Canada Day was on a Thursday, and felt like a Saturday. Then today, Friday, I didn’t do any work either, so it felt like another Saturday. Tomorrow, confusingly, is also Saturday. It’s fine. I’ll figure it out.

I have a Canada Day tradition of playing Super Metroid to completion. Sometimes with an audience, sometimes not. Last year I streamed it. Canada Day is as good a day as any to do this sort of thing, because one usually has the day off and most shops are closed.

Side note! I mainly started this tradition because I felt like, as an adult, I didn’t have any good traditions. Much like the Imaginary Friend I wrote about earlier, I suppose I started doing this because I felt as though I “should”. Again, on-brand for me.

This year, I hadn’t decided if I was going to play it until about half an hour before I actually did. I’m most of the way through Metroid Zero Mission so I felt like my Metroidy itch was being adequately scratched, plus it had been a lengthy (and hot) day overall. I hadn’t made the space to do it before putting Cassidy to bed, and bedtime with her is often an epic, multi-hour test of will and determination that had been a bit draining overall.

Side note the second! One of those bedtime sessions is happening as I write this post! It’s taking me quite a long time to do even a few words, because she’s quite distracting!

Anyway, my daughter was finally winding down, and a couple of friends had asked if I was doing it, and I thought what the hey. Let’s grab an Adult Beverage, slap a stream together, and play the game. I decided that if nobody was watching by the time I got to about the Maridia (underwater) section I would probably call it a night. Maridia isn’t terrible, but the pace of things slows down and it’s usually where my runs go to die if my heart isn’t in the game.

So, I let me friends know I was doing the thing and went live at around 9:30pm. For about the first half hour of the game there were…2 viewers, one of which I was pretty sure was me on a second PC as I occasionally made sure the stream was working correctly. I was trying to keep talking and sip my beverage, but there was absolutely nobody chatting back. About a half hour into the session, I got a notification that I was being raided.

Explainer! On, where I stream my things, streamers can “raid” others by designating another stream that the audience will be magically shifted over to. This is often done at the end of your stream; if there’s still a decent number of watchers, you can sort of pass them off to another streamer and the viewers can keep the fun going. (Or not. Viewers are warned and can opt out of the raid, or just, you know, close the tab)

The raid was by a channel called “Neebs Gaming“, and suddenly, over 700 new viewers flooded into my stream, spamming my chat with greetings and emotes I didn’t recognize. They were, by and large, super positive and supportive, and exactly the kind of audience that would go along with someone like me casually playing through Super Metroid as I bantered with them. They were mostly North American, but at least one person was from Norway, which is crazy!

Eventually I gathered that the Neebs Gaming streamers had wanted to raid a Canadian streamer in honour of Canada Day, and I was the lucky recipient. And I had a blast! Sailed right through Maridia and onward to the end of the game, answering questions, making it weird at times, and continuing to drink adult beverages in a responsible manner. After about two and a half hours I was at the finale of the game, and down to about 100 people left but even that completely eclipses any amount of viewers I’ve ever had. Honestly it’s probably more than I’ll ever have again.

But you know what? It’s really turned me on to streaming again. Lori pointed out that I seem quite energized after most of my streams, even if they only draw a few people. I was positively buzzing on this one well through the day today, messaging my friends to brag about the party they missed. Again, I know that the energy of future streams will probably not be quite like this. But if there’s just two or three people chatting with me while I do something I love, it seems to make all the difference to me. I have a lot of fun with it, and I come away happier than when I started. I want to do that some more, on a regular basis!

So! I’m talking with Lori about how we can make even a weekly, part-time stream work. I’m definitely not planning to quit everything and go fulltime, but I want to do this more, again. We’ll see what happens!

Thing I Saw: The ending of the 5th book in the Dog Man series. These are deeply silly graphic novels for kids about a Cop with the head of a Dog who is also the Best Crime Fighter of Ever. They started out quite random and crude, and as they’ve gone on, the crudeness has diminished in favour of a remarkable amount of heart and good lessons for kids. The silliness very much remains. But the introduction of a tiny, adorable clone of the main villain marked a real turning point for the series, and as they keep reminding readers, you’ve always got the choice to do something good in the world. I kind of love them.

Thing I Learned: Metroid Zero Mission is almost perfect to play on bathroom breaks, because the frequency of save rooms means you can play in 5-10 minute sessions easily. This is probably by design, because almost any GBA game you can name is set up to be played in short bursts given the nature of the system.

I’m Grateful For: The streamers and community of Neebs Gaming for making my Canada Day one to remember 🙂

I’m Dreaming Of: A new phone. Not because mine (an LG G7 ThinQ) has anything wrong with it, I just like shiny new things. We recently changed phone providers at work, and since this is a work phone I could have used the opportunity for an upgrade. Unfortunately, my brother Lloyd, who handles such things, says he specifically asked me if I wanted an upgrade already and I said “No, I’m fine”. I don’t remember doing this. He and my Dad are getting new phones. Bleh.

Summer drive vibes for ya