This gaming life is but a stream
A passion for gaming and an outgoing personality is the perfect mix for streaming success, and Ronald Diaz, aka ‘ dizzybaku’, has both in spades.
An Oscar caregiver by day, come 6.30pm Diaz puts on his headset, fires up his microphone and entertains the young and old around the world as they watch him play video games online.
‘‘I stream on any console I want, Nintendo, Playstation, Xbox, it depends on what the community wants,’’ Diaz said.
‘‘I’m not into the ‘I just play video games with some input’ type of streaming. The chat decides what goes on.’’
Streaming video games, making art and even ‘irl’ (in real life) is exploding in popularity around the world. Viewership records were being smashed month-on-month, and this year the industry would be worth more than $1 billion.
Diaz, originally from Mississippi, in the United States, had been in New Zealand for about eight years. After meeting his Kiwi wife at a summer camp in the US, he quit university - which he couldn’t really afford anyway - and moved to New Zealand.
‘‘My wife is the most supportive person of my streaming. She pretty much forced me to do it,’’ Diaz said.
‘‘She has a special role. She takes over and attracts all the viewers. She’s my secret weapon.’’
With more than 1000 followers, Diaz was still a fairly small-time streamer. For perspective, the top Twitch streamer, Ninja, had more than 8 million followers.
Diaz streamed on the Microsoft platform, Mixer, a smaller streaming platform that was in a strong growth phase. Mixer’s growing popularity came with it being bundled in Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console.
‘‘I play anything but Fortnite. It’s become ‘the streamer game’. It’s a kind of rebellion on my part, if I can be successful not playing Fortnite, then I think I’m doing alright,’’ Diaz said.
Fortnite clocked up more than 8 million hours streamed from January to April this year. It was the most streamed game ever.
There were benefits to streaming from New Zealand, such as sometimes getting new game releases first due to the time difference.
‘‘Destiny 2 came out and due to time zones and game release dates, I was the first person on the platform playing it. That was probably my biggest stream.
‘‘You can get a lot of views doing that, but they don’t stay. You’ve got to think of what to play, but also keep the viewers as a community, it’s a great challenge.’’
‘‘Fighters were the first games I started streaming, so I like to keep them in the rotation.
‘‘The balance is to be able to play games and talk, so multiplayer or fighting games are the best.’’
‘‘Streaming has changed my life. It’s an amazing experience, I love doing it.’’
Ronald Diaz at his streaming rig, which he likes to call his ‘potato’.