Twitch streamers have a surprisingly risky job. While videos are going nowhere, streaming continues to bloom into a major form of entertainment for people. But one thing that those making videos contend with is an extra degree of separation. There’s something of a barrier between YouTube personalities and streamers (barring, of course, those who do both). Because there’s more of a direct connection between a Twitch audience and the streamer, there’s arguably a stronger sense of community and more immediate interaction. But one of the dangers of streaming comes from this lacking barrier. There are plenty of sick individuals who, for any number of reasons, use live nature of the format to do twisted things. While the worst some streamers have to put up with is Stream Sniping, others deal with swatting and even situations like what Guy “Dr. Disrespect” Beahm dealt with.
Beahm was holding a Twitch stream for the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beta and its new Blackout Battle Royale mode, when he was interrupted by a noise. When he returned, he broke character to inform his audience that he had to end the stream. Shots had been fired at his residence and connected with the upstairs window. To make matters worse, this marked the second occasion. He noted that shots had been fired the previous day as well. A southern California sheriff department confirmed both instances.
This isn’t Beahm’s first brush with the perils of the job. He was also the victim of a swatting incident, back in March. While streaming a game of Fortnite, he left the stream. He never returned to the stream, that night. But he did return the next day. Swatting is, of course, an incredibly dangerous act. It involves calling the police to a Twitch streamer’s address to disrupt the stream in question. It’s often a cruel joke, but is life-threatening, and has resulted in one fatal case so far. Streamers now approach the point of needing to personally know their local police department, just as a precaution against this kind of thing. In this shooting incident, officers were sent but no medical assistance was requested. Thankfully, Beahm and his family were uninjured.