Ghosts and ghouls come out to play this month as Halloween approaches, and what better way to celebrate than by highlighting one of our horror streamer supporters?
DreamWarrior (known simply as Dream to his community) has an energy that fills you up from the first second you pop into one of his streams. Between his animated expressions to in-game content, playful interactions with chat, and alter-ego affectionately called Mort, Dream uses his platform to do his best to make people laugh. As an avid advocate for mental health, Dream has found that gaming is an extremely helpful tool to promote positive mental health.
“Gaming gives me a way to escape and put myself in a different world for a little while,” he says when asked how gaming has helped with supporting mental health.
“On and off-stream give me two different feels, though. On-stream, with the chat and the horror games we play, gives me an adrenaline rush and an energy that I love! Off-stream, I don't play Horror mostly. I'll play JRPGs, open-world, and other narrative games that I can get absolutely lost in and forget the world exists for a couple of hours.”
An accurate description of one of the many benefits of gaming in terms of mental health. It’s always great to get lost in a good story and gameplay, but gaming can really be a lifeline for someone struggling with what I like to call “brain gremlins,” making them have nasty thoughts.
With the multitude of horror games available on the market, both indie and AAA, it’s not surprising that Dream had a hard time picking favorites! “My list of favorite horror games is ever-changing, as they're always coming out with new ones... My go-to favorites are usually Visage, Outlast, Layers of Fear, and Alien Isolation. Then there's big series like Resident Evil and a bunch of indie games like From the Darkness, Fears to Fathom, [and] almost any game by Chillas Art and Emika Games. I could keep this going for a while, but those are the ones that come to mind first.” Visage is a popular indie title from SadSquare Studio that has similar gameplay and setting to the well-known P.T., which has inspired many games with its walking simulator horror. Chillas Art is a Japanese indie game developer that has released several short horror games with tons of positive reviews on Steam. Their games revolve around short scenarios such as a night delivery person, a barista working the closing shift at a coffee shop, and the recently released title about a live streamer called Parasocial.
There are so many different genres to choose from when it comes to gaming: RPG, FPS, Simulation, Racing; the list goes on and on. What makes Horror so appealing? “Horror gives us a way of confronting our deepest fears in a more controlled way,” says Dream. “In the same way you can watch, for example, Rocky and feel inspired to fight through whatever life struggles you have, Horror, in a controlled and creative way, kind of prepares you for the fears you may face in real life. Horror games/movies are another form of art, and art can be a powerful force. I've also always liked all things spooky and Halloween and the adrenaline rush you get from being scared!” You also can’t deny that, from a viewing perspective, it’s just plain fun to watch someone else get scared! There’s a sense of camaraderie when you are also scared by the jumpscare that made your streamer freak out, and it makes it a lot easier to laugh at.
So how did this energetic horror stream wind up teamed up with Stack Up? “I learned about Stack Up in 2020 when MPICreates, who was working with Stack Up at the time, reached out to me about working with them for Call To Arms. I really connected with Stack Up because I advocate for Mental Health Awareness, as it's something I have battled myself all my life, and I'm also a military brat to two Marines and have had a ton of friends who have served themselves, so Stack Up was something that connected to me in many ways.” While not every streamer we work with has to have a connection to the military, the cause certainly hits a lot closer to home for those of us that do have loved ones who are either actively serving or have served in the past.
Dream has been with us for a long time and has even participated in our annual Call to Arms LIVE! Event for the last two years. “I was a part of Call 2 Arms LIVE! in both 2021 and 2022, and each time, I loved coming together as a HUGE group to raise money for this cause!” Our Call to Arms LIVE! Event used to be in-person, where we’d bring a group of streamers together for a little bracket-style tournament playing one-off indie games. When the pandemic hit in 2020, however, we had to shift gears and make the whole thing virtual, and have continued with this tradition.
“I love the Call 2 Arms Tournaments each year! I LOST BOTH, but I had an amazing time and got to meet and interact with so many amazing individuals who had many of the same ideals and mindsets as me as we did amazing things! The amount of support we spread to one another was incredible!”
Be sure to tune in to the Stack Up Twitch channel (Twitch.tv/StackUpDotOrg) over Veterans’ Day weekend next month for this year’s tournament!
One of the coolest things about Stack Up is just how many of our streamers continue to support our cause year after year, and Dream is no exception. What is it about Stack Up that keeps them coming back for more? “First and foremost, my favorite part of doing charity events with Stack Up is knowing that we are fighting the stigma around mental health and helping our troops and veterans fight their mental health struggles with the power behind gaming and nerd culture. It’s a real problem that still too many are afraid to acknowledge and talk about, and I feel Stack Up does an incredible job at getting the word out there and raising awareness! I also really love the hype surrounding the events and throwing confetti when we get donations!” We also have some sick rewards for our streamers who participate in fundraising events as a way of saying thank you. This year’s reward tiers include the limited edition C2A 8 t-shirt with an 8-bit Rex, a Digital Dino Toy, our annual exclusive Stack Up fundraiser jersey design, and a Custom Gamer Tag light!
We truly appreciate all of our streamers and their communities for their continued support of what we do. The Dream Army has shown up every year with their donations, and it’s not hard to understand why when we have such an avid supporter and hype man in Dream. Just last month, another Supply Crate sponsored by Dream and his community went out to a unit of enlisted personnel. We can’t wait to see what else he does with us and all his other endeavors! Check him out on Twitch!