Type Your Memoir Here

Posted by Reeve Staff in Life After Paralysis on June 25, 2021 # Lifestyle

Lilianna BloodI started gaming because I wasn't old enough to go out to a bar or go gambling! The next best thing was to get in on the action. The video game community is the definition of inclusive. Call of Duty, Forza Horizon, Minecraft, Dead by Daylight, Animal Crossing, the options are endless, and there is something for everyone.

I decided to start streaming on Twitch to help fund my walking rehabilitation. Starting a streaming channel for some is to meet new like-minded gamers around the world. For others, it's the beginning of a long-term career in the gaming industry.

Becoming an affiliate took about a month for me. Twitch requires you to stream for a minimum of 30 hours on seven unique days of the week. Additionally, you have to have a minimum of three continuous live views on every stream for 30 days. Once you complete all those requirements and have at least 100 followers, you become a Twitch Affiliate!

Being affiliated means you can collect revenue and seriously begin to grow your channel. Additionally, viewers can donate Bits (Twitch's form of currency) and subscribe to you. Alongside Bits and subscriptions, you unlock the ability to add your own channel Emotes! Emotes are Twitch's version of Emojis, you can design your own, or they can be purchased.

During the unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown, gaming was an escape for me. It brought me into a world of possibilities. It made me feel like a child blowing bubbles. Hundreds of multicolored bubbles from one wand; endless euphoria and fun!

I wrote a story for one of my classes called "Type Your Memoir Here." This story details my experience and my escape from reality when I am gaming. Below is my story.

Type Your Memoir Here

"Lights?" I reached over and slid the dimmer down, adjusting the lighting to burnt orange.

"Camera?" Unfolding the petite webcam and tripod, I double-checked it was on and ready to capture the event that was moments away.

"Box on?" Softly I pressed the button as if I were attempting to stroke the outside of a soap bubble. It began to swoon me, intense graphics and loud rumbling movie-theater surround sound. I'd never thought I would be in this situation.

It was as if I stepped onto a suburban lawn that was meticulously trimmed with a pair of scissors, an immaculate emerald, green, lush blocks of grass with fresh dew.

"Did you break anything?" Joey's voice spoke through my ears.

"What? No? I'm not even sure where or how to start?" My surroundings were unknown, and the empty map in my character's fingerless hands was useless.

I squeezed the trigger on my controller slightly, and the grass below me began to crumble—the sound of crushing gravel beneath my feet and intensified as the block withered down. "I broke this grass block. Was I supposed to?" The image of the dirt and grass was displayed in my inventory. Joey's thick fabricated New York accent rumbled in my ears, "Whadda doing! You can't be going around breaking blocks! People walkin here!"

I couldn't prevent the smile from showing, and I discovered that if I could break the grass, I must try to cut down a tree. I anticipated a failure and crouched beneath the lush blueberry-tinted leaves. The tree was approachable, not overwhelming in size, but not as small as a newly grown oak. I began my attack, a relentless barrage of punches. The forest echoed with the sounds of what could be mistaken for machine gunfire.

The once sturdy tree collapsed, and I collected the logs. The large tree was now a fun-sized version of itself, sitting beautifully in my inventory.

"You can craft that tree into sticks now."

"I can make sticks from this tree. Why? What would I do with a pile of sticks?"

"From that one tree, and those sticks, the entire world is you're block."

"Joey, you lost me; I don't know what I could do with a stick except for play fetch."

I dropped the sticks, and they floated towards Joey. Within a second, in his hand was a wooden ax.

I couldn't describe my feelings. They were ineffable. I understood the infinite possibilities. I could craft anything and explore every biome.

I felt the excitement in my stomach and glanced away from my TV to my laptop. My viewers were overflowing the stream, chatting with ideas and tips for the game. Many of them wanted to join me in the new world. It was a break from reality, an unreal life. There were no limitations like lack of money or food.

Minecraft might be less than a gigabyte on my Xbox Series X., but it introduced me to so much more.

Liliana Blood is a twenty-year-old woman and a pediatric cancer survivor who navigates life in a manual wheelchair. She began video game streaming during the Covid-19 pandemic on Twitch in December, and achieved affiliate in February 2021. She created a T-Shirt line known as PackNPals, with a multitude of designs. Each character wears a pair of shoes, a symbol of her journey to walk again. She donates these T-Shirts to children and adults in hospitals, as well as selling them at community fundraisers. Liliana is a full-time model and actress, working with an agent; while also a student. An advocate for those affected by pediatric cancer and spinal cord injuries, Liliana strives toward inspiring others and walking away from her wheelchair.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.