Creator Must Know

Creator Spotlight: Dear Gamer TV

We are proud to shine a spotlight on the incredible contributions of Black creators within the MagicLinks community. From fashion and beauty to tech and gaming, their success and unwavering commitment to their craft echoes the richness and diversity of talent, not just on our platform, but in the creator space as a whole.

Last week we caught up with MagicLinks Creator and gaming expert Michael of Dear Gamer TV.  At the heart of his journey from gamer to content creator lies a deep love for gaming and a desire to collaborate with a supportive and like minded community. With a reputation for creating compelling content focused on melee gameplay mastery and collaborative build tactics, Michael has amassed a dedicated following of 173K subscribers across YouTube and Twitch. Ahead, Michael reflects on the significance of representation in the gaming world and shares advice for creators seeking success (hint: it’s all in strong community engagement).

Can you recall the exact moment that motivated you to host your first stream?

I’m coming up on nine years now. I was in school for marketing and was doing my MBA. I’ve always been a more strategic mind, but I wanted to be more creative on the artist/art side. And I thought, well, how do I do that? I wanted something that could be my own, my own business, but also at the same time something that’s fun. I’m already a big gamer and I studied marketing, so I said why don’t I try to do this content thing? I first started with a website. I wrote articles on games upcoming trends. And one of my friends said I should try video. I started doing it and kept doing it. I really enjoyed it a lot. Then it came to a point where I felt I should go all in—see where it goes and what it becomes. 

So it never really felt necessarily like a job or chore. Yeah there were times where I tried other games that would potentially help me grow a little more, but it wouldn’t necessarily resonate with me. And my enjoyment level wasn’t as high. So I just stuck to what I do best.

How has your content and community engagement evolved over the years?

I started off doing specifically YouTube videos. Then Star Souls was a big game for me. My community was like, hey, we should do these hunts together. That’s when I started streaming.  I hosted weekly events and now it’s like second nature to my content. I get a new game, stream in, then identify the things I want to focus on. From there, I make curated videos around it.

Most of the time though, I get a game and we dive in and learn together. It’s our first time identifying and learning the mechanics, and the people joining are there to support. I built a good community around really supportive people.  They’re never there to tell me I’m doing something wrong. It’s more like, let’s find out together.

Was there a specific moment when you realized you were making an impact within your community and people were starting to join more often?

I play a specific character in a game, and that has become my brand. I play several genres of games but I always play the Samurai, the Dex character. It’s a fast hitting, dodging, evasive character. So for me, being an African American creator, I saw a lot of comments of people saying, “Hey, you play games just like me,” or “you don’t really see too many people Black people playing this type of game, this genre.” And for me, that was cool. I’m here to represent the people that don’t necessarily feel like they play the main spotlight games. And nothing’s wrong with that. It’s amazing that there are games in the market that serve me and I’m able to serve that audience as well.

Can you share an achievement that really impacted your career? What made it meaningful?
I haven’t done too many creator collaborations but I’ve worked with brands such as Capcom, Ubisoft, Bandai Namco, Square Enix and more. But I’ve also done something for me. It’s when I got to 100,000 subscribers. That’s when PlayStation reached out to me and asked to partner on an event. I grew up playing PlayStation as a kid. It was a dream come true. 

That’s when I felt like this was really turning into something. A monumental moment where my dream company, the one I grew up playing, is now working with me, side by side. The journey of that childhood awe, and it becoming your life.

How do you navigate being a content creator and also working full time?

I have a day job and work full time as well. So I do my content in between. I get up early and do a stream in the morning. On my days off after work I get in and record the content.

That’s why it helps me focus on a specific game at the moment. Some advice for people coming up—I used to try and play multiple games. But then it’s really hard to gain the skill, the knowledge to present content on something where you’re still going between all these different genres. So I decided to just focus on something for a month or two months. I make some really good content around it, then I’ll move on to the next thing. That’s helped me with my schedule and not feeling overwhelmed or trying to cover everything. You can dabble in multiple areas, but don’t burn yourself out. Just make sure you feel like you are producing quality content for yourself. 

What’s your approach to keeping your followers engaged?

I’ve built an audience of people that love optimal optimal damage, runs and games. So they’re always looking for the juiciest thing I can do. I go into a game and spend time learning the tact of each piece. A lot of people don’t have the time to do this. But if you want to be a master chef, you should make sure you have this knife or have these kinds of ingredients. For me, I enjoy doing that. I’ve always grown up doing that in my games. How can I get a little more damage? How can I survive a little bit more? 

I share this with my community and they like it and take it or they give feedback. And that’s where the streams really come into play. I use them as a workshop. That’s something a lot of people don’t realize, I use my stream as a workshop with purpose. I go in knowing that I’m going to make a video out of it for a specific moment. But then I also use it to grind materials, test things out, and connect with my community. I always ask for their input. It’s kind of contrary to some people that call it backseat gaming. They don’t want anyone to tell them about the game, just let them play. But for me, I’m trying to make a guide or a more optimized experience for my followers. We go back and forth and craft the perfect example of the armor or weapon we’re trying to accomplish.

There are even more channels to keep up with in gaming—Twitch, Discord, etc. How do you manage burnout?

I’ve always been a worker. I started working when I was 16, had multiple jobs, I was always involved in clubs. When I finished school I was like, man working is cool, but I think I need something more. So for me, managing burnout is just playing what I enjoy and not forcing myself to do more than I need to. But also too, when it comes to things like my content strategy, it’s about being efficient. You have to be efficient with your tools. A lot of tools are available now that help streamline some processes.

By streaming on Twitch I can take that, chop it up, make it a YouTube video for a specific moment. Then I have another tool that records my stream vertically. I can take that separately and chop it up for Instagram or TikTok. So I’m able to take one stream that focuses on one topic and post it on multiple channels to grow my audience.

How do you feel creators can use their platform to make a positive impact within the Black community and beyond?

I think recognizing that you are a Black creator is the first part, and sharing that you’re here to  pave a way. When I first started, there were tons of YouTube channels, millions of them. But as far as prominent African American creators, not as much. There are more in the blogging area, like lifestyle and beauty, but with gaming, there really weren’t many mega creators. 

So I think just recognizing that you’re African American and you’re sharing out to the community. Also more people just doing it. Showing more people that it’s possible. A lot of people come out and say it’s good to see you’re African American and you’re doing it. You’re creating content and you’re getting traction.It keeps me motivated to know that it’s not just about me. I paved the way for others that come after me the same way. Just like some of the big ones have done for me as well.

What’s your advice for creators searching for success?

I remember when I first started, it was the era of the screaming streams and loud content and I thought I had to be loud and super extra. But I’ve always been able to be chill, mellow, and keep it smooth. That’s where I got a lot of my slogans. “Hey, kind of smooth. Just chill.” So yeah, you don’t have to be out there. You can just chill, have a good time, play the games, and still create an audience. Cause not everybody’s like that. You also don’t have to have crazy colors in your content. That’s a big wave right now. Crazy colors. I have some wood in my background that’s more me, and it’s perfectly acceptable as well. There are multiple ways of having fun and being successful. It’s about being yourself. 

Follow Michael on YouTube here
Follow Michael on TikTok here
Follow Michael on Instagram here
Shop Michael’s home studio must-haves here

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1 Comment

  1. Love watching Dear games he is good and the smooth family covers the whole thing Thanks DG

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