RIP Reckful: How he created a legacy for gaming streamers
Another streamer has unfortunately taken their own life. World of Warcraft streamer Bryon Bernstein, better known as Reckful, died July 2nd after committing suicide. While it’s unconfirmed cyberbullying was the motive, he was bombarded with hate tweets the day before after proposing to his girlfriend over Twitter.
Regardless of what pushed Reckful over the edge, his death is a huge loss not just for the WoW community, but the streaming community as a whole. A pioneer in the streaming community, Reckful worked his way up from WoW veteran, to streamer and YouTuber, to game developer.
Getting WoW back on the map
The MMORPG has been live since 2004, but in the age of streaming, it regained popularity thanks to players like Reckful streaming World of Warcraft. Reckful was one of the top WoW players for years, being the first person to achieve a 3000 rating and winning Major League Gaming’s 2010 WoW tournament.
This was all long before Twitch was even a thing, so when Reckful joined the streaming giant, all of his World of Warcraft fans followed. Averaging 50k viewers a stream, Reckful stayed on the top of the charts, and helped new fans come to the WoW franchise.
Moving up in the gaming world
But he’s not just your average streamer. Reckful may have made a name for himself with his World of Warcraft skills, but he diversified his skillset early on in his career. He first grew within the WoW community on YouTube, starting his channel back in 2012, showcasing his highlights and posting random videos for fun.
One of his biggest moves was becoming the developer, operations manager, and concept designer for video game mouse company Feenix. Hopping into the technical market game Bernstein an upper hand for his later dream: designing his own video game.
Everland: What could’ve been
While a streamer designing his own video game is far from original, Reckful’s game Everland was going to be special. In a tweet from 2018, Reckful recruited some tech savvy fans to help him build a game in a special channel in his Discord server.
Two years later, in May 2020, Reckful got to share his game with the world during a stress test for Everland’s servers. A social style MMO similar to Habbo Hotel, it truly is about being social and making friends. A big part of Reckful’s brand was community and kindness, so it’s no surprise that fed into his game development style.
While the stress test was definitely stressful thanks to an insane amount of people hoping online, it was clear in Reckful’s video on it that he could see the outpour of support and love for Everland. With Reckful gone though, no one has announced if the game will be launched as planned or shelved.
A platform for mental health
The biggest part of Reckful’s branding though was his openness with mental health. Just in January, Reckful posted a video detailing his struggles with mental health and how things were beginning to look up for him for once in his life. But that was far from the first time he discussed the issue of mental health.
Thanks to his message of kindness, a lot of people would open up in chat about their own struggles with mental health and suicide, and how Reckful helped them out of their darkness. Through this, he opened up a conversation of people being honest and open with their emotions, and getting the help they need.
Even now, in the shadow of Reckful’s death, the conversation continues as fans mourn together and reach out to each other during this dark time. The outpour of support from the community proves that there’s still some good out there, just like what Reckful constantly pushed. As he goes on to a better place, his fans will keep his legacy alive.