“If it has a spaceship, I’ll play it.” Even before streaming video games went mainstream, Pipeline community member Brian “SpaceGameJunkie” Rubin was already on a quest to create content for the space simulation genre. From running a blog on space games to an active YouTube channel with thousands of subscribers all about them, Brian’s a true lover of the genre. He’s taken it upon himself to go through the past, present and future of space games -- and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.If that doesn’t sound like dedication, then we don’t know what does. Earlier this week, we chatted with Brian to learn more about his story, what his motivations are, his tips for up-and-comers and his plans for the future.Here’s what he had to say!
Who are you? How would you describe yourself to someone you had just met?
Hi there! My name is Brian Rubin, and I'm a video game addict/enthusiast. I've been playing games for decades, and I've turned it into a successful community and content creation endeavour. I'm also very lucky to have such a supportive wife who understands my need to both game and create. I think my long knowledge of PC games, space games especially, along with my passion for the people behind the games, help set me apart. I am very niche, and I think appeals to a certain type of gamer.
How did you get into gaming?
It started with Pong back in the mid 70s. I got a home Pong machine when I was four, then began going to arcades regularly. I was into a lot of the early consoles like Atari, Colecovision, Vectrex and so on, until I got my first PC in 1986, and since then I've just been in love with PC gaming.
How did your streaming journey start?
I began Space Game Junkie as a textual blog back in 2011, while I was unemployed. Two weeks later, I got a full-time job, which cut into my content-creation time. In around 2012 I believe, I realized I could put out content more regularly if I recorded video, so I began recording vids for YouTube, which led to Twitch shortly thereafter.
What are some of the most memorable milestones of your streaming career?
The first time someone chatted with me on a stream was AMAZING. Nothing has really come close to that feeling.
On the topic of memorable, what about challenges?
I'm terrible at marketing myself, even though I work in marketing (SEO) and am an expert at marketing others. The fact that I stream a variety of games, rather than just one or two popular games, for example, I think really hinders my potential growth, but it also would hinder my fun if I did that, so it's a tradeoff.
What do you wish you knew when you were starting out as a streamer that you want new ones to know?
Don't worry about numbers! I stressed about every viewer and would drive myself crazy obsessing over how many people watched. It takes a while to get comfortable with the idea, I know, but trust me, just be yourself, have fun, and enjoy the company. Even if you have no company at first, act like you do!
What motivates you to keep streaming? Is this something you see doing for a long while?
The people that come to my stream and the variety of games to stream are what motivate me. Sure my primary focus as a content creator is space games, but I play just about everything, so I love showing that variety and hopefully helping people find new games to play and love. I'll be doing this as long as I breathe. Even if I never get to do it full-time, streaming for two hours a day is better than streaming for zero hours a day.
Why Space games in particular? What makes you love the genre so much?
Science fiction is the first thing I ever truly felt in love with. When I first saw the U.S.S. Enterprise on my TV at four-years old, I was just utterly smitten, and ever since then I've wanted to play pretty much everything with a spaceship in it. Space Game Junkie has given me a wonderful creative outlet with which to focus that love into something that has helped connect gamers to new space games they might not have heard of otherwise.
What are your goals for the future, both long term and short term?
Keep grinding, really. Since I'm more of a variety streamer who also covers a very specific niche, I know my growth won't be quick. It's steady though, and even if I only get to ever do this part-time, I'll be happy. I mean ideally I'd love to make a full-time career out of this, but I also need to be realistic. It won't happen today or tomorrow, and if it does happen it'll take a while, so as long as I can keep moving forward while also providing stability in my life, I'll be happy as a clam.
Any shoutouts you'd like to do? Where can people find you on the internet?
DasTactic is my all-time favorite streamer and y'all need to go watch him. He's the nicest guy y'all ever did meet and a freaking wizard at strategy games. As for where folks can find me, I'm SpaceGameJunkie pretty much everywhere, but I mostly hang out on Twitter and Discord.