Edge

Sydnee Goodman Is Building A More Inclusive Streaming Empire

Multi-hyphenate content creator Sydnee Goodman can trace her love of gaming to the womb. No, really. Her mother often replays the story of how her dad – an avid gamer himself — made a promise before she was even born, one that’s almost prophetic now, given Goodman’s career path.

“He said, ‘As soon as this kid knows how to use their thumbs, they will be playing games,’ and he kept his promise,” Goodman tells Uproxx over Zoom. Those first few years were more about watching than actually doing, of course. Some of Goodman’s earliest memories consist of her dad playing some PC game with her saddled alongside and him explaining what he was doing and how he was doing it.

“It’s always been this thing that’s kind of permeated my life,” she says. “Honestly, a lot of the important relationships in my life have video games as a bonding place.”

Though her upbringing was steeped in analog adventures and pixelated playtime, Goodman often imagined a more traditional path for her adult self. She went to USC with the goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon. Then, she decided to try dentistry. She took the entrance exam, graduated with a degree in biology, and suddenly realized that none of it was for her. Gaming kept calling to her.

Goodman spent years working with different publishing teams and media houses before her experience, insights, and Twitch streaming morphed into something that would allow her to do what she loved while inspiring others to do the same. Eventually, she’d find herself hosting The Gaming Awards, a gig that flipped a “mental switch.” She started hosting other gaming shows on platforms with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and for media companies like IGN who owned the space. She was writing her own scripts and leading creative conversations for brands until one day she had an epiphany.

“I hit a point where I realized, ‘Whoa, I can do this on my own. And if I do that on my own, I have full creative control and I have full control over how I want to show up on the internet rather than that being through the lens of something else.”

To take control of her narrative, Goodman continued to build her own brand on streamers like Twitch and social media platforms like Instagram, Youtube, Tik Tok, and more. Her driving purpose? To create a space where everyone feels included, appreciated, and seen. She envisions a community where no one – particularly women and minorities – thinks they need permission to try something new, whether that be gaming or anything else. That sense of freedom and ownership over her online portfolio has been hard to come by. As a woman in a historically male-dominated field, she’s battled against misconceptions and harmful stereotypes.

“It’s something that has fueled me,” she admits. “It’s made me really passionate about helping empower people, especially people who are minorities in this industry, to know how they should be treated and give them the confidence and the tools to know how to show up to the table. Coming with a completely different perspective is so valuable and brings so much to any creative process, especially gaming.”

It’s why she crafted a mission statement when she began her current content creation empire. She’s constantly asking this question of herself: How are the things I’m doing and sharing adding value?

“The brand that I’m building is towards this idea: You are empowered to make these decisions about how you live your life and what you’re interested in, versus having that thrust upon you,” she says.

And she’s fully aware of the preconceived notions attached to her work. As Goodman describes it, the creator economy is all about buckets. There are traditional hosts for branded shows and big events. Then there’s the bucket that the Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and Instagram influencers, fall into.

“But, there’s a handful of us in gaming that are in that middle ground of the Venn diagram,” she explains. “Right now, I’m really focused on cementing myself as both.”

Remember that prediction Goodman’s dad made when she was young? (Technically it was a promise, but we’ll take some artistic liberties.) That same kind of kismet pops up when I ask what being named one of The Next 9 creators by Porsche means to her at this point in her career.

She pauses, then tells a story – a lame anecdote in her words – that feels dangerously close to another exaggerated turn of phrase: fate.

A few years ago, Goodman hit a big goal that happened to coincide with her purchase of a Porsche Macan. That car — one she practically says she lives in because, well, it’s L.A. – has always been a “sweet reminder” of what it feels like to reach her goals and actually take a pause to recognize her achievements. The fact that it’s Porsche that, once again, is giving her the chance to look back on what she’s done and look forward to the things she still aspires to do, is not lost on her.

I ask her about that word: aspirational. It’s one that describes her career so far but I’m curious to see how she answers with the future tense in mind.

“It’s on the tip of your tongue,” she begins. “You’re on the cusp. For me, when something becomes aspirational, it almost feels like it’s an alignment of my goals.”

“That saying, ‘Shoot for the moon and land on the stars’ or whatever? When something really becomes aspirational to me, it feels like it’s the moon,” she continues. “It’s in my purview. It’s this very exciting energy. It’s in my lane. The next part is just on me on whether or not I want to achieve it and how I’m going to get there. It feels like it’s the start of a journey.”

For more on The Next 9 series, check out our hub page.

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