Community Spotlight: Zombie

by
popiph
October 31, 2020

Choosing to follow your passion and start streaming is one thing, but to do so with a niche few have tried is a brave move. This is exactly what Jesse “Zombie” Bliss did with virtual reality streaming.

As a co-founder of the VR streaming group called the VRBros, Jesse streams virtual reality content and games like Pavlov and Population: One. His unique content, coupled with his enthusiastic personality, has made him a rising star on Facebook Gaming alongside his squad. Over the course of 2020, they’ve grown from just below a thousand followers to over 15,000!

While gaming has always been a big part of Jesse’s life, it was the limitless nature of virtual reality that inspired him to turn his love for games into something he can share with the world. He started streaming as a way to connect with people who appreciated VR games just as much as he did, only for it to eventually become a fully fledged community of VR enthusiasts. 

We chatted with Jesse earlier this week to ask him about his story -- how he started, how he got to where he is today and his plans for the future. 

Here’s what he had to say!

How did you get into gaming in the first place?

I squarely put all blame on my family for getting me into gaming. My father, uncle, and grandpa were gaming and PC enthusiasts. My family always had the latest gaming consoles and a PC in the living room, while my brother and I would get the hand-me-downs for our room. 

How did your streaming journey start?

 Streaming specifically started for me in late 2018. Having a young child and being the sole income of my household, money was extremely tight during the years before. Gaming had to take a backseat. At one point it was so rough that I had to sell my PC and consoles, save for a Wii.  

Flash-forward to 2018 and my finances were getting more stable. I finally bought the PC and steering wheel combo I wanted for years! I was looking into getting two more monitors to improve my experience but space was limited, so my co-worker brought up the idea of VR. It seemed like a good idea, so I went to Best Buy to get it before my wife could say no. It was more than I could imagine.

I couldn’t shut up about VR, so my co-worker suggested I make content about it. I started doing videos for games like Beat Saber and Pavlov almost every night but didn’t get many views at the time. Even 10 views felt like an achievement.

Eventually though, I discovered Facebook Gaming through a random PUBG stream with 100 viewers in December of that year. It hit me: “I could post videos on Facebook AND live stream”. I told myself that there was no reason why people wouldn’t want to watch VR since it was so cool and I wanted to share that with the world.  

I spent the next few days researching and on December 4th, I did my first live stream. I had a logo and VR, what else did I need? My first few months of streaming makes me cringe to this day. It was terrible. I can say though, I'd gladly do it all over again. 

What’s the most memorable moment of your streaming career? 

 During 2019, I was getting featured by large gaming pages like Gamebyte -- reaching view counts I never thought I was able to achieve for my content. I even lucked out and had StoneMountain himself share and hop in a Pavlov lobby that I made an edit of! 

The biggest and most memorable achievement I have had to date though, was creating the VRBro's in August 13th, 2019. Money was never an objective I had during my early days. In hindsight I really just wanted to be a part of a community. Creating this community with friends I had made playing VR was what I wanted. The more the VRBro's community grows, the greater my achievement has become! 

What made you decide to choose VR streaming as the niche you want to pursue?

VR just felt like the future. My mind was blown the first time I put on my VR headset.  Even years after owning VR and picking up the Quest 2 this month, Oculus's latest headset, with all the features like controllerless finger tracking, and passthrough mode so I can see my play space without taking off the headset leaves me with a sense of awe in how futuristic it all feels. 

I am sure something will replace VR eventually. I would like to be there showing it off, whatever it may be. 

What are some of the quirks VR streaming has over normal streaming that you've experienced so far?

It really wasn't until I started to stream Apex earlier this year that it became evident how tedious VR can be, particularly with chat. Normal streaming with a second monitor doesn't take away from what you see on your main monitor. In VR, you’re either binding it to a spot in your play space or binding it to your hand are the most popular two options among VR streamers currently. There is no right or wrong way to do this. 

What do you wish you knew when you were starting out as a streamer that you want new ones to know?

It's an endurance race. There have been many times I was close to burning out on several occasions because I pushed too hard and simply needed a break. Coming back from a breather I always found a renewed enthusiasm for making content and some of my biggest breakthroughs or best vods and streams came after taking a break.

What are your goals for the future? 

Well, my short-term goals when founding the page was to be in Level Up by 2020 and hit 1k followers by 2021. We hit 1k by 2020 and in July, we hit 10k. 

I set the new goal to 15k by 2021, but we hit that this month. 20k by the end of the year seems to be the current short-term goal -- much to my surprise. Long term, I would like to have a dedicated space to stream within the next 5 years.

Any shoutouts you'd like to do? Where can people find you on the internet?

Too many to reasonably list them all. Huge shout out to those at LIV and their community in discord for helping me so much early on.  The other admins at the VRBro's BioHazred, Epica2m, Hit_N_Run2011, and xXBairdiXx. We work as a team and without them none of this would've been possible. 

Pipeline and it's community also gets a shoutout too! I've seen massive growth since joining and putting what I can from the Playbook into action. 

While gaming has always been a big part of Jesse’s life, it was the limitless nature of virtual reality that inspired him to turn his love for games into something he can share with the world. He started streaming as a way to connect with people who appreciated VR games just as much as he did, only for it to eventually become a fully fledged community of VR enthusiasts. 

We chatted with Jesse earlier this week to ask him about his story -- how he started, how he got to where he is today and his plans for the future. 

Here’s what he had to say!

How did you get into gaming in the first place?

I squarely put all blame on my family for getting me into gaming. My father, uncle, and grandpa were gaming and PC enthusiasts. My family always had the latest gaming consoles and a PC in the living room, while my brother and I would get the hand-me-downs for our room. 

How did your streaming journey start?

 Streaming specifically started for me in late 2018. Having a young child and being the sole income of my household, money was extremely tight during the years before. Gaming had to take a backseat. At one point it was so rough that I had to sell my PC and consoles, save for a Wii.  

Flash-forward to 2018 and my finances were getting more stable. I finally bought the PC and steering wheel combo I wanted for years! I was looking into getting two more monitors to improve my experience but space was limited, so my co-worker brought up the idea of VR. It seemed like a good idea, so I went to Best Buy to get it before my wife could say no. It was more than I could imagine.

I couldn’t shut up about VR, so my co-worker suggested I make content about it. I started doing videos for games like Beat Saber and Pavlov almost every night but didn’t get many views at the time. Even 10 views felt like an achievement.

Eventually though, I discovered Facebook Gaming through a random PUBG stream with 100 viewers in December of that year. It hit me: “I could post videos on Facebook AND live stream”. I told myself that there was no reason why people wouldn’t want to watch VR since it was so cool and I wanted to share that with the world.  

I spent the next few days researching and on December 4th, I did my first live stream. I had a logo and VR, what else did I need? My first few months of streaming makes me cringe to this day. It was terrible. I can say though, I'd gladly do it all over again. 

What’s the most memorable moment of your streaming career? 

 During 2019, I was getting featured by large gaming pages like Gamebyte -- reaching view counts I never thought I was able to achieve for my content. I even lucked out and had StoneMountain himself share and hop in a Pavlov lobby that I made an edit of! 

The biggest and most memorable achievement I have had to date though, was creating the VRBro's in August 13th, 2019. Money was never an objective I had during my early days. In hindsight I really just wanted to be a part of a community. Creating this community with friends I had made playing VR was what I wanted. The more the VRBro's community grows, the greater my achievement has become! 

What made you decide to choose VR streaming as the niche you want to pursue?

VR just felt like the future. My mind was blown the first time I put on my VR headset.  Even years after owning VR and picking up the Quest 2 this month, Oculus's latest headset, with all the features like controllerless finger tracking, and passthrough mode so I can see my play space without taking off the headset leaves me with a sense of awe in how futuristic it all feels. 

I am sure something will replace VR eventually. I would like to be there showing it off, whatever it may be. 

What are some of the quirks VR streaming has over normal streaming that you've experienced so far?

It really wasn't until I started to stream Apex earlier this year that it became evident how tedious VR can be, particularly with chat. Normal streaming with a second monitor doesn't take away from what you see on your main monitor. In VR, you’re either binding it to a spot in your play space or binding it to your hand are the most popular two options among VR streamers currently. There is no right or wrong way to do this. 

What do you wish you knew when you were starting out as a streamer that you want new ones to know?

It's an endurance race. There have been many times I was close to burning out on several occasions because I pushed too hard and simply needed a break. Coming back from a breather I always found a renewed enthusiasm for making content and some of my biggest breakthroughs or best vods and streams came after taking a break.

What are your goals for the future? 

Well, my short-term goals when founding the page was to be in Level Up by 2020 and hit 1k followers by 2021. We hit 1k by 2020 and in July, we hit 10k. 

I set the new goal to 15k by 2021, but we hit that this month. 20k by the end of the year seems to be the current short-term goal -- much to my surprise. Long term, I would like to have a dedicated space to stream within the next 5 years.

Any shoutouts you'd like to do? Where can people find you on the internet?

Too many to reasonably list them all. Huge shout out to those at LIV and their community in discord for helping me so much early on.  The other admins at the VRBro's BioHazred, Epica2m, Hit_N_Run2011, and xXBairdiXx. We work as a team and without them none of this would've been possible. 

Pipeline and it's community also gets a shoutout too! I've seen massive growth since joining and putting what I can from the Playbook into action. 

Thanks to Jesse for doing this interview! Be sure to check him and his team out on Facebook because they're doing awesome stuff.