As a lifelong gamer and professional storyteller, Xmiramira’s has used her hobbies and skills to fill a need for diverse content in the gaming community.
After years of frequently watching and reading gaming content online, she said, “I found myself asking ‘Where are the black people at?’ Instead of wondering why there wasn’t any content, I started making the content I wanted to see myself. Instead of complaining that something doesn’t exist, push forward and be the change you want to see.”
It was that need that drove her to become a content creator herself. In 2015, she started doing casual livestreams, building up a small community of her own. Her viewers encouraged her to start making The Sims Let’s Plays, and she turned her focus into heavily edited, story-focused videos.
“The creativity and storytelling aspect of the Sims 4, and the ability to create so many dynamics and characters within a single game, always keeps it interesting.”
This then led her into solving the next problem: getting content within The Sims that would allow her to create characters and stories she and her audience could identify with. From there, she created TheBlackSimmer, a forum that serves as a place for Sims players frustrated by the lack of diversity to come together, discuss ideas, and share their creations. To date, the forum has amassed over 70,000 users, 10,000 followers on Facebook, and 3,000 members on Discord.
“I don’t want anyone to feel like what they want is too much, or that they’re alone. I want everyone to come together to show off what they make.”
Her work caught the attention of AJ+, a news org that ran a spotlight on her work as a creator and owner of TheBlackSimmer, which helped introduce new gamers into her community.
“Doing that interview brought in tons of viewers. I would get people saying, ‘I thought I was the only person who liked this, and now you’re telling me there’s a whole community of people like me?’ It helped bring people together.”
The combination of having a growing audience consuming her uploaded content, a desire to more easily connect with people, and wanting to start diversifying her content, led her back to streaming on Twitch in the fall of 2017.
“I initially stopped streaming on Twitch because, as a small streamer before the Affiliate program I didn’t see the opportunity to make an income. But after it launched, and now with the qualifications to make Partner quickly, I gave it a try.”
It wasn’t long before she had grown enough to reach Partnership, and in December 2017 she found out that she had been selected as one of 14 Partnered streamers to participate in Stream On, Twitch Studio’s live interactive game show that featured contestants competing in streaming challenges over 11 weeks towards a grand prize of $60,000.
“Being on Stream On brought a lot of people to my channel who might not have seen my content otherwise, to see my brand and what I do. It was an opportunity to make people think ‘If she’s doing it, I can do it to.’ That’s what makes me happy - inspiring others to make change and be better.”
Xmiramira credits the show with teaching her more about with networking, collaborating with other content creators, and breaking out of the single-player habit. The show also provided her with the opportunity to attend her first gaming convention, PAX East. In October, she’ll be able to experience her very first TwitchCon.
“I’m nervous, but I’m excited to continue growing, to meet other like-minded people, to help push forward change on Twitch.”
She has one final piece of advice for aspiring creators and gamers alike. “Don’t let anyone deter you from what you want to do. If you want to be a creator, be a creator. If you want to be in esports, play esports. Pursue it, learn about it, get better at it, and keep trying. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.”
You can meet Xmiramira, and learn more about building diverse communities on Twitch, this year at TwitchCon in San Jose. Get your tickets today!