@JJlass1 tweeted at us the announcement of their Twitch proposal to include Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia in the newly launched release of new tags. We thought this was a brilliant idea and wanted to share this interview with JJlass1 to raise awareness, interest and the reasons why this is important.
What sparked this idea originally?
Twitch did a big release of over 200+ new tags. It was fantastic that so many more people felt represented, especially the LGBTQ+. However, when I searched for Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia… they were nowhere to be seen. Though over the coming weeks, I saw there were ADHD, Autism and Dyslexia tags on my friend’s streams. So learning disorders were there. No one else was doing a proposal to twitch for Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia… so.. why don’t I give it a try and see if we could/can get some traction on this?
How will it improve the experience of Twitch for yourself and others?
I use to do co-streams with my best friend, mostly puzzle games (you can probably already see where this is going) Now, my mate is MENSA himself. He can look at a puzzle, and BAM knows exactly how to work it out (he doesn’t even need to write it down!) I am very far from that. The majority of the viewers were absolutely lovely, though some of the viewers would become irritated at me, and even the rare individual would question my intelligence. One stream, I became so overwhelmed that I just burst into tears. Not being able to finish this puzzle, people annoyance at me, and I do not want to let my friend down. I remember through the ugly crying trying to explain my learning disabilities. But really, I never should have been in that position. If I had these tags, it could have been me simply saying, ‘you click on my stream, you have to accept I do things differently….. also, my co-streamer would have felt comfortable in saying, ‘ JJ has these learning disorders, be patient. He said after the stream, he didn’t know what to say as he wasn’t aware I was/am at ease with people knowing… again if these tags were available, he would know I was open about my learning disorders, thus would have felt at ease speaking about them.
For other people, well, I’m sure there are NUMEROUS reasons. I think the biggest ones would be the awareness of these and also the streaming community being able to foster an environment where you can quickly and easily recognize content creators who will have these big things in common with you. I don’t know about other people, but when I find out someone has my learning disability, it’s like, ‘thank goodness, so many things I don’t have to explain!’
The gaming world is often seen as an accepting space. Do you think platforms like Twitch need to up their game a bit (pun intended) in supporting this?
Twitch is moving in the right direction. They are starting to realise representation is needed to grow as a platform. There is still a lot more which needs to happen, though. As I said before dyslexia, ADHD and Autism seem to be the only singular learning disorder tags. The other is ‘learning disability. That’s like going to your mate and saying, ‘Let’s meet for a coffee. I’ll be in America.’ America is a pretty big place. Going to take a while to find you.
Is there a game you would recommend for dyscalculics?
I don’t do gaming much now as a streamer, mostly ASMR on twitch (p.s when you get overwhelmed.. this is perfect for that) However, I’m a huge simulation gamer (eg the sims, house flipper, stardew valley), and they involve very little numbers, you are the one in control, and get to create whatever narrative you want! However, play whatever game you want, and never feel like you can’t play a game because it involves something you might struggle at. Often we find a way to adapt to our disabilities and work a way around them.