UA92 encourages students to blend on and off campus interests. This feature aims to shine a spotlight on what they get up to outside of academia.
You may have heard of the term BNOC (Big Name on Campus) and the first student to feature in ‘UA92: Inside Out’ certainly fits that billing. Standing at 6’8”, Jay Barker is one of the university’s most colourful characters.
Jay is a natural entertainer and found himself a stage during the pandemic livestreaming his video gaming in between studying at university and being a key worker at a local bakery. Mainly streaming his Call of Duty matches with his friends, Jay’s reputation in the gaming community soon began to grow, as did his online following.
“It kind of started on the lockdown. I got my PC sorted out. I tried to get the biggest spec I could and I started taking up live streaming because I’ve always found that I’ve been decent at giving entertainment to people, I feel a lot of people get a good laugh when I’m around.
“I’m a massive nerd when it comes to games and skill. Plus comedy, it’s a match made in heaven, so I started streaming. To be fair, it actually grew relatively quick, I heard a lot of people were stuck on having one or two people watching them for months.
“Mine grew quickly, maybe because I had a decent Twitter following as well. So when I started it up quite a few people came in and before I knew it, I got to the point where people could drop subscriptions and donate, so that was another source of income during the lockdown.”
Twitch is the world’s leading streaming live streaming platform for video gamers that lets you share live gameplay for others to watch and comment on in real time. It has three subscription tiers priced at $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 per month (prices are converted to pounds in the UK upon payment via PayPal). Users are also free to donate as well as or instead of subscribing, Jay explains how this works for him:
“Twitch take their own cut which takes about 20% off, so I usually get £80 every £100 and it works that you keep banked up, so then you can take a withdrawal whenever you want or you can set it up as soon as you get to the £80 it just goes straight to your PayPal.
“Donation-wise you might get a few quid here, a few quid there. Some people might just come in and drop £50. There was a one time a guy came in and I knew him off Twitter, but he also seemed like he had a decent lifestyle and he just gave a hundred quid and was like ‘here you go’ and that’s a nice little payout.”
But Jay isn’t gaming just for the money.
“There is nothing more fun than doing something that you love and entertaining people. I love doing it.”
Entertaining has always been a big part of Jay’s life; he took part in musical theatre as a child and has recently begun producing his own music. Jay clearly lives for a crowd and at the moment he has found an ever-growing one online.
“On average at the moment I usually get between 20 to 30 viewers. That’s just the average sort of ones, there are times where I can usually peak around 50 to 60. The highest I’ve ever had so far was 127 which, thinking back to it, was probably quite an insane amount at the time for me.
“Obviously gaming-wise it’s always better when you’ve got your mates with you, I’ve got quite a lot of mates and we’re into the same stuff and when we’re all together, sometimes it gets a bit offensive, but you know, who doesn’t love a bit of offense.”
Gaming under the pseudonym ‘Jaybinooo’, he is certainly not afraid to ruffle a few feathers and is currently banned from Twitter after a joke with a friend violated their terms of service, however he believes that gaming has definitely helped him develop as a person.
“I’d definitely recommend streaming. A lot of people I know struggle with speaking and anxiety and stuff like that and in a way, I feel that it’s a nice way to get out of your shell a little bit.
“I use a FaceCam when I do it as well as people can see me. But obviously you don’t have to but when you get to see a few people come in and you’re still talking you are presenting to them, you are talking in front of a crowd and I feel like that’s a way that you can build up your own confidence.
Easter might over but to support this self-styled Jesus, check out Jay’s Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/jaybinooo/about