Iconic Fortnite gamer, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, recently shared on stream that it was difficult to take the "family-friendly" route for his content. Ninja described how restraining himself while playing Fortnite was tough, but it paid off later in his career.
The Fortnite community will always remember Ninja as the poster boy of the fan-favorite battle royale. But there is also another side to the popular streamer's persona, one which only hardcore Ninja fans are aware of.
The gaming community can be frustrating at times, and to combat that antagonism online one has to fight fire with fire. That is exactly what Ninja did with his verbal assaults in his early days while playing games like Halo, PUBG, H1Z1.
Although the rise of Ninja's Fortnite viewership has made the streamer choose a much friendlier path, it is easy on the ears and fit for the younger generation.
Looking back on his illustrious career, Ninja explained some of the reasons why he had given up on vulgar verbal assaults that were entertaining to many.
Jake Lucky from Esports Talk clipped the video with some insight that revealed the hard career choices Ninja had to make in order to reach the top.
Ninja discusses his "family-friendly" Fortnite career choice with respect to the persisting toxicity in the gaming culture
In a recent "Dojo session", Ninja opened up about career choices and the existing toxicity in the gaming circuit. Jake Lucky highlights some of the important sections from the session in the video.
In the video, Ninja contemplates all the difficult career choices he has had to make over the past few years. As one of the most popular streamers of all time, Ninja had to adapt to the times.
Oftentimes, these career-defining changes affect the streamer's personality. In order to make family-friendly content, one has to tone down and refine their persona, as young minds are easily influenced.
Anyone who knows Ninja from his Halo, PUBG, H1Z1 days is aware of the streamer's capability to dish out verbal assaults to anyone who harasses him online.
However, this habit had to change with a family-friendly game like Fortnite, and Ninja adapted to it perfectly.
According to Jake Lucky, a huge portion of Ninja's rise was due to his family-friendly Fortnite content. Ninja adopted a method that involved a much more subtle approach that appealed to the Fortnite community.
For devoted Ninja fans, his abusive personality was a defense mechanism against all the threats a player faces while playing video games online.
While numerous cherished this quality, others were disappointed to see the streamer stoop so low.
On the live stream, Ninja answered some of these complex questions quite eloquently. His explanations revealed a more deep-rooted problem with the gaming community that perhaps would linger on until the next decade.
Toxicity is quite ingrained in the gaming community - it starts in pub lobbies and online discussions, and thrives in competitive circuits.
This has become a part of the gaming culture, and it is still on the rise, despite all the cultural changes.
Harking back to the past, Ninja recollected some instances where he had to verbally abuse another player. He mentioned that it was common practice at the time and that he refrained from and detested racial remarks.
Ninja said, "In the gaming culture, you could pretty much say anything back in the day, and no one would fu***** care; besides that racist sh**, which I never did and always hated when people did it."
Ninja's answers exposed the double standard that exists prominently in the gaming community. People love to see other people rage, viewership has always thrived on drama and conflicts.
He also subtly pointed out how times have changed, and how saying certain words today wouldn't be ethical, let alone forgivable. Ninja's popularity today is a celebration of his grit and willingness to adapt to the times.
"I'm talking about other words that are now 100% not okay to say...I've never said that in the last couple of years."
Jake Lucky mentions in the video that Ninja has evolved over the years, and now the fans want to see him as a responsible leader-like figure in the gaming community.
Fans want to see a middle ground and a balance between the "family-friendly" Fortnite Ninja and the old trash-talking Ninja.
However, Ninja revealed that he cannot change his entire personality just to satisfy people. This is one of the primary reasons why Ninja is always criticized for whatever he does.
The popular streamer has done it all and chooses to remain true to himself, as that is the best one can do in the gaming industry.
"I learned that you're just a piece of s*** if you try to make a change for the better. People are either going to call you fake or a sellout and then people just say that they miss the old you."
Ninja learned the hard way that people are not going to be happy with him all the time. He has been the subject of criticism long enough to know that his success will always attract armchair critics who question his methods.
Adapting to family-friendly Fortnite content earned Ninja his success. There is no denying that the change in his personality played a major part in attracting new viewers every day.
Jake Lucky concluded the discussion by highlighting how Ninja is focusing on just "being himself," which is the best anyone can do in the gaming community.