Bizarre Influencers: Looking Into the Life via Livestreaming

Living Journalism

Bizarre Influencers: Looking Into the Life via Livestreaming

​​​​​​​In the Czech Republic, Twitch has become a popular streaming platform. While it originally focused on gaming contentwith streamers playing games and providing commentary, Twitch has evolved to include a wide range of entertainmentfor viewers. Now, anyone can stream anything that they find entertaining, and if they are entertaining enough, they canreceive subscriptions or donations from viewers.

A screenshot of Novby drinking alcohol on his stream taken from his Youtube channel. Used for educational purposes.

One of the non-gaming streamers who has gained popularity on Twitch in the Czech Republic is Novby, also known as Jirkos, from Ústí nad Labem. He owes his fame to his friend Opat04, who mostly streams League of Legends on Twitch.Opat04 invited Novby to his streams, where they would drink together, and their shared streams became popular with viewers. Later, Novby started his own Twitch account, where he mainly streams IRL content - In Real Life - often while getting drunk, either alone or with others, in various locations such as the woods or in a town. Although Novby may not be the brightest, viewers find his streams amusing. However, he has also caused several controversies during his streaming career. Upon entering his channel, viewers must confirm that they are 18+. Novby has almost 150k followers on Twitch and is also active on other social media platforms. He has a YouTube channel where he uploads short clips from his streams.​​​​​​​A screenshot of Novby's Twitch channel statistics taken from the same channel. Used for educational purposes.​​​​​​​

Today is April 18th, 2023 and we find ourselves in Brno, a city known for its beautiful architecture and stunning natural surroundings. To our surprise, Novby, a peculiar Czech streamer, is currently live streaming in Brno. We decide to check out his Twitch channel and the paparazzi in us immediately suggests that we try to catch him for an interview while he's streaming. We attempt to communicate with him through his livestream chat, but as we are not his top followers, we have to wait for at least 24 hours to interact. Our minds are buzzing with so many questions we want to ask. In this modern, global, and digital age, we have to work as usual, but we're excited to dive into his stream and see what Novby has to offer our curious minds.

A screenshot of Novby's top 10 donators taken from his Twitch channel. Used for educational purposes.

Novby is currently in the middle of a Subathon, a mix of the words Sub and Marathon. This means his streaming will continue as long as viewers donate. While chatting with the Twitch chat, Novby occasionally reminds viewers to donate to keep the stream going, with regular notifications popping up in the chat. Donations of one hundred Czech crowns from viewers will add an additional twenty minutes to the stream. The timer indicates that he has received enough donations for the streaming to go on for the next 45 hours. Viewers in Novby's Twitch chat eagerly suggest places for him to visit next in Brno, and they make jokes with him and discuss topics he talks about. "Hey bro, you still haven't had your vodka shot!" one viewer says, making the streamer laugh. Bizarre or drunken incidents that happen on the stream seem to be taken lightly as simple jokes rather than anything problematic. Even after Novby returns to his apartment, the stream continues, and he doesn't hesitate to change clothes in front of the viewers, earning a hefty amount of comments.

A screenshot of Q&A comment section taken from Novby's Twitch channel. Used for educational purposes.

“No way, we get a perfect view of that body!” The comment is inappropriate, but Novby doesn't seem to pay much attention to it. He opens a bag of chips and checks his phone, occasionally glancing at the chat to answer questions from his viewers. He avoids addressing any controversial comments and instead jokes about his failed attempts at dieting.

Eventually, Novby climbs into bed and begins to wind down his interaction with the chat, eventually falling asleep. Some viewers bid each other goodnight, while others claim they will stay until morning. The stream continues even after Novbyfalls asleep, with occasional jokes in the chat about his sleeping positions."​​​​​​​As previously mentioned, Novby has had several scandals throughout his career. The first significant scandal occurred two years ago during a livestream when a group of men came demanding money. During the conversation, it became apparent that Novby owed money for drugs to one of the men for four months. Novby argued that he was not responsible for paying for the drugs and his friend Dan (Opat04) should be the one to pay, as he always does.(

During the argument, someone in the chat advised Novby to turn off the stream, but he ignored it. After this incident, Novby and Opat04's friendship came to an end, and they stopped streaming together. The incident caused a stir among other streamers since Novby and Opat04 had been friends since kindergarten, and Novby had lived at Opat04's place for a year rent-free before becoming famous enough to earn money from streaming.

Novby began streaming almost every day, and his audience loved it when he got drunk during his streams since it made them more entertaining. However, people started to notice that his drinking had an adverse effect on his appearance, primarily because he gained weight. During a subathon, he was banned for a week after drinking absinthe, a potent alcoholic beverage, and then falling asleep while his stream was still live. When he woke up the next morning, he discovered that he had soiled himself. For an unknown reason, he proceeded to change his clothes in front of the camera, revealing everything. He was banned for nudity, and other streamers discussed the incident on their channels, all criticizing Novby's drinking problem. Novby commented on the situation in a YouTube video, but it doesn't seem like he realizes how severe the issue is.

Considering his lifestyle, Novby could be classified as an alcoholic. It appears that the health consequences of heavy drinking do not concern him in the slightest. Unfortunately, this addiction causes serious problems in all aspects of his life, particularly when it comes to socializing and maintaining relationships, including work-related ones. However, in Novby's case, alcohol seems to have the opposite effect: it acts as a catalyst for his relationships, work, and fame. He has become one of the many influencers who, without realizing it, sacrifice their mental and physical well-being for the sake of clicks and views.

It may be easy to blame Novby for normalizing alcoholism and bizarre behavior, but without the support of his audience, he would not continue to behave in this manner. Are the teenage viewers who seek entertainment to blame? Are they even aware of the harm they are contributing to? This creates a vicious cycle from which it is difficult to break free and for which there is currently no easy solution. Fortunately, an increasing number of people are raising awareness about these problems caused by online content and are working to improve the social media environment.

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