30 Apr

One night before school in 6th grade, I found myself so invested in my gaming group that I decided that it was time to make a YouTube intro. Everyone else in the house was asleep but me. I snuck my mom's laptop out of the living room, tiptoed up to my room and began looking up how to make YouTube intro. Minutes into trying to make gaming intro for myself and my friends, I heard my mom’s footsteps getting closer and closer to my roomShe opened my door, and said "What are you doing on my laptop, and why are you not asleep?" Being a kid on your mom's laptop in the middle of the night was not a good look for me, and when I told her I was just making a video her face was filled with confusion.  


A year later, it was a Friday night, it had been a long day. Homework was finished, chores were done, and it was finally time to play the game. Call of Duty boots up, and the sound of the PlayStation home screen opening rose in the room. I attached my headset around my ears, joined the game chat with friends, and then the questions came“When will my video introduction be made?" Gaming started as something I loved doing. Then I found out about this whole other side of gaming on YouTube that included creating gaming content to make a profit. While I found myself indulging in this new idea of gaming and creating, my parents did not know anything about it. They did not know that my gaming for fun had transitioned to gaming for my future. 


Being a 7th grader in a gaming group felt like a full-time job with no payspecially when I helped create the group and the YouTube channel called OdysT Gaming. The gaming group was going so well we had a YouTube Channel, at least 20 members, videos uploaded, and had started to gain many subscribers on our channel. At the time we were middle school teenagers running a whole organizationbut you wouldn’t know on the outside looking in. The group was organized; we had a roster, a schedule, a detailed document on what our gaming group was about, and I ran the show. We were introduced to the concept of gaming companies being sponsors for our videos. The idea of us growing, and becoming big started to be a goal for all of us, but wweren’t prepared for the transition to high school, having more homework, after-school activities, and even jobs. So, we found that the energy we were putting towards the channel eventually decreased day by day. No one was getting online anymore, group chats became dead, and the YouTube channel came to a halt. The clan just wasn’t the same anymore. Since I was the Co-founder and the creator of the OdysT Gaming YouTube channelI decided to end that group and start up my own by renaming the channel Natural Gaming. As soon as I did that, my old gaming buddies from OdysT took matters into their own hands and changed the name back without me knowing. Why would my friends do this to me? 


The next morning before school I was dressed and waiting at the bus stop. It was a little wait until my bus came, so I took out my iPod and went to YouTube. noticed the YouTube channel I created once for my friends has been taken from me, and I couldn’t access it at all. Now I am angry and concerned about who could have done this. I messaged my group of gaming friends and asked them, concluding that a member got access to the channel and took it. Betrayal filled my head. All those late nights editing, creating, and stealing my mom’s laptop have been for nothing! 


Days and weeks passed. The betrayal that once saddened me has turned into motivationI created my own YouTube channelwas so upset about losing the channel before, because I felt like it was the end of somethingI came to realize that the OdysT YouTube channel was created from my own creativity and work ethic. Losing that channel wasn’t the issue anymore. It was the fear of not being able to have enough content for my new channel. I started to do my own thing. 

Two more years passed. By ninth grade enough time had passed that I wasn’t mad at my olfriends anymore because I decided and discovered what I wanted to do in my future career. I am now a 15-year-old teenager. I find myself in front of a laptop, the same laptop took from my mom. Sounds of the keyboard now crack as keys get jammed while I insert the title of my newest gaming video called “Blessings. My description stated, “Just had to upload something. Please leave a like and subscribe!!!!” What I did not realize was this was the last gaming video I would ever createbecause I decided to focus on sports videos. August was also the month I started my sophomore year of high school, and playing football started to become a priority of mine. By the end of August, I recorded a workout video with me and my teammates. Using the skills, I gained over the years of making gaming videos, I edited the workout video and uploaded it into my own channel on YouTubeThat was 7 years ago.  


Back then a lot of the gaming videos that inspired me looked like movies. The elements of cinematography, b roll, text, storytelling and a main character were all there. I did not really know what made a good video back then. I just looked at all the interesting videos that gained a lot of attention and incorporated the same ideas into mine. I now have a business that goes by WaeFilms where specifically upload videos, where I create for clients like NSU football team, local businesses, artistsbarbers, non-profit organizations all using film techniques I learned back in 6th grade while holding a gaming controller.  


Gaming introduced me to creative skills I never thought I would have or use in my professional lifeNow that I am in college, I decided to major in Communication just because my advisor told me that Communication with a focus in media was the closest thing NSU offers to Cinematography. I am shooting and editing videos for sports teams on campus, and even got to be a part of this amazing Documentary class where we made documentaries and haa screening on campus. Never thought stealing my mom’s laptop to create a YouTube video would ever get me to where I am today.  

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