EventsFrom Gaming to Cooking: Diverse Content in Singaporean Live Streams

From Gaming to Cooking: Diverse Content in Singaporean Live Streams

Singapore is a country where different cultures meet, and this results in a rich and varied mixture in society. While western theorists suggest that new media plunged into the imaginary of postmodern culture and arrive as a technology of narcissism, present researchers found that Singaporean technology lives take a further practical turn. Technology in Singapore is integrated into practical and everyday lifestyle, thereby we must see Singapore’s take on technology within the local context. Video game streaming is actually a very varied practice. This is going to be explained with an overview of the gaming streamers and their activities with a comparison to the new wave of cooking streamers in Singapore. Finally, we will discuss the issue of technology domestication for both parties and the implications of this on the future of technology in Singapore, followed by a conclusion.

The Rise of Live Streaming in Singapore

The rise of live streaming Singapore explores the key driving factor behind content diversity in live streaming Singapore: the rise of tech accessibility in Singapore. One of the most significant factors that has led to the rise of content diversity in Singaporean live streams is the increase in accessibility to better technology. This can be seen in the form of improved internet connectivity, more powerful and affordable computers and gaming consoles, and easy access to various gaming platforms such as Xbox or PlayStation. Our interview with streamer and professional Street Fighter gamer, Xian, further reinforces this point. Xian, who has competed and live streamed content on both US and JP servers, highlighted the improvement in internet stability as one of the key driving factors that has propelled his growth in content variety. With more stable internet, Xian is able to play ranked matches on various servers without concerns for lag, a feat that was once thought to be impossible and impractical for a gamer from a small country like Singapore. Although Xian allowed for the comments to be removed, his stream highlights on YouTube have shown him making use of various character strategies that he likely would not have used had his performance not been disrupted by lag from playing cross servers. This could mean that other professional gamers participating in international competitions may use the same concept to improve their skills in matches against specific regions, ultimately promoting community growth and diversity in fighting games across various regions. This additional proof of increased internet stability helping the creation of diverse content can also be applied to PC and console gaming, as well as future generations of gamers who will continue to uphold the new standard of internet quality in their gaming experiences.

3. Diverse Content in Singaporean Live Streams

In regards to the receiving and sharing of gaming culture, Singaporean streamers abroad also hold streams focused specifically on games that are, or used to be, popular in Singapore. Through researching this specific topic, I was able to come across various non-monetized MapleStory gameplay streams on YouTube, as well as higher budget competitive game tournaments such as a recent Call of Duty 4 tournament held in California. Though these are not actually based in Singapore nor do they cater specifically to the Singaporean audience, the fact that Singaporeans are involved in these only shows that the culture and influence of gaming within the country is still holding strong. This can also be seen through the hosting of specific game or gaming culture-related events within the country.

A large part of the earlier mentioned diversity in content within the Singaporean live streaming environment can be seen through the various thematic streams. Over time, gaming streams have become more popular around the world. Streaming platforms have been providing a unique viewing experience for gamers and audiences. For example, the interactive ability between streamers and viewers allows for real-time communication as the stream is ongoing. This has allowed both sides to cultivate and grow unique communities based around the various games and streamers. It is common for gamers to earn money or receive donations through streaming as a form of part-time income. The global phenomenon has reached Singapore as gamers such as JianHao Tan have also taken to Twitch as a way of further communicating with fans and audiences alike. This is also seen among aspiring competitive gamers using this as a platform to showcase their skills and gain exposure in the gaming community.

3.1. Gaming Streams

Finally, console games often are not streamed as games for the console might not be available for play on the PC, and the streaming setup involving capture cards and other accessories might be more complex.

Casual games are often quite simple, and thus are good options for streamers who might want to do some ‘backseat’ gaming, allowing viewers to suggest game moves or decisions and interacting with them to explain his choices. Simulation games, or others which are heavily story-based and single player, are often played exactly because the streamer wants to share an experience the game provides with their viewers, and interaction will vary depending on the game.

Different types of games also attract different viewer crowds: a streamer playing a scary game might want to put on a face-cam or use a higher mic to interact more with viewers, in attempts to entertain his viewers as he would be overly scared by the game. Others playing more competitive games may not interact with their viewers as much, choosing to stay focused on the game and trying to create tutorials or game-highlight videos for their subsequent YouTube content.

There are a variety of games available, and thus the types and content of gaming streams are also diverse. Primarily, most streamers play PC games, and thus the number of PC games streamed far surpasses those that are played for console games. PC games tend to have more flexibility both in terms of game genres and the type of content the streamer wishes to create.

3.2. Cooking Streams

Due to the simplicity and relaxed pacing of cooking streams, they are easy to do and a good entry point for streamers looking to try their hand at IRL content.

Cooking streams have been received very positively by the Twitch community. This can be attributed to the ASMR factor of chopping, sizzling, and other cooking sound effects, the good aromas and tastes that the food in question provokes in the minds of the viewers, and the warm, nostalgic feeling of sitting down to dinner and engaging in conversation with close friends and family. Viewers, particularly those living away from home, have noted that sometimes cooking streams provoke feelings of homesickness. Overall, this is a very comfortable and comforting form of entertainment which has often led to increased food sales for the dish being prepared.

One popular type of broadcast on Twitch and YouTube is the cooking stream. These streams feature the host preparing a meal and sometimes teaching the viewers how to cook a certain dish. Like talk shows, cooking streams are somewhat more interactive than other categories of IRL streams because the viewers are able to contribute to the content in a meaningful way. This can be through suggesting cooking advice, matters of taste, or sometimes facts about the dish being prepared. At the end of the day, the host and viewers sit down to a (digital) meal together and engage in lighthearted discussion.

3.3. Fitness and Wellness Streams

Furthermore, more facilities and space would be needed to film wellness-related live streams as compared to gaming and cooking live streams. This could be a possible barrier to entry for wellness content creation, seeing that real estate in Singapore is among the most expensive in the world. Fitness and wellness content creation could be limited by space and costs. A suggestion could be to subsidize the rental of exercise space, to increase the usage of public community spaces for fitness and wellness content creation, or to tie up with other corporations (such as making use of corporate gyms, etc.). While the individual may be limited with space and facilities, we see potential in the offer of creating wellness content for corporate partners. A study conducted on over 1,300 workers in Singapore had found that more than half of workers in Singapore are either overweight or obese. Roughly translated, it means that there is a growing demand for fitness or wellness-related content to manage their health. It was also found that 94% of Singaporeans are concerned about their weight, and 37% of them are keen to lose weight within the next 6 months. That presents a sizable and informed population of Singaporeans seeking to improve their health, body, and quality of life. This opens doors for a niche market where there could be corporate sponsorship for the creation of wellness content to improve the health of targeted staff or clients.

4. Conclusion

The substantial following in live streaming will naturally give rise to a “starpower” culture, where successful live streamers can influence trends and the behavior of their followers. The term “influencer” is already a common marketing concept in digital marketing and influential products, with some already established social influencers moving into live streaming on platforms such as Viewers of live streams are given direct contact with the live streamer that can build strong parasocial relationships. Therefore, effective influencers are likely to have a strong influence on the spending behavior of their followers. This can lead to a shift in consumer behavior of younger generations as live streamers can be seen as living advertisements of products during their live streams. An example could be a popular game streamer trying out a new game that leads to his followers purchasing the game to play with the streamer.

Live streaming is gaining popularity worldwide, and particularly so in Singapore where a combination of Western and Eastern cultures brings distinct behavior to live streaming. The use of live streaming websites such as and is allowing many gamers, painters, and musicians to become live streamers, providing them with an additional platform to connect with their viewers. In contrast to this, there is a rising popularity in Asia for “real” outdoor live streaming that gives viewers a glimpse of the live streamers’ lives. One example in Singapore is the recent “instavideo” feature on Instagram that allows people to live stream short videos to connect with their followers. With a rise in younger generations using the internet as a form of entertainment, live streaming could become a new viable career path for youngsters looking to earn income while sharing their experiences online.

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