Shirley Curry is a relatively popular YouTube personality (842k subscribers) who posts videos playing Skyrim. She's also an 86 year old woman that goes by "Skyrim Grandma." It's an adorable persona made even more adorable when she refers to her viewers as "grandkids," and there isn't a gaming engine strong enough to render all of the cuteness being generated when she's surrounded by a group of skeletons and asks her party members to help her "take out these heathens." (Especially considering most of that engine is being used to get through a Skyrim loading screen.)
Even the most cynical of gamers, shrouded in ten layers of irony, and forged in the fires of Reddit, would have a hard time looking at Shirley Curry and saying anything other than "awww." But that's why it's so surprising and heartbreaking that Curry looks about ready to hang up her webcam for good. In a video posted earlier this month, Curry talks about her frustration reading negative comments. Specifically, she's frustrated by all of the people who feel the need to offer advice and guide her along the game, despite her having played Skyrim for years. This isn't just "mansplaining." It is "gransplaining," and Curry can't take it anymore.
Said Curry, "I don't have to be reminded and told all the time [which games to play.] I look at all the games, I'm a gamer. If I wanted to play them I would be playing them." It's badass that an 86-year-old woman refers to herself so proudly as a gamer, but perhaps I too am falling into the thinking of her more toxic fans by recognizing this. It doesn't matter what age she is. If a streamer is doing a playthrough that's supposed to focus on role-play over gameplay, and you're constantly commenting about which character build is best to maximize damage per second, then you're missing the point of the stream.
But the other issue Curry faces is simply the numbers. Her view counts are low, despite having a ton of subscribers and, while she admits, "she plays to have fun," the cost/benefit of airing those games no longer seems to be worth it for her anymore. She says she'll still be uploading videos but at a much less frequent rate. It's a shame because in our view she's way too young to call it quits. Our only hope is that with enough support she'll eventually have a change of heart, and that maybe the gamers who watch her learn to realize a good thing when it's sniping wolves right in front of them.
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Top Image: Skyrim/ Bethesda/ YouTube