Get lost in the dreamy world of Twitch partner and self-proclaimed wholesome king, DaydreamerDan, who blends the chill vibes of the 2020s with the wit and warmth of a well-seasoned digital native.
The DaydreamerDan brand is boundless. From cooking lasagna dressed as Garfield to getting lost in a rogue-like title or tabletop role-playing game, his audience of over 50,000 across TikTok and Twitch found a liminal space to be every fabric of themselves.
"I still think it's wild that somebody would want to watch me cook, drink milkshakes, and play video games," Daniel said during a phone interview with Lifewire. "It's so strange to me because it's something I would have never expected… how these communities can form due to shared values or being able to share a laugh. It's a big reason why I enjoy streaming."
- Name: Daniel
- Age: 27
- Located: Louisville, Kentucky
- Random Delight: Daniel worked as an autism researcher before going full-time on Twitch. His work fostered a close relationship between the intellectually and developmentally disabled community and the streamer. He still uses his influence to support the community through fundraisers and educational resourcing.
- Quote: "Be able to do what you want, so you'll be able to help others."
The streamer’s life wasn’t always easy. He details growing up in a multi-generational family with his younger brother and estranged parents. Their divorce was a backdrop to his childhood that colors much of his recollection. Finding the positive side of this fractured family situation was sometimes challenging.
“I found the time with my brother through those times to play video games together… it was something we could escape through, and a nice relationship grew from it,” he said.
Video games became a support for the would-be streamer, but it was his multi-generational family structure that allowed him to cope. The streamer’s relationship with his grandfather set the tone for the man he would eventually become.
He instilled in Daniel to always pay it forward. This dedication to service is exactly what would lead him to the world of psychology and, eventually, community building on the internet’s largest live streaming platform.
Daniel has always sought to help others. This service ethos led the then-researcher to delve into content creation after a brief interaction at the gaming culture festival, PAX. He saw the community streaming capabilities and was immediately enamored with the possibilities.
“It was an additional thing I could do for those who wanted help. It was also just fun! That’s how I saw streaming when I first discovered it,” he said.
A Light in the Dark
Streaming was a lot more than a hobby. It helped Daniel come to terms with who he was. It freed him from a life of pretending. Through these niche internet silos, he discovered his bisexuality, and the safe spaces they nourished allowed him to feel safe enough to come out of the closet.
It was this desire that would be the foundation for his own foray into streaming. The concept of "paying it forward" that his grandfather instilled in him would influence him to cultivate a community centered around that very premise that allowed him to embrace who he was.
"I was able to discover myself and be born anew. I was able to meet wonderful, supportive people who didn't think this was strange," he said. "That's why I think it is important to have people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community in these spaces because it validates a lot of people who may not think they're correct."
I still think it's wild that somebody would want to watch me cook, drink milkshakes, and play video games.
He moved across the country to become a full-time streamer, and that change in scenery proved to be more than simply a cosmetic upgrade. Being in a new space birthed a new Dan. His creativity reached a fever pitch, and he began to churn out innovative content, exponentially growing his platform across social media.
He created a space where people could express themselves authentically without judgment. They don't have to put a filter on their thoughts, whether they're personal, professional, or political. He sees himself as a lightning rod of sorts channeling the energy of everyone into a singular focal point, letting out an explosion of good vibes, fun times, and self-proclaimed extraness.
"There will be spaces out there that validate what you feel and allow you to learn more about life. Finding community is so important," he said about his mission as a streamer. "It can be hard to find sometimes, but once you find it, it can be very satisfying. And if you can't find it… then just make it."