In the two months he’s been using Twitch to stream videos of himself playing horror games, Tom Wheldon had accumulated a small following base – about 100 viewers who tuned in religiously every Friday night to watch him jump and yelp as he made his way through a scary video game. Last week’s stream was to be just another regular night for Wheldon, except it wasn’t, and now, barely a week later, he has almost 4,000 followers and his video is ranked number 1 on Twitch – not just for the day, week or month. The video is the most watched on Twitch of all time. In a week.
So Wheldon is doing his thing, on that particular night playing Outlast 2 on what he refers to as his weekly ‘Frightday’ stream. Everything is going according to plan as his character walks through a corpse riddled desert – at night. The scene is indeed spooky, made even more so by the dark room in which Wheldon is sitting. Suddenly, a crow startles Wheldon’s character (as well as Wheldon himself), and then Wheldon looks down and lets out a screech – one of those high-pitched, sudden shrieks that are so funny to watch come out of someone else’s mouth. Then he pauses the game, takes a breath and picks up the object of his fright, which had been off-screen until now: his two year old daughter who had been dispatched by Wheldon’s partner to bring him a can of Jack Daniels and soda. He promptly asks her if she’s ok, and she gives him a hug. Clearly, he’s the one who needs it, because he later told Engadget that she was totally unfazed and, after hugging him, promptly said “bye-bye” to his audience and took herself to bed. In his own words: “She has way more backbone than I have.”
Needless to say, Wheldon is very happy with his newfound popularity, but he says that he finds himself on the phone non-stop and that he has been checking ratings and social media far too often in the past few days. He plans on continuing to listen to his viewers and to keep them happy – possibly after a week-long internet detox.
Do yourself a favor and watch the video. It’s both hilarious and disarmingly charming. You can see it here.