DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — There is a social stigma attached to video games and the people who play them. When picturing a gamer; a well-lit room, socialization, and a strong sense of community, generally doesn’t come to mind.
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Anthony Webb, isn’t your typical gamer. His dorm room is set up as a small studio, complete with a green screen, professional microphone, and three high definition monitors.
Webb takes the hobby a little further by broadcasting his gameplay and his personality to his online followers all across the world. By using an online streaming service, he transmits his visage which appears in the bottom corner of the screen so his viewers can watch and listen to his reactions as he traverses virtual landscapes.
“I would consider myself an entertainer,” said Webb, 612th Air Communications Squadron command and control systems technician. “The entire platform is made to entertain. Some people go on there to learn from it, which I guess can be looked at from that perspective, but I like to be more of an entertainer than a teacher.”
Webb can see the reactions from his viewers coming in through a chat room shown on a monitor that he continually checks.
“I used to be completely antisocial and introverted,” Webb said. “I wouldn’t talk to anybody whether it be online or in person. When I began streaming, I started actually having to talk to people and become a little more open.”
Webb thought about joining the military ever since he was 6 years old. It happened when his uncle, who was also an Airman, returned home for the first time and informed Webb of all the opportunities that were available in the Air Force.
“I realized I needed to open up, especially because I was going to join,” Webb said. “I knew I was going to have get out of my own bubble.”
Interaction with others became easier as Webb continued streaming. He is now set on building a community by streaming five days a week, four to six hours each day. He even holds sessions on Sundays specifically to interact with his followers and receive feedback.
“Now there are a lot of people who actually wait and anticipate watching the stream,” Webb said. “It makes me feel good just knowing I could make someone laugh, smile or even just chuckle a little.”