Why Aussie-Gone-Kiwi Influencer Liddles Loves Interacting with Her Audience

Australian Twitch streamer Liddles.

Like with any performer, there’s a certain distance between streamers and their audience. Even though Twitch streamers can interact directly with their audience in real time, the people watching don’t usually have a say about what’s happening in-game.

That’s not how Liddles does it. For her, streaming is an opportunity to connect with people over a shared love of games and goofiness.

“We all come from different backgrounds and we have the common ground of gaming and a similar sense of humour, so I’ll always prioritise chatting to the community over whatever game I’m live streaming at the time,” she says.

Growing up in rural Australia, games were a way for Liddles to stay connected with her friends outside of school, and she’s made it her full-time job to create a place online where people can find the same sense of community. We spoke to Liddles about streaming, playing Just Dance in Mr Bean masks and how she deals with trolls who disrupt her “cosy yet chaotic” channel.

POPSUGAR Australia: Hello! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your Twitch channel?

Liddles: Hi! My name is Liddles, my pronouns are she/her. I am originally from Australia, but I live in New Zealand and I livestream on a little corner of the internet called Twitch.tv where I’m an Alienware partner. I do a variety of things on Twitch, but I really have an emphasis on video games and interactivity with my audience.

PS: What do you mean by that? And what are some of the ways that you make your streams interactive?

L: My favourite part of Twitch and being in a community is that I’m able to chat and connect with people from all around the world. We come from all different backgrounds and we have the common ground of gaming and similar sense of humour, so I’ll always prioritise chatting to the community over whatever game I’m live streaming at the time. And we also have a lot of really funny alerts that they can activate and it sets off things on screen. And when it’s timed just right, it’s really, really funny and it’s a great way that they can kind of just have that extra part of that stream where they can interact and change things.

PS: What are some of the alerts that they can activate?

L: A lot of fart sounds, haha. And Gordon Ramsay sound effects where he asks where the lamb sauce is, you know that meme? It’s just silly little things.

PS: So when they activate one of those, they hear it and you hear it as well?

L: Yeah! And it can be really great — like if it’s in a certain cutscene and everything’s quiet and then all of a sudden Gordon Ramsay’s yelling, “Where’s the lamb sauce” it’s really funny.

PS: Have you ever had any moments where you’re streaming a really serious or intense game and then someone in chat just completely changes the mood?

L: Oh yeah! Sometimes I do pause them, if things are really serious. But yeah, sometimes that does happen. It really just depends on the game and the moment, it can just completely change things and it’s hilarious.

PS: Is that how this image came about?

L: No, that’s just normal Sunday shenanigans in Just Dance where things just kind of de-escalate into a lot of goofiness very quickly.

But there are times when they can activate things like that, like if we hit a certain goal. Last Sunday, I dressed up as Mr Bean — full on mask and everything, suit and tie — and that was something they activated.

But that Guy Fieri horse thing was just me up to my usual mischief.

PS: Have you always had this approach to streaming?

L: Yeah. Growing up, I lived in the middle of nowhere and the way that I would hang out with my friends after high school was: we’d play video games. And I really think that influenced me into adulthood, where I just wanted a place to belong where I could play video games and just banter with people that had the same interest as me. And I found that on Twitch.

It’s turned into my full-time gig but that’s always been the number one goal: a safe place for everyone where we can just goof around and hopefully they can be entertained and meet some people along the way.

PS: It seems like a tight knit community. Do you know if your viewers interact with each other, or recognise each other by their Twitch usernames when they hop into the stream?

L: All the time! it warms my decrepit little heart, it’s so cute. Nothing makes me happier than when I look over to the chat and I see people talking.

PS: For you, is streaming more about the relationships you’ve built with your audience than playing games?

L: A bit of both. It is a hard thing to manage, because you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin and have too many people that you have connections with. So there are friendships formed, but at the same time, I try really hard to just entertain everyone and keep things light hearted, and hopefully people leave the stream feeling better than when they joined. They’re not always gonna remember everything I say, but I hope they remember how I make them feel, and hopefully I make them giggle a bit.

PS: What are some of your favourite games to play on stream?

L: Lately I’ve started playing Just Dance again. Because obviously I sit down all day doing my job, and I thought that would be a really fun way to implement a balance with exercise — both on steam and outside of streaming because I hate every second at the gym. So I got into it kind of selfishly but it’s turned out to be really, really fun.

It’s the most obnoxiously chaotic, feral dancing in a Mr Bean mask. It’s a big joke, but it’s so much fun. I look forward to it, and no game gives me such a rush — I’m smiling without even realising when I play. I have such a good time and I hope it’s infectious, I hope it’s funny to the people who watch it.

PS: It sounds like you’ve built such a great community, but it’s inevitable that on any part of the internet you come across people who are trying to ruin the mood or put people down. Do you ever get people like that in your channel?

I don’t think I get it as much as some people, but it does happen. People say, “You only get the views because of the way you dress,” or “the way you look,” and it’s really undermining because I work really, really hard. I stream eight hours a day but it’s also 24/7 — I don’t think there’s a time when I’m not thinking about streaming.

It can be quite undermining, but usually it comes from a place of comparison. It’s often smaller streamers who are comparing themselves and their journey to mine. And I think comparison is theft of your happiness. It’s important that we don’t compare each other and put each other down; we can learn from one another and uplift each other instead.

PS: How do you deal when you get people like that in your stream?

L: A lot of the time I just don’t give them the attention they’re after. We all seek attention in different ways and it’s a perfectly normal thing to do, but I don’t believe in giving them the time of day if they’re seeking attention by trying to put me down and get a reaction.

If I did, I feel it’d be a disservice to those in the chat who aren’t doing that, and I’d rather spend my time chatting with them. Negativity breeds negativity, and I’d love viewers to leave the livestream in a better mood than when they joined if possible.

Most of the time the trolls are people on throwaway accounts which were created for the sole purpose of trolling and they’ll go from stream to stream trying to get a reaction. That’s their sole thing they do on Twitch which makes it feel like less of a personal attack anyway.

In saying this though, occasionally a community member will say something out of line, sometimes without even realizing it, like a distasteful joke. When that happens I’ll speak up and let them know my boundaries and hopefully they learn and we can just move on. Those times can be upsetting as they’ve spent valuable time in the livestreams and gotten to know us all and a rapport has been made.

PS: Are people ever surprised when you tell them you’re a streamer? It’s a pretty out-there job and predominantly male.

I hate it when they ask me, “What do you do?” I never know how to answer. I’ll just say, “Oh, it’s like YouTube but live.”

It’s quite weird how people gauge your success, too. One of the most common questions is, “How much do you earn?” They expect people to either be millionaires and drive Ferraris, or to not earn anything.

People either go silent or they have a lot of questions, and you never know which way it’s gonna go.

PS: You’ve been streaming for a few years now. Are there more women on Twitch now than when you started?

Definitely. I started off as a one-category streamer playing RuneScape, and when I started, I was probably one of two women who streamed that game — and now there are so many. It’s so wonderful to see!

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