Welcome to Anook’s first ever Community Spotlight! This new section will highlight, or "Spotlight", one of the many famous members of our community.
This week, we bring to you kur1: Peruser of Akihabara, streamer extraordinaire, and all round good guy. You might have seen a few of his streams on Twitch or videos on YouTube, but here he is in real (text) life! He also offers some great tips for new streamers, so keep reading.

1) Hi there and welcome! First off, tell us a bit about yourself. What kind of gaming background do you have?

Hey! I’m kur1 (pronounced ‘curry’), a Rogue who plays way too much World of Warcraft. In real life, I’m Chris. Life’s led me to Japan, where I work all day and play games all night from the comfort of my 2nd-floor apartment. My PC is built completely from parts bought in Akihabara. My Chrome theme is Hatsune Miku.

[I can see why]

My gaming history goes back as far as I can remember. I stuck exclusively to console gaming until the Dreamcast died, where I became bitter how they let such a magnificent platform fall to the wayside. That console got me entranced with online gaming. Since no other consoles would touch online play seriously for a few years, I opted to go PC. Around this time, a lot of my friends were PC builder enthusiasts and Steam was gaining traction, so it was an easy transition.

I got Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike, StarCraft: Brood War and a few other games that kept my interest for years. I had many unforgettable basement LAN parties where we’d have “eye bleach” contests, linking the most disturbing things 4chan could offer between FPS games.

[Ah, good ol’ nostalgia.]

What truly hooked me to games- specifically MMOs- was when I discovered my dad played Ultima Online. He lived away from me at the time, but every time I’d visit we’d do awesome stuff with his eclectic troupe of guildmates. This was before the era of quests, so you’d make your own adventures and epic tales.

I remember wandering into my first player-owned castle and “borrowing” things until I was overburdened, only to run into the guild that owned it at the front door as they returned from their PVP outing. Didn’t make it too far and started a short-lived guild war from the “unprovoked invasion”. Every trip to town turned into sudden battle royales with guards chasing down the instigators. I remember commandeering peoples’ ships as they docked at harbor and forgot to lock the plank. I remember getting led from city to city with a Mage back when I had no idea what I was doing and seeing players chatting, sparring, skilling up on dummies, and generally living out a medieval lifestyle. Adventures like these hooked me to MMOs.

[Good times.]

Since Ultima Online, I’ve hopped to tons of games and dabbled in pretty much every genre, but my “home sweet home” has been World of Warcraft.

2) How did you find out about Anook?

Anook reached out to me on Twitter one day after my stream. They said they liked my content and wanted me to join. I was suspicious (being a front-page streamer with your Twitter linked leads to a lot of spam), but I actually got a human response! I joined up and was immediately impressed with the quality and professionalism of the site, and especially the pervasive friendliness from everyone.

3) As you know, Anook is only in beta, but is there already something you really like or dislike about it?

I really, really like Anook’s speed. I have a very low tolerance for waiting on websites. Everything on Anook happens so quick it’s crazy, especially for how much media it’s loading.

The fact you can filter streams by game, class, gameplay type, etc. (if the streamer labels their stream) is awesome. It really helps you find the streams you want to watch.

The heart/skull buttons are great. The votes spotlight posts that are worth reading. Plus the community (especially the admins) are very active responding to stories and updates to keep things friendly and active. Too many networks are all posts, no replies- Anook is the opposite.

The only downside to Anook is how it’s too compartmentalized for its userbase. Games are divided into individual releases (i.e. Guild Wars 2 rather than Guild Wars as a franchise). If Nooks were filterable from a genre (for example, “MMORPGs > Guild Wars Series > Guild Wars 2”), I feel it’d liven up less frequented sections while combining MMO enthusiasts in one meta-Nook. But that’s a small quip, considering how nice everything looks and operates.

4) Tell us about your World of Warcraft guild, Crimson. Any plans to expand to Guild Wars 2?

Crimson’s a collection of Aussies, New Zealanders, and random other nationalities who were sick of Caelestrasz’s lack of organized skilled players. The raiding scene was either “be an elitist prick who raids 30 hours a week or GO CASUAL”. So Taita (our GM) and his Officers got together and found talent from across the region to tackle PVE progression. We even have some famous PVPers in our ranks.

We are Crimson
[Crimson is recruiting!]

People come for the progression and skill, but stick around for the awesome atmosphere. Even though Ventrilo gets heated, it’s all rooted in our passion for success. And there’s just as many nerd screams and laughs as there are aggravated groans. Much like competitive stuff in real life. It’s a really great atmosphere that I can’t see myself leaving.

Shameless plug: We’re recruiting players who can raid Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 7:30-10:30PM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time)! Yes, you read that right. We’re a 3-day-a-week raiding guild and still keeping pace with Oceanic’s top 25-mans (ranked #7 in 4.3!). We hold all of the server’s Cataclysm Realm Firsts for patch end-bosses. We’re always looking to take on more skilled players. Apply at http://www.wearecrimson.com.X_5664X

Guild Wars 2 is an un-touched topic in our guild. We’re definitely transitioning from Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria, and quite a few of our players will be dabbling in Guild Wars 2, but nothing’s set in stone yet. Our primary focus will be progressing competitively throughout WoW: MoP unless Blizzard drops the ball. I’ll personally be romping through Guild Wars 2 in my free time, though! (DIGITAL DELUXE PRE-ORDER WHAT WHAT fistbump)

5) Tell us about your stream. Do you feel Anook has helped in attracting new viewers for you?

My stream’s at http://www.twitch.tv/kur1X_5670X (click the Follow button!), where I regularly stream Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, and the occasional League of Legends match to show how terrible I am at MOBA games. I put a heavy emphasis on chat interaction, something I feel is lacking from a lot of high-end streams. Yeah, you can watch someone click buttons perfectly in real time... but I prefer including the viewers to make them feel involved. It makes for a much more interesting atmosphere.

Anook opened up my stream to a bunch of new European viewers! A ton of people actually don’t go to Twitch directly, but instead view streams on proxy websites like Anook and SoloMid. It’s really beneficial to get your stream to these proxy sites to help people discover your channel, especially if the community is active when you’re usually streaming.

6) What's your advice for any new, would-be streamers?

There’s a checklist I have for new streamers I’ve posted on various forums, so I’ll just repeat it here:

  • Unless you’re IdrA or dApollo, interact with your stream chat. Nobody likes watching Mediocre Mike run around WoW aimlessly, making rudimentary mistakes.
  • Make yourself relatable and interesting- my niche is Rogue, and my grab is that I live in Japan and run a high-quality 1080p stream. What’s yours?
  • If your stream stutters, looks like pixel art, or sounds like you’re talking into a tin can, you’ve got a problem. People will drop your stream quicker than an ugly baby. Sort that out.
  • Stream consistently, and at consistent times. People won’t come back if they can never predict when you play. Return viewers are key to building a channel.
  • Community & Entertainment > Gameplay, always. People cannot realistically stay interested watching games for hours on end. They’ll tune out. But if you’re interactive and funny, they’ll stay and bring their friends.
  • Pick a big, popular game or a new release. Lots of eyes are already on that game, and you can exploit that attention to your benefit. Chances of getting big with a no-name JRPG released 4 months ago? Not too good.
  • Stick with one game. Swapping from Battletoads to E.T. to World of Warcraft to Heroes of Newerth will just confuse and segment your viewers. You might not be used to playing one game for hours at a time, but it’s required to grow a channel. Streams do best when they’re centered around one game with the occasional random night, not the other way around.

7) Anything else you would like to add?

Hope you enjoyed a little backstory into my life, and I hope you check out my Twitch stream and YouTube channel! Gaming’s a passion of mine, and I love sharing it with others.

Thanks for the interview, and I hope to talk with you all around Anook!

Kur1 youtube channel


Want to be featured on the Community Spotlight? Give a shout out to @valtronic and tell us about yourself!

@kur1 Interviewed by @Kappa