She streams video games like Call Of Duty from the basement where she lives every day—which at first sounds like the story of a young gamer going too far. The twist is that Michelle Statham is actually a grandmother living in her kid’s basement.
But don’t call her Mrs. Statham or even Michelle. Instead, use her screen name, TacticalGramma—or just ‘Gramma’.
Statham started streaming online five months ago but already she is a gaming content creator who is filling a void: Every day she listens to visitors who are struggling.
Game streaming is a social format in which content creators like TacticalGramma broadcast live video of the game they are playing. Public forums like Facebook are platforms that allow virtual strangers to tune in—and join in.
The viewer can see the gamer’s face and interact with them, yet remain anonymous. This position of obscurity allows visitors to talk and post a comment while remaining nameless if they want.
TacticalGramma’s viewers come from all walks of life. Many face challenges brought on by COVID 19, while others are a single parent, or dealing with challenges at school or work. In the end, each person she speaks with receives comfort and advice. Someone who calms their fears in a way that only a grandma can do.
“She has been helping so many people, from young single moms to college students to inner city youth,” her son Shawn told GNN. “She listens and cares for each of these people—all while playing video games.”
Such outcomes are possible when gamers feel they can let down their guard in a safe place. It’s an opportunity to trust—a relationship of support and understanding that can change lives.
What sets Statham apart is not only her age — she’s 55 and has one grandchild — but her skill. Back in the 70s she played instant classics like Pong and Atari. Statham quickly adapted to the evolution of each new gaming platform. Later she became an avid fan of first-person shooter games like Call of Duty and Apex.
“I’m definitely not the best at gaming or anything, but I love chatting with the community, and I love to play,” she explained to ‘Chuck’, a new fan who wanted to donate to her Paypal account.
Enjoying games was easier than becoming an online personality. It took years of urging from her children before Statham began streaming. Five months ago she relented and logged in under the username TacticalGramma.
Since then, thousands from around the world have tuned in to watch her play (on her Facebook page Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. PST). But instead of only watching, her viewers began to interact and build a connection. They can even buy personalized gear with her TacticalGramma logo.
Video games often make headlines when violence and controversy are the topic, and most people would never imagine something so positive coming from first-person shooter games. But the story of TacticalGramma reveals a positive example that levels up the entire genre.
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