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Professional Gamer “AnneMunition” on the Power of Positivity for Encouraging Inclusivity

Photo: Courtesy of Loaded

AnneMunition grew up with a love of playing games on her and her siblings’ Nintendo 64 and Xbox, but she never guessed this passion would one day enable her to have a career streaming in front of people from all across the world. And yet, that’s where the professional gamer is, and she’s now using her platform of about 151,000 Twitter followers, nearly 94,000 YouTube subscribers, and over 87,000 Instagram followers to share her story, discourage harassment, and help promote inclusivity in the industry she loves.

“I basically played games my whole life, so you could say I’ve been training for this for a long time,” joked the 30-year-old Southern California native, who reportedly signed a multi-year deal with the streaming service Twitch in fall 2020.

Dabbling in gaming 

“At the risk of aging myself terribly, I don’t think anyone my age thought they’d grow up streaming games as a career; streaming video games didn’t really exist when we were kids,” AnneMunition explained. “Of course, we all grew up playing games, and the idea of being able to play them as a career was a fantasy any ’90s gamer kid would have, but it never resembled reality for me.” 

What drew AnneMunition to gaming were the friendships she made in that world that seemed to evade her at school. 

In college, gaming took a backseat to classwork and the multiple jobs she held to pay for her education. Still, AnneMunition occasionally played Halo 3 in her dormitory, and at this point in her life, it, too, helped her forge bonds with others who shared her love for gaming. 

“I actually met one of my best friends in university because he had heard I played Halo and came to my door with an Xbox controller and a challenge to 1v1,” she said. “At that time, I wasn’t even aware of Twitch’s existence and I was only tangentially aware of video gaming creators on YouTube.”

Trying out Twitch

When AnneMunition graduated from college and nabbed a job doing in-house user interface and user experience (UI/UX) work, some of her coworkers introduced her to Minecraft, which led her to explore Twitch and discover other gamers, like herself, creating videos on YouTube. It was then that she began to dip her toes into streaming — a step that eventually led her to dive into the deep end with this hobby.

“I would work eight or nine hours and come home to stream for three to four hours each weekday, then stream another eight hours each day on my weekends,” AnneMunition said. “It all kind of snowballed from there, and I realized I needed to make more time in my day to fully commit to streaming in order to grow my channel and online presence.”

Photo: Courtesy of Josh Campbell

Deciding to leave the security of her traditional job for a less-conventional one in streaming gave her pause, so she turned to her mom for guidance. 

“My mom has always been my biggest supporter and a big believer in following your heart,”

“I would work eight or nine hours and come home to stream for three to four hours each weekday, then stream another eight hours each day on my weekends,” AnneMunition said. “It all kind of snowballed from there, and I realized I needed to make more time in my day to fully commit to streaming in order to grow my channel and online presence.”

said. “She encouraged me to take a leap of faith, to try something daring and new, and that I could always go back to a more standard job if I didn’t enjoy streaming anymore or find success in it. 

“Now,” AnneMunition added, “it’s about six years later and my life has been forever changed by this crazy job.”

Encouraging diversity and inclusivity 

In the period she’s worked as a gamer, AnneMunition has learned a thing or two about what does and doesn’t help when it comes to creating a more representative gaming industry. 

Simply put, grand gestures by corporations aren’t as impactful as one might think, she argued. Instead, content creators like herself can make positive differences on a grassroots level. 


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“I personally prefer the kinds of systemic change that come from content creators and industry professionals choosing to embrace diversity on a daily basis in who they collaborate with and how they encourage positive conversations around diversity to their audiences,” AnneMunition explained.

She pointed out that creators like herself have sizable audiences and, because they’re often looked up to, they can use that influence for good.

“While I don’t feel every content creator has a personal responsibility to be a holy and virtuous leader for their fans,” AnneMunition said, “I have seen many great creators who quietly and deliberately involve a diverse variety of other content creators in their content, people who actively search out others of varying backgrounds to befriend and play games with, and those small acts can build into something really meaningful in the long run.”

Owning her social responsibility

These days, AnneMunition is mindful of the fact that her followers are looking to her for inspiration, especially as the world rides out the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. But she wants her followers to know she’s human, too.

“While it’s true that being a content creator has certain advantages, like being able to work from home, set our own schedules, and of course play video games all day, it also has its own challenges,” AnneMunition explained. “Often we bear the weight of responsibility knowing that our streams are crucially important to the mental health of our viewers, especially with everyone quarantining due to the pandemic.”

AnneMunition noted she’s a person with “anxieties” and mental health challenges, too. None of that goes away just because you’re in front of a screen. 

“My job requires me to do my best to put on a smile and be entertaining when I may not feel it,” she said. 

Not to mention, with the perks come some unexpected downsides. 

“Many of the content creators I know work pretty extreme hours and rarely take even a single day off for months at a time. It can be incredibly difficult for streamers to force themselves to create a healthy work/life balance with a job that seemingly benefits from you being always online,” AnneMunition said. “Add to that a never-ending deluge of negative comments, criticisms, and people who make online trolling their full-time hobby, and it can be very tough mentally and emotionally.” 

At the same time, AnneMunition streams for the positive participants, not the trolls, and she noted that the former type of audience member is more prevalent than the latter. She hopes this message of positivity shines through and compels others to create hamlets of safety and inclusivity for their audiences.

“Toxicity as a behavior is just like a chemical toxin that travels along the pathways created by our overlapping audiences,” AnneMunition said, “but so can we effect positive change by encouraging good viewers to share their positivity with others and to speak out against harassment and toxicity.”

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