The Twitch community has been shaken to its core by the banning of popular streamer Herschel "Dr Disrespect" Beahm, a 39-year-old man who thought filming people in a public restroom at E3 made for good "content."
Dr Disrespect's whole shtick is pretending to be a WWE villain, except instead of performing athletic feats opposite other willing participants, he trash talks randos in Fortnite. Basically, he's like every 14-year-old on the gaming scene, except maybe a little more self-aware. Maybe. His dumbassery was apparently so revolutionary that he won both the Esports Industry Awards' Streamer of the Year and The Gaming Awards' Trending Gamer in 2017.
Just prior to entering the E3 men's bathroom and live streaming people using urinals to tens of thousands of viewers, Dr Disrespect's E3 livestream revolved around him being a douche to random attendees, just like on his gaming stream, but this time in real life! Fellow Twitch streamer TimTheTatman called it the "best content [he] had ever seen...until he walked into the bathroom." Wow, that's pretty high praise from TimTheTatman.
After all, Twitch is all about "content" creators. But just how low is their bar for content? Let's take a look:
Ultimate Streamer Rage Compilation 2018! (Twitch RAGE Moments) www.youtube.com
That was a compilation of popular Twitch users freaking out over video games. It's impossible to determine which ones are entitled man-babies genuinely reacting to losing and which ones are amping it up for the sake of better "content." Not that it really matters which is which. What matters is that on Twitch, this is what passes as "content." And considering their top streamer, Ninja, is the king of adult baby tantrums, that bar is very, very low.
Dr Disrespect's bathroom content may have technically violated Twitch's community guidelines and probably California's "invasion of privacy" law, but its horrendous quality is difficult to parse from any of the other garbage being produced by Twitch's most popular streamers. In that light, maybe TimTheTatman is actually correct. Maybe on Twitch, Dr Disrespect harassing people at a convention really is the best content coming out of the platform.
And that's a shame, because livestreaming has the potential to be so much more than a bunch of children harassing people, whining, and having temper tantrums on camera. Esports and esports players have every right to be taken seriously. Pro gamers are engaging in real competition that requires high levels of talent, skill, and training, same as any other sport. Gaming at that level is solid content in and of itself. So why does the entire gaming community seem to gravitate towards toxic personalities who consistently act out and display poor sportsmanship?
It makes a lot of sense that people enjoy watching other people playing video games––it feels like hanging out and playing games with your friends––but why would anyone want to hang out with any of these assholes?