Digital animation and game design senior Max Sheerin is your average fan of sports and hanging out, but when classes are over and he’s back in his dorm, he livestreams video games for fans to watch, comment on and even play along with him.
In his livestreams, he often uses a working capture card at a high capture speed, a webcam, his personal computer setup and various consoles. As of right now, he mostly streams “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and “Pokemon Legends: Arceus.”
Sheerin has been interested in games for a long time. He become interested in them at a young age, and the passion stayed with him through his college years. Now Sheerin has a lifelong appreciation for the medium, and he wants to make a career out of his favorite pastime.
It all began with a little push from his brother.
“My older brother handed me a Gameboy with “Pokemon Yellow” when I was about four or five,” Sheerin said. “Ever since, I’ve loved video games and worlds different from our own with crazy monsters and stuff.”
Sheerin’s streams tend to start after school, around 3-4 p.m. From there, the nature of the streams vary. Some feature drinking games with his subscribers, challenges in video games or battle arenas for people to fight in fighting games. This variety is something he strives to keep in all of his streams going forward.
However, running a livestream isn’t easy. Like any job or school, it requires keeping track of time and following a regiment to make sure people know you’re live and engage with you. Additionally, you have to come up with things on the fly while live, which makes it hard to keep an entertaining persona over many hours.
“It’s very easy to just turn on a stream and play a game, however, the energy required to make that content engaging and entertaining is not as easy as it seems,” Sheerin said. “You have to take your personality, turn it up to 11 and play the court jester sometimes. Even on days when classes or my actual job have me physically and mentally drained.”
Running a livestream is hard work for a hobby, and making money off of it is even harder. People do this work professionally with big subscriber numbers and donations, but it is difficult to break into the mainstream. With this in mind, Sheerin has reeled in his expectations, so he can be happy no matter how this experiment turns out.
“The only way streaming will become full time for me is if I hit it big,” Sheerin said. “However, the likeliness of that is very slim, so it’ll probably just remain a hobby that I do for fun and to make a little extra cash.”
While streaming is hard work, Sheerin also has his sights set on other things. As a DAGD major, he wants to focus on making video games and modelling in the future. His streams reflect this desire, as he works on his newest models or plays around with Blender and other 3D programs. He hopes to go into this field one day, and he uses his streams as an outlet to keep up with this work.
“My content this semester is going to be a lot of 3D art streams, where I show off and practice my modeling skills,” Sheerin said. “I’m dead set on making video games.”