2021 marked the beginning of a year that would (hopefully) see the end of the almighty COVID-19 pandemic. For me, it was just another number passed. Nevertheless, January flew by with a few new faces here and there, though no one so phenomenal that I felt the dire need to shout them out for this occasion (with all due respect to them). February ended up picking up the prior month’s slack.
A day before Valentine’s Day, I was on the cusp of a serious Metroid Prime binge. Searching the category on Twitch, I noticed someone I thought I had seen before. A one-time stream I joined weeks prior due to seeing someone cosplaying as Samus Aran in the thumbnail. Without hesitation, I clicked on the link, assuming I would be greeted with the same voice I had heard prior. I didn’t, but that ended up being all right. That single accidental click began a bond I cherish to this day.
Introducing Sammichann. (← Link to her Twitch channel.)
They say first impressions are everything in life. If you don’t make a good impression in the first 15-20 seconds of meeting someone, there’s a high chance they won’t give you the time of day afterwards. This is somewhat more versatile in the online space, where one mostly communicates through text. In this context, the first few messages are vital in supplanting yourself within the mind of a streamer. It lets them know exactly where you stand… potentially, anyway.
Joining a Sammichann stream for the first time, she was just starting the game of Metroid Prime—literally in the middle of the opening cutscene. Upon playing, her movement was very clunky; everything was like an alien world to her (literally, but nevertheless). Seeing her excitement and semi-struggle to nail down the controls of the game, I came into chat with a vital first message:
“The more you play, the more the controls become natural.”
Pretty straightforward and relatively obvious, though it was something of a nudge of encouragement. Upon seeing my message, she hesitated for a moment. Eventually, she triumphantly shouted my username, Kapodaco, and almost pronounced it correctly—the closest I had heard anyone on Twitch say it after seeing it for the first time. Then she read my message. I found that cute. A couple minutes later, I wanted to congratulate her on this unusual feat:
“By the way, the way you pronounced my name was actually closer to the actual pronunciation than most people get first try, so kudos!”
Samus-chann seemed a little shocked to know that she was almost correct, stating that she’s usually pretty bad with pronouncing names. The stream proceeded with her simultaneously getting used to playing Metroid Prime and trying to theorize how to say my username correctly. Listening to her constant effort in doing so was something I was not adjusted to—generally people would say, “Ah, okay,” and then move on to calling me “Kapo” or the like. Not her. She wanted to know.
Eventually, I sent a third message and final message of aid concerning the topic of my name: “. . .how you annunciated it the second time was spot-on. You only didn’t pronounce the ‘O’ in ‘Kapo’ strong enough.”
Reading this message, she hesitated again. After a few moments, she bemoaned that she forgot how she pronounced it just minutes prior. It happens with the best of us. “Oh well,” I thought. “She ended up pretty close.” I continued chatting leisurely, assuring her that it’s just gibberish (it is just gibberish) and people can pronounce it however. Yet she did not give up.
Working out what I told her before, she remembered how she stated it previously; without a shred of confidence, this stranger then quickly and quietly pronounced my name 100% correctly. Once. Then forgot again.
The first time anyone on Twitch had every correctly pronounced my name (up to that point). Hearing it said directly on stream actually made my heart drop for a split second. I was floored. A wee bit of a fuss was made in chat, to which she reacted (correctly) with confusion. After a quick explanation, she then relayed that her last name is also pretty hard to get correctly if you’re not Polish. We had some common ground there.
Yet my relaying of this story has a purpose, outside of being very personally satisfying for me. It adeptly elaborates on what Sammi is capable of providing as a streamer, person, and entertainer. She’s not perfect—some struggle will persist. Her emotions adorn the myriad of tattoos all across her skin, and it won’t always click immediately. Where she makes up for this is effort and compassion.
I was some stranger in chat who had never appeared before, yet she greeted me with a hearty cheer and meticulously dissected my name when I gave her the impression that she was onto it. With only minimal support, she ended up solving “the puzzle,” if you will, almost blissfully in a state of vague control. This is the essence of a Sammichann stream: she’ll surprise you with her earnestness and almost sneaky display of unrivaled competence, then pass it off as a fluke or luck.
That stream, I stayed for its entirety—starting at roughly 8:45-9:00 p.m., it lasted just over five hours. You do the math. (Note: I generally like being in bed by around midnight.) I ended up as a sort of “guide” for her progress through the game, seeing as she knew practically nothing and I have beaten it umpteen times. She would call on me for assistance, and I would provide occasional advice in various moments. A symbiotic relationship was born.
How riveting it was, as well. Rarely in my time with Twitch did I serve as a helpful hand in gameplay for a streamer, but I ended up in a prime (ha) position to serve as an overseer for this particular stream—and at complete random! In truth, I adore seeing people through things. To see them progress through games and naturally grow their prowess and discover all the good the game can offer. Sammi was rough, but a natural. Her comfort level grew as the hours passed.
I did this for a large majority of her Metroid Prime streams in the weeks to come, but nothing will ever be able to replicate the type of almost parental elation I had with the first one. Between her saying my name correctly, joining the game from the very beginning, and staying up until absurd hours—just to watch someone stream a game I was heavily invested in—it remains my favorite stream I’ve ever attended on Twitch.
They say first impressions are everything in life. In hindsight, I think I left a memorable impression on her with my straightforward nature and bizarre username. Sammi, though, left me in awe within twelve minutes.
Very good. Now that that incredibly wordy homage to my introduction to the Sammichann channel has been thoroughly exhausted, allow me to provide a more general approach to the positive qualities of her streams.
Typically, what one can expect from a Sammichann stream depends slightly on the week and time. I happened in during a game night, but really, she streams more often (from since I started following) in Makers & Crafting. A certified (probably) cross-stitcher, she’s made a number of different designs and crafts on stream. These tend to be much slower and more “chill” than a typical gaming stream, where Sammi is prone to speaking less and working diligently (probably).
If not that, the game selection tends to fluctuate pretty wildly, though perhaps with a penchant for nostalgia. The Legend of Dragoon, Sly Cooper, Darksiders, or something entirely different. Her palette is often bent by the whim of her desires, presenting a mildly chaotic schedule of one-off streams and whatever she’s up for playing in a given week. Some may see this as disorderly; I see it as what makes Sammi Sammi. A realistic display of human spontaneity that we all have from time to time.
One can also go on about Sammi as a person herself, though some of that was noted above. Incredibly emotional, caring, and supportive, she harbors the kind of soul you often wish you had more of. Propped by the support of her dedicated chat regulars, she’s never short on laughter and some friendly jabbing. A “hangout spot” is certainly the appeal vibe here.
Sammichann is a wonderful character that I’m glad to call my friend. Her streams, while not always consistent, are a near-guaranteed source of amusement and fun that is symbolic of the kind of joys one can achieve through the Twitch platform. She is but one of many, though still a crucial part to my love for hanging out and connecting with others wherever possible.
And she is one of only three streamers who consistently pronounce my name correctly.
For all other Twitch streamer odes, check out the Twitch Streamer Highlight Reel.
Be sure to stop by on the 19th for the next edition of the month’s Twitch streamer shoutout post!
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.