Meet gamer grandma Haughty Chicken
59-year-old Haughty Chicken is the gamer grandmother challenging the status quo.
Having gamed for most of her life, the Sydney resident has moved on from playing classics on the Atari to hosting her own live-streams on Twitch.
Her first game was Ping Pong Table Tennis, which she played on her parent’s TV.
“And then one of the cousins got the Atari system so I started playing that,” she told 9Honey.
She even gamed in shopping centre arcades, moving with the times as games continued to evolve.
When she started her own live-stream, her twin sister hadn’t even heard of it.
“She looked at me for a minute. And she said, ‘Is it something to do with the cloud?’ And I said, ‘No.’”
After becoming a mum, Haughty Chicken gamed with her kids, and now with their kids.
“And my mum is a gamer too,” she said.
“My mum’s just turned 79.”
Image: Haughty Chicken / YouTube
Haughty Chicken enjoys online gaming, particularly as a platform for making friends. She even met her husband that way.
“It started as many friendships do start in any MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game, which is what World of Warcraft is. I was playing by myself and I tended to be quite solitary back then, even though it was a multiplayer game,” she said.
“And I was trying to complete a quest and another player came over in the game to help me and I said, ‘Sure’, and we played for the rest of the day. And then the next time they came on, and I didn’t know who they were at that point.
“It was only when we started voice chatting that I realised he was male and around my age.”
Despite living in California at the time, as their friendship and relationship developed the Canadian player would later move to Australia and marry Haughty Chicken, joining and forming their own gaming family.
“I will game online with my mum. She plays with some of the games I play. My children tend to play different things. My son is a console player. He plays a PS5.”
Haughty Chicken is also well aware of the benefits that come with playing games online, aside from fun and making friends.
“And there’s been a lot of research to show that it does improve critical thinking and mental wellbeing,” she said.
Though she has gamed for her whole life, Haughty Chicken didn’t start sharing her gaming with the world until the pandemic hit in 2020.
“I have never had a setup to stream because streaming was something I never thought I would do,” she said.
Having set herself up with a camera and microphone and gained a following of almost 16,000 people since April 2020, Haughty Chicken admits that live streaming has changed how she plays.
“Because it’s not just a solo thing,” she said.
“It has to be something that I can give to my community as well. So I actually choose my games relative to my stream - I won’t choose a game that I stream that will take a lot of my attention, because then I can engage with my community.
“And my community is growing.
“I think I’ve got about four-and-a-half thousand people in the US from streaming - a lot of followers in a short space of time. And they’ve not stopped coming since, which is lovely.”
Although the majority of her followers are in their late 20s to 30s, Haughty Chicken said she does have older gamers reach out to her too.
“They’re very relieved when they do find me,” she said.
“And I think that’s part of the reason why I’m growing. It’s not so much my age. It’s who I represent as an older person. It’s not a novelty. Many people come in and think it’s a novelty.”
Haughty Chicken streams six times a week between Tuesday and Sunday, usually taking Monday as a day-off.