Fellybishh's Story: PhD Student and Content Creator for BearClaw Gaming
My name is Felicia, also known as Fellybishh on the internet. I am a student pursuing my doctorate in Forensic Anthropology and a content creator for BearClaw gaming, an esports organization centered in South Korea. However, my journey into gaming was far from what you typically see or hear.
I started streaming in 2018 as a way to use video games as vision therapy. I experienced a brain injury and video games were a way to help my eyes relearn how to work together. Within my first month on Twitch, I reached affiliate status and have been streaming ever since. I love it!
Streaming gives me an outlet to combine my love for gaming and my love for academia in one place. My content includes both gaming sessions on Apex Legends and my academic research which includes school presentations. My final paper presentation on cultural heritage in video games was live streamed on the Twitch platform. My Twitch community supported me through my Masters and continue to support my PhD. When I told my community I wanted to play esports during my first year as a PhD student, I thought everyone would try to talk me out of it. Instead, the opposite happened. I was humbled by the outreach via private messages that I received. I was hesitant to put myself out there and through the private messages people were telling me how brave I was, how exciting it is for them to follow in my education and what got me the most is that some said I was a role model that they could relate to. I was so amazed at how many people told me that watching me made them feel it was ok to reach for their degree and game as well.
When I started my journey into competitive esports playing Apex Legends, I had two years of experience as a Twitch affiliate. I had so much fun growing the community, which led to growth on my streaming channel. Many decisions were made, including emotes, which can be challenging for streamers. I gravitated to Apex Legends due to the cultural representation in the characters and the sci-fi vibes.
Trying out for a college esports was such a cool experience. I started esports a few months before the pandemic hit. I was very excited to play on all the cool equipment at the University. However, as we all know, months later the pandemic shut down everything. Mind you, I have studied about pandemics and culture in my undergrad years and my anxiety kicked into high gear. The thing about esports is it's accessibility from anywhere, and I am fortunate enough to be able to participate from home. The pandemic has left many, especially with high anxiety, feeling very alone. I am so thankful that through esports I had an outlet to quell my anxiety. More importantly, I felt a part of a community during the pandemic with the many friends I have made.
When I made the team, I was able to tell my parents I made varsity, despite never being the athlete in the family. The University awarded me a scholarship as an esports athlete. As I look back on my first year as a competitive Apex player / PhD student I feel nothing but pride. It was an amazing experience, especially considering I was in recovery from an injury, combined with the stress of starting my PhD.
As I approach my second year, I added content creation for BearClaw gaming and I’m so thankful to have a home. This organization is truly an international family and I’m honored to be a part of it. I’m excited to see what this next year has in store. It’s the beginning of an epic journey and I hope that you come join me for the ride!