VTubing first originated in Japan. The process of creating a VTube is actually quite similar to traditional YouTube and blogging with the only difference being the use of a virtual avatar. These avatars replicate every single body movement, facial expression, and human action you could possibly think of. At the moment, there are about 5,000 VTubers, and while most of them are still based in Japan, we are slowly starting to see the rise of VTubers in other countries like the United States. That leads us back to Pokimane.
In the last few years, Pokimane has become a phenom in the gaming world, but like every job that puts you in the public eye, there can be some negative elements as well. Gamers, in general, receive a lot of criticism, harsh insults, and backlash. That criticism can be especially difficult if you are a woman in gaming.
At the end of the day, gamers are still human beings, and every human has their limitations of what they can or should have to put up with. Which is exactly why, Pokimane decided to take a small break from streaming. Her return, however, was a huge surprise to the people who had followed her for years.
Pokimane’s return to Twitch, saw viewers being introduced to the anime version of herself. While Pokimane called the live stream an “experiment,” it was very much deliberate in certain areas. When asked why she chose the VTube route for her return, Pokimane stated that some days she doesn’t feel like doing the “glitz and glamor” required for a live stream. The Twitch sensation also said VTubing is a way for her to not deal with the terrible comments she receives every stream. In addition to the creative element involved in VTubing, it’s also a form of protection (like a defense mechanism). While not a permanent change(at least for now), Pokimane intends to make her VTube character a regular part of her career.
One could argue that Pokimane is already having that impact. Since the debut of her anime character, interest in VTubing has surged significantly, and more gamers are starting to at least consider the possibility of going that route.