► So what is your YouTube plan for the foreseeable future?
A few people have asked me the question what direction I want to go in with my channel, and it’s funny because I struggle with what I want to do and what I want to be as a person, let alone on my YouTube channel. But I have kind of narrowed it down to three things that I care a lot about. That is lifestyle stuff; I am super into the “girly” stuff, like makeup and skin care products. I love Drunk Gaming because I love playing video games with my brother. I mean, I love my brother – he is one of the best people in my life. Always will be. He’s an amazing person, and I’m really lucky to have him as a friend and as a family member. So it’s a really cool thing to continually live out or childhood and be crazy gamers with Drunk Gaming. And I love travelling, which is at the top of the list at the moment, as I have more of an opportunity now than ever before. I’m very grateful for that. I love meeting new people and finding out about different cultures and languages. It’s a great way to expand my knowledge. And hopefully, one day, I will go back to graduate school and then maybe I can offer people advice about the world.
► As we speak, you’re in Korea for a month. Is the idea to do more of these extended trips?
Definitely. Right now, South America is at the top of my list. If for no other reason that it is the closest to me and yet I’ve never been there. I don’t even know why. There are so many places I would like to visit. I have a long list of countries in South America I want to visit. I’d love to go to Iceland. And I’m trying to hit all seven continents before I turn 30, so I’m going to have to find some kind of expedition to take me to Antarctica. (laughs) I don’t know if that’s going to happen. We’ll see.
► Let me ask you two things about Drunk Gaming. One, what does Mama Speed think about her two children getting drunk on YouTube to play video games?
My brother and I honestly never drank when we were growing up, definitely not in high school. We were almost afraid of alcohol. I guess we were kind of conservative kids, and our parents were very consistent in their discussion about the topic. They wanted us to be very aware of the dangers and consequences of getting really drunk and being irresponsible with alcohol. So my mom is really comfortable with it because she knows we’re being safe about it. We’re both in my house, on a couch, with a friend in the background making sure that we don’t kill each other. And we’re not getting blackout drunk. I mean, we get pretty drunk, but we drink water, we eat food, we’re being taken care of, and we’re safe about it. And I think our mom is confident about how she taught us the difference between use and abuse.
► The other question is, how do you feel about comments on that topic from fans? I have seen the “You shouldn’t drink so much” kind on the Drunk Gaming videos as well as on Instagram pictures if you happen to post one with an alcoholic beverage in hand. I imagine it must be tiring to be a grown up and have strangers try and tell you how to live…
Honestly, that doesn’t make me feel anything at all. I don’t want to sound detached, but in my experience with people like that is that it’s one of three things. One, a young person who doesn’t have much experience with alcohol or who is spouting whatever their mom or dad said about how terrible drugs and alcohol are and they really don’t know about being a responsible adult and having a beverage or two with some friends on a Saturday night. Two, it might be a person with religious convictions about alcohol use. And I’m not going to pretend one lifestyle choice is better than the other. If somebody is not comfortable with alcohol use for them personally, that’s fine. But I find it funny that people feel the need to preach that to me, because I don’t go around telling people that they should drink. And the third is possibly just a concerned mom. That happens occasionally. And I might be in a little bit of trouble for saying this, but if you are concerned about your kid drinking, you should probably talk to them about drinking, not to the person you think might influence them to drink.
► Wrapping this up so you can get back to exploring Seoul: Can you see yourself ever stepping away from YouTube completely – maybe even all social media – or do you feel this is always going to be a part of your life?
Oh, that’s a great question. There have been times where I didn’t want to, but felt I needed to walk away forever. But after meeting so many … (pause) Oh god, I’m going to cry.
► I’m sorry. Take your time.
It’s okay. I’m just thinking of all the awesome people I’ve met … all of these amazing viewers I’ve met at gatherings or just randomly on the street … the things that people have said to me about the influence I’ve had on their lives – which was completely unbeknownst to me, and things I never imagined that I as a person could do for another human being, just by being on the internet. And that stuff will honestly keep me going forever. I have done so much travelling and seen so many things … on the one hand, some of that stuff makes me think that the world is totally fucked. I mean, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but everything seems crazy right now. On the other hand, the reach YouTube has provided for me and the people I’ve met through this have really given me faith and hope for humanity. Sometimes I regret not going back to school and not being a teacher, but sometimes I feel like this is a different way to be there for people. Instead of reaching just a small classroom, I can reach huge platform of people. And I’m so grateful for that opportunity. It’s not about the job. I can’t walk away from the people. :x:
This interview first appeared in issue no.1 of XCENTS.
photo credit featured image: Wyatt Kostygan for XCENTS
Interview by Ewan McGee.