Simon Parkin has done an interesting profile at the Guardian of players with disabilities who have found a community—and a supplemental income—via online streaming service Twitch. He interviews Mackenzie, a young woman with severe epilepsy who plays games online for a select audience she is careful about getting to know.
Like Mackenzie, who sees her work as partially a way to promote understanding of her condition, streamer Stacey Rebecca plays the competitive digital card game Hearthstone, and shares some of her challenges with her fans:
Only a relative handful of disabled streamers earn their living from the service, but as well as providing a supplemental income, Twitch offers a support community. "Twitch gives me that feeling of being less isolated," says Stacey Rebecca. "I have a lot of regulars, and it's nice to have that kind of friendly group that I can essentially hang out with each day without having to leave the house. And because I've been open about my mental health problems, I attract a lot of viewers who are experiencing anxiety. It helps us both feel less isolated. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement."
The massive and growing online streaming community also has demonstrated the power to be a force for charitable causes, claiming to have raised more than $10 million for charities in 2014. On her own, Stacey Rebecca raised £6,500 for mental health charity Mind.