We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our incredible community of streamers, and as part of our Stream Team Spotlighted Streamer interviews we recently talked to KellstonGaming, who is supporting SpecialEffect as part of Jingle Jam!
Hey there Kellston! Thank you so much for your support during Jingle Jam! Please, introduce yourself.
My name is Michael, but for as long as I can remember everyone has called me Kellston. Primarily I make content on Twitch, though I also post on YouTube and Tik Tok. Recently I’ve been posting daily updates on Twitter using the hashtag #MyMovemberDiary, talking about men’s health, and sometimes I’ll post a poem I’ve written or even play guitar, if I’m feeling brave! I maintain a presence in a few places, and I like to get creative, even if I’m not always sure what I’m doing!
Woah, your content is super varied! How did you get started as a creator?
I first started streaming in August 2020. The company I worked for had shut down completely due to the COVID pandemic, so I set about starting a channel. My friends and I had combatted the loneliness of a locked down world with some online games and hang outs, and I wanted to share that with anyone else who was interested.
In the beginning I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I just created open lobbies on multiplayer games and invited people to join. Since then, we’ve run community tournaments in multiplayer games with over a hundred players and brought people together from all over the world. I even got the opportunity to visit some new friends in California, go to TwitchCon and visit Hollywood!
That’s amazing! So, what’s your favourite content to make online, and why?
My favourite content to make usually involves playing multiplayer games with friends, whether we’re trying to be the last team standing in a Battle Royale game like Apex Legends or simply lying to each other in Among Us!
I’ve always considered gaming to be a very social pastime. Often, streams will descend into a mildly chaotic voice chat, and I’ll be crying with laughter – that’s when I know it’s been a good day!
So, we know you love online multiplayer games, but what are some of your favourites of all time?
My favourite game is going to be a little out of left field, but by far the game I’ve spent the most time on, and had more fun with than any other, has to be Tabletop Simulator.
I love board games and have a bunch physically at home. There’s something very special about playing board games – everyone gets to sit down together for a while and chat about what they’re doing. You can take it a little slow, have some drinks and share some good food, and I get to geek out with all the components – miniatures, cards and the like.
So, with Tabletop Simulator, I’m able to take that experience and play board games with friends from across the world, and it feels like we’re all together in the same room! Sometimes before the end of a session, everyone just stops playing and takes the time to share fun stories, I might play a little guitar, we end up forgetting where we were up to… the game just helps to initiate those community moments and I love it.
How did you hear about SpecialEffect, and why have you chosen to support us?
I’ve been a huge fan of the Yogscast since the early days, and I often think about how Lewis wanted to share the fun he was having with his friends with a wider group of people. I think that’s pretty inspirational! I watched the videos of Lewis hanging out, and playing games, with Becky Tyler and it was the most wonderful thing – sometimes wholesome and sometimes cheeky – but always a treat.
To me, gaming is a thing that’s best enjoyed together, so when I learned about SpecialEffect breaking down the physical barriers associated for disabled gamers, I loved it! I had to learn more, and when I did, I found a fantastic group of people who go out of their way to bring games (these wonderful things that kept my friends and family connected even when the world was empty and silent) to everyone. The work that SpecialEffect does is highly specialised, and when I see stories of how SpecialEffect has enabled people to play games again, or for the first time, with others, it reminds me of why I think gaming is amazing.
That’s so kind, and we agree, gaming is an amazing tool for communication! In regards to charity streams, what are some of your best tips and tricks?
Well, initially I wasn’t sure I was best placed to know how to run a charity fundraiser myself! Last year, when joined in with the Jingle Jam fundraising, I thought I might raise £100 at a push and feel pretty good about it, and then my little community in a small, bright, corner of the internet managed to raise well over £1,000 in no time at all. I think part of the challenge is just going for it, jumping straight in with two feet.
When you can find a cause that you can really connect with, like SpecialEffect, you notice that all the ‘admin’ involved in fundraising becomes a joy, actually.
I’d recommend deciding early on what you’re going to be doing, even if it’s a little vague, and then starting to spread the word everywhere you can. Link up with the causes you’re looking to fundraise for and get as much input as possible.
I share my intentions to fundraise ahead of time on whatever platforms I can and try to bolster engagement by asking people to give suggestions on what they’d like to see, little challenges to do etc. Often, people replying don’t even realise that they’re accidentally planning some of the event for me! It’s important to recognise that the only reason that fundraising works is because lots of people are combining their efforts, so you might as well open the whole thing up and make it a real team effort. The more connections you have with like-minded people, the easier this all becomes, so put yourself out there and communicate as much as you can!
Remember, the most important thing when it comes to fundraising is spreading awareness of your chosen cause. My favourite thing about the fundraising work I’ve done is not the money I’ve raised, it’s that I’ve managed to get even more people to recognise, for example, the good work that SpecialEffect do and why they should know about them. The best way to stay motivated is to strive for awareness, not funds. The rest will come in time!
Fantastic advice! Before we sign-off, do you have any last comments or words of wisdom?
I just want to thank everyone for being part of something amazing, really. I work full-time, I have commitments and all sorts of boring things I have to do, just like everyone else, and the fact that people dedicate some of their time and energy to doing something good for each other is very heart-warming. Be unreasonably kind to each other ❤️
Thank you for your time, Kellston! Where can people find you online?