Good morning, grandkids. The first video I uploaded was because the handful of subscribers I had at the time kept at me and kept at me to record my own gameplay. I had subscribers before I started uploading because I watched a lot of channels, I had all my favorite gamers that I liked to watch. And I’d always leave comments that I liked their video, or that was fun, or something, and people got to know me on their videos, and they would comment back to me in the comments section. And eventually they realized that I had a channel, and they’d come look at it and subscribe, even though I wasn’t doing anything on it. I had never made a video or a vlog or anything. But they just were subscribing to me, so I had, like, 200 or 300 subscribers the first time I started to record. And I thought, “I like to talk, so I can do this.” So I did. And then I went to bed and just didn’t think any more about it. Hi this is Grandma Shirley and I’m playing Skyrim, and I thought I’d like to take you along with me, if you’d like to go. I’ve already gone through the preliminaries at the beginning, and I’ve been to Riverwood, and I’ve gotten the quest to go to Whiterun and ask the Jarl there for help. Somebody took it and put it on Reddit. And it went viral. The next morning when I got up and turn on my computer and opened my email, there were thousands of emails on there. I had no idea it was from that video. I didn’t know what it was on there. And it scared me. And it made me cry. And I didn’t know what to do. So I started reading them and I realized they were comments from that video, and then I thought, “Oh my gosh, what am I gonna do with all this?” Most of the comments were nice, but those first few weeks, I got a lot of nasty comments. They would say things like, “You don’t belong on here.” And then they would say, “Why aren’t you sitting in a rocking chair, knitting?” I said, “i don’t like to knit.” And then some of them were really downright vulgar. So I learned to answer them politely like a Grandmother would say something to a child that didn’t have any brains. And eventually they learned to treat a grandmother with respect instead of the way they were acting, and it just became a fun place to be, then, talking with them, and I never, never get anything bad anymore. And if somebody does get on there and say something bad, the others get onto him, say, “You can’t talk to Grandma like that!” Probably 2014 I started playing games because my son gave me a computer. When he upgraded his computer, he gave me his. And so he gave me that game, Civilization II, when you had games on disk instead of online. I played that for years day and night. He said, “mom you have to sleep and eat sometimes.” What I had originally wanted a PC for was just to store recipes in. I wanted to make files and separate them by meats and spices, and because I was writing a newspaper article at the time, out in California on a little local newspaper, and I thought this would be cool to have this all sorted out and in files and everything, but that didn’t work out. I mean the newspaper article worked out, but that didn’t work out on my PC. I got that game and forget about that. Before I got Civ II, I didn’t even know anything about playing games. I didn’t know that existed. And then, see, when I got introduced to Skyrim, I thought, “Oh my god, this is a totally different world.” and then Civ became like a top-down board game to me, but I still play Civ V. Oh, I got introduced to Skyrim by my son. He sent me a link to somebody that was playing Skyrim, because he thought that I would like it. So I watched them playing their game and I fell in love with it. The scenery, the way you could play, how big it is, all the things that you can do in it. I like most about it, I think, the scenery, and see, sometimes people get onto me about, “well graphics isn’t the same, it’s the story.” No, I don’t like the story because I like my own stories. I used to go camping when we lived in California, and we’d go gold panning. And we’d go, like, four times a year, and I loved wandering around in the wood with our dogs, and I do feel like that in Skyrim. In Skyrim I could let my creativity flow and just do what I want to do and whatever comes in my head. I take my time in a game because it’s like telling a story. I don’t like to just follow the game the way it’s developed and go from quest to quest and try to get to the end of the game, I hate it when I hear somebody say, “I beat the game,” or “I finally won Skyrim!” How can you beat that game? It goes on forever. There’s so many different characters to play, and so many different ways to play each one, and if you like to tell stories, there’s so many stories in your head to tell. How can you ever get through with it? My first one, it’s strange to me that it’s my favorite, but it’s my favorite. My character was named Katamet, and that’s the one that had such a sad ending. Well, he was married, but he spent all of his time out roaming and going in caves, and when he was at home, he never said anything, hardly, to his wife, I’d forget to have him talk to his wife. So she didn’t like it, so she wanted a divorce. So he felt so bad, he just put all of his equipment in the chest and said, “you can have the house, you can have all my stuff and sell it,” and he put his money in the chest and he said, “You can have all the money,” and he turned around and left. So he had two followers, the little gremlin-looking character and Kharjo. So Katamet and they, his followers, walked away, walked- and he turned around and looked back and talked to his followers and told them that he was dismissing them and that he was just gonna have to go on and find a life alone. So I had this shot of Kharjo walking down the hill and away across the valley, And there was the little gremlin walking away, dragging his big green sword. And Katamet was saying something to them about, “Bye,” and he’d miss them and everything, and turned around and started up the hill. Well, I fully intended for him to go over the hill, so that eventually I could start his life some other direction. But he got up the hill and a big frost troll came out and killed him. And that’s the end of Katamet. So they were so upset, they were going, “can’t you bring him back? Maybe a mage came and healed him.” Stuff like that. They were coming up with all kinds of ways for me to restart him as a character, but I never did. This is the end of the Katamet series. See you next time, grandkids! By the way, they started calling me Grandma. Way back when I had the two or three hundred subscribers. They would call me grandma. So it was just natural when I started recording to say, “Hi grandkids!” It just came out, so it stayed. I do like that they call me grandma. Good morning grandkids! Good morning grandkids! Good morning grandkids! I decided when I started to record, if I’m gonna do this, I’m not gonna use some silly cartoon characters as my profile, and I’m not gonna use some stupid letters and numbers and stuff as my name, I want people to know me so I can interact with them and get familiar with them and talk to them like they’re a human being. and I want them to know me that way. And that’s why the young people’s reaction to me was so negative at first. They don’t realize that there’s lots of older gamers on there, but you don’t know that they are, and I have had many comments from the older gamers. And I’ll say, well why won’t you use your picture and why don’t you ever say something about your age? And they’ve told me that they’re afraid to get the kinds of comments that I did when I first started. I think that is so strange, because what are they afraid of? I don’t know, I’m a very positive person, I’m not a negative person, and- there’s just some things that I don’t have very much patience with. I don’t understand the stigma of older people playing games. It’s just something that happened in society. The young people were the ones that, I guess, started playing the video games, and they seem to just think it’s their prerogative and no one else’s, I don’t know. and the other thing, and I’ve said this in videos before, it’s partly the developers’ fault too, because you see pictures of young people and kids playing in their packaging or promotion or advertising. You never see any advertising on a game box with an older person sitting there playing, or a grandpa and grandson sitting there playing. Why cannot gaming be somebody’s hobby just like anything else can be? What has it got to do with being young or old? I don’t understand that. But I think it’s changing a lot. I’ve got viewers in their seventies, and sometimes they’ll say, “I thought I was the oldest gamer on here!” And I’ve had others say something to me about, because I wound up in the Guinness book of records for gamers, being the oldest gamer that uploads on YouTube, and he was teasing me, saying, “somebody’s gonna be trying to break that record.” Yeah, I’m sure they can if they just let themselves be known. Good shot! Yes! I love it when it shows a kill cam. I think people like my channel so much because it’s different than most of them. Most of them, they run through the gameplay real fast Instead of enjoying all of Skyrim or any other game that they’re in. And they use vulgar language, and they cuss all the time, and they rant, and I don’t do that on my channel. I even had a parent come on there and tell me that they wanted to know what their child was watching when they kept talking to them about Grandma being on there, and she said, “I like your channel because it’s clean and family friendly. And so I’m glad to have my child watch your channel,” so I thought that was pretty cool. I couldn’t make a video like the rest of them make, I just couldn’t, well for one thing, my sons would kill me. My sons all think that it’s pretty cool that I do this. My grandchildren all think that it’s pretty cool. They like it when any of their friends have watched my channel and say, “Is that really your grandma?” And they’ll say, “Yes, that’s my grandma.” I have four sons, I have nine grandchildren, I have two great grandchildren, and I’m expecting another great grandchild. I don’t get to talk to them often, no. Everybody’s busy with their own families and their own lives, and I know it gets hard to, you know, everybody try to keep in touch with everybody, which we all don’t. It doesn’t make me nervous that they watch, I just make sure I don’t do anything I shouldn’t do. I do have a social life outside of the YouTube channel. Not much, but, no, I belong to a quilting guild that I go to meetings to once a month, and I belong to a quilting bee, which is a smaller group of ladies that we meet in one another’s house twice a month. Once in a while I’ll say something to them like when I was sent the cook book and stuff from Bethesda, and they think it’s really cool and they’re interested in it. Anything I put on Facebook or Twitter, they read and comment too, but I don’t sit around and talk to them about it because they don’t know anything about it and don’t want to know anything about gaming. But my closest friend, she is more thrilled about it, I think, than the others, and whenever we are anywhere, ANYWHERE, she will make sure she brings the conversation around to the fact that I’m a gamer, and I get so embarrassed sometimes. I’ve been to several conventions and it is fun, it’s thrilling when somebody walks up to you and says, “Are you Grandma Shirley?” I really think that’s cool. And meeting the different developers, and that was funny too, because some of the developers would be, “OH THAT’S GRANDMA SHIRLEY!” and they would act, like, silly. It was so funny! But being there at conventions and me getting to meet other gamers that I know, That was so exciting, I mean, I was a fan girl. Then I decided this past year is the last year, probably, I’m gonna go to any conventions, because they’re just getting too tiring. Too much for me to handle. I’ve fallen twice, once in a convention and once in an airport. If I could get one of my sons to go with me, I would still love to keep going, but not by myself. I do often feel like doing this YouTube business gets tiring, but it gets tiring because I can’t do what I want to. I can’t play as long as I want to, or I can’t read if I want to, because it takes up a lot of my time responding to people. I feel like I get backed in a corner because I hear some really bad stuff from kids, and I feel so sorry for them. Their home life, their depression, which is so rampant among young people, and I don’t understand it. So I’m always getting these comments of, “I have been so depressed, and I watched you video and it made me feel so much better.” And some of them have actually been suicidal. I have talked to so many young people, and then I think, what if I wasn’t there? If I got so tired of doing this that I felt like I wanted to quit, then I think of these kids on there, and I think, “I can’t.” So… sorry. So that keeps me going. I had been talking in the video about writing- being a frustrated writer, and that this compensated for that. This one younger lady, she wrote me this letter, saying that she wanted to be an author, but everyone in her family was telling her that she should be this and she should be that, and that she wasn’t gonna get anywhere writing. She said, but that’s where my heart is and that’s what I want to do. And I told her, I said, “How old are you?” And that’s when she told me she was 21 or something like that. And I said, “You’re a grown woman!” I said, “You have your life to plan, you don’t need to let everybody else tell you what you can and can’t do.” I said, “Main thing you need to do is just write, write, write all the time, anything and everything you see, and just write constantly.” and she was so appreciative of that, and she- we wrote several times, and she said she had changed her major and that she’s gonna be a writer. I thought, that’s cool! See, things like that make me happy. How can I quit recording? I think I have opened the door for other gamers. I think I help older gamers to start letting themselves be known on there. And I’ve gotten comments from some that say, “I never played Skyrim before, but I’m gonna buy it now and play it just because of watching you.” And many, many, many comments I get saying, “I had played Skyrim for years and thought I was through with it, but now you’ve inspired me to get it out and start playing it again.” So that makes me happy, I want everybody playing Skyrim. Wanting Bethesda to put me in that number VI game as a character, as an NPC. I kind of got embarrassed about that. I was afraid that people might have thought I instigated that, and that embarrassed me because I wouldn’t do that. I had somebody ask me if I signed it, and I said, “No, I didn’t sign it!” I would like to be a follower, so that whoever’s playing the game could get me as a follower, I wouldn’t want to be a merchant stuck in a stall in the marketplace or anything, I want to be out there playing the game. What I think would be fun would be to make my character, so I could play as me. I think I said that once, and so there’s some modders that are now working on a character for me. They’re going to make it available for Skyrim Special Edition, so that I can play it and others can play it if they want to. They are taking all kinds of quotes out of all my games, they’ve got hundreds compiled. Once in a while they’ll ask me a question, but I’ve told them I don’t care what they do, just do it. La-de-da-de-da! Wow, you really set him on fire! You idiot. I think just interacting with the people on there is a positive for me, it’s fun, I enjoy them, they make me everything from laugh to cry, and I talk to people all over the world, I think that’s amazing. I have my channel just the way I want it now, it’s a good channel, I’m proud of it, and no, I wouldn’t change anything about it. I keep getting requests from people saying, “Would you like for me to make you a banner? Or would you like for me to do this or do that on your channel? Would you like for me to make you an intro and an outro?” I say, “Hi grandkids,” and that’s what they like to hear. I don’t need an intro. And I say, “Goodbye grandkids,” and that’s what they like to hear. I don’t need an outro. Other gamers have all this stuff going on on their channels, I don’t think it’s necessary for my channel. I don’t plan on stopping doing this at any point, but, like I said before, sometimes I feel like I’m backed in a corner and have to do it, and it shouldn’t be a have-to thing, it was started out just to be a fun thing. But it would just be my health that would make me stop it. I wouldn’t stop it. It was amazing to me That people would care that much and watch something that I would create, and be as favorable as most of them were, it was amazing to me, and I couldn’t understand why. But now I know, it’s they weren’t used to somebody old, and it’s because I’m their grandma. Bye grandkids, I will see you next time! One strange thing to me is that my fans compare me to Bob Ross a lot. My goodness, they call me that all the time! Well, it’s okay. I mean, he’s just a guy that paints, and he does it slowly and talks about his painting, and- I don’t know why they compare me to- I don’t know why. I might talk slow and calmly playing the game, but it’s not like that, so I don’t know why they compare it to that. Did I say anything before about how irritated I get with them sometimes? I wish it was easier to get into their heads that I’m roleplaying. I’m not playing the game as it was made, I’m playing it my way, I’m telling a story. They’ll tell me things to do, and, “You forgot to do this,” and, “Oh I’ll tell you where that’s at,” because my character has just said, “I heard a rumor in the bar about something and I don’t know where it’s at, but let’s go out and try to find it.” That’s my character! He doesn’t know how the game’s made or where anything’s at. And then they tell me these things, and I have to say, “I know where it’s at. He doesn’t know where it’s at.” So that is the biggest thing that gets under my skin.