Dad!), I was all about that Super Mario World, TMNT: Turtles in Time, Street Fighter II, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Mega Man X, etc. From then on I was hooked!
Steve: A gamer after my own heart! What goals do you have for your Twitch channel?
FM: I want to keep pushing the boundaries of what a Twitch channel can be. I have a lot of special plans for 2016 that I can’t unveil at the moment, but I believe are going to set my channel apart from others in even more ways. I am excited to keep improving every single day and to keep working harder than I ever have before. Most importantly, I am excited to save… the future!
Steve: Futureman, thank you for talking to me. One of the things that I try to capture in my comics is the genuine spirit of gamers and video game subculture. You embody that spirit in a tremendous way. I wish you well in the future!
Check out my favorite Futureman videos on YouTube:
Follow Futureman on Twitter: @FuturemanGaming