About a year ago, my youngest son talked to me about starting a stream for people to watch him play games. He then told me people would pay to watch. I found this quite strange.
Why would someone pay to watch someone else having fun playing a game? P. T. Barnum had a famous quote about that. But I guess if that's what people want to do, then whatever.
Today he has 100's of followers and receives money from them while playing various multiplayer online games.
So I started thinking, as I do, and thought, what we need in this small town where I live is a platform for writers, artists, and musicians trying to share their work. A place where we can share our projects, talk about what we are working on, and answer questions from people, either a podcast or stream show. Connecting the artists and fans and answer the tough question of gather in groups or not? COVID has made things a little complicated. As many know, it's tough enough being an artist and trying to make a living. Anything getting in the way of that can be very devastating,
I then thought about the gift I got my youngest daughter for Christmas, an Oculus Rift.
If you have never tried VR, I highly suggest it. It is great!
I was on SteamVR the other day working on my beautiful home, putting up posters of my novels on the wall along with my favorite pic of me from Comicon as Baron Von Munchhausen. I got the idea; how cool would it be to Live Stream from here? The ability is built into the system already. I can Live Stream directly to Facebook.
I spent most of the day yesterday thinking about the whole program; an author hosting a show for artists where we talk about projects, how-to, and geeky things like Star Wars, Lego's, and building robots.
I think it would be a lot of fun. I know many artists and author friends I could have on the show as guests, and I think if the program were focusing on current projects, How-to's, and the Geek world, it would be great.
When I built my Literary Cafe just over a year ago, The Blue Heron Cafe meant it to be a hub for artists to gather and share their experiences and knowledge in a creative environment. It did very well, that is, until COVID.
The State shut down all cafes. We were closed for 2 1/2 months, which was devastating to e newly opened business. It could not survive. I know there are loans and stuff out there, but financially speaking, it is crazy to borrow money for a company that cannot open, and you don't know when it will be able to open or when they may close it again.
When they first closed me, I wasn't too worried. After a couple of weeks, they told me I could open again, and I spent nearly $600 re-stocking everything. A few days later, the State changed its minds and closed us again. A few weeks later, they said we could open under restrictions. I decided not re-open, still trying to recover from the previous loss. I'm glad I didn't re-open the new limits and the cost of them. Alongside the fact that it could be carry-out only, I would have to sell about 60 cups of coffee a day to break even. We are a small town, and my antique mall is on the main highway, but six miles from the town center. We don't have the foot traffic places on the main street does.
So my literary café dream died in 2020.
The event adds fuel to my new idea because, with streaming, there is a virtual gathering.
So, if we do podcasts, video streaming, and the occasional VR group gathering, we can still share the arts, socialize and be safe.
I am going to keep tossing this idea around and see what happens. I know one thing, I am tired of all the restrictions and masks and anti-social behaviors we have to endure with all of this. It's terrible for our emotional states, and it isn't good for our society.