Tim "TimTheTatman" Batar is a Twitch streamer and YouTube personality known for his full sleeves of arm tattoos — which led his college professor to give him the moniker that would eventually become his screen name — and his love of the NFL. He started his channel back in 2012, mostly playing shooters before eventually branching out into a variety of different genres. Tim started out streaming while also working 40 hours a week in landscaping, but eventually committed to streaming full-time and has now managed to amass over 6.7 million followers.
Tim generally tries to promote a positive atmosphere on his channel (even when being hunted by a stream sniper), running several high profile charity streams and regularly reminding his viewers to "tell somebody you love them." In fact, he has a theory about why some people are watching him. He suggested in an interview with Leo Edit that some of his viewers might like him because he’s not as good at the games he plays as some other streamers, which makes them feel better about their own playing and makes him more relatable. This has allowed him to foster a community with whom he has become comfortable. Perhaps that’s why he’s been able to open up to his audience about a few of the more tragic details in his past.
He struggled with body positivity in high school
TimTheTatman spoke on a stream about a "tattoo artist react" video in which he reports them describing his chest tattoo as looking like "a nipple monster [which is] pinching [his] nipples." The tattoo in question covers most of Tim’s chest and features the face of a roaring bear with the mane of a lion and the wings, legs, and claws of an eagle. (Appropriately, Tim has referred to this creation as "a bear lion eagle.") While Tim clearly got a kick out of the artist’s comments, the remarks about his chest also sparked a much deeper conversation.
He explained that he had really bad "nip anxiety" in highschool. "I don’t think you understand," Tim explains in the video. "I wore a tank top; a really tight, large, or medium, tank top … And then I would wear a white t-shirt over that, and then I would wear my polo shirt." That might seem pretty extreme, but apparently there were times where his anxiety over his "puffy" chest drove him to even more desperate measures. "One day, it got so bad and I got so sensitive about them that I put duct tape on them."
He’s come a long way, stating that he didn’t care much about it at the age of 30. However, he also expressed concern that his son might go through similar anxieties about his body.
He worries that people don’t understand how hard he works
It’s easy to think of streamers and other gaming content creators as people who just get paid to make video games. It’s a regular comment you see pop up from viewers when they see their favorite content creators talking about needing time off. TimTheTatman got a bit heated during a stream when he was attempting to explain that, while it may appear this way from the outside, it simply isn’t the case. In fact, occasional time off is the only reason he’s been able to perform consistently over the years.
"I value my time off," he explained, "and I am 100% confident that me taking those breaks has made me able to stream for [now] nine years."
Tim argued that "burnout is a real thing in Twitch streaming and content creation." He talked about his time working in landscaping and explained that he knows what it’s like to work 40 to 60 hours weeks doing hard labor. "If you do physical labor, I feel for you man," he said. "It’s not an easy thing. Flip-side of that: where I’m at now? This is a hard job in it’s own right."
Tim argued that having time to spend with his family is his top priority, getting visibly emotional and wiping tears away from his eyes. "I’m thinking about my son; wanting to spend time with him," Tim said. "That’s kind of the bottom line."
There was a time when he was truly desperate for work
TimTheTatman has talked a lot about the different jobs he’s held down over the years, but there was one Twitch stream where he talked about a job he didn’t get: working at Taco Bell. He opened the conversation in defense of the fast food restaurant, saying, "Do not disrespect Taco Bell, alright. I love Taco Bell." However, the sentiment quickly turned sour when the mention of the restaurant chain reminded him of a time when he was down on his luck.
He continued. "That said, you know, if they ever want to do a ‘hashtag-ad’ with me, there is a part of me that is tempted to say ‘you’re not qualified,’ because I was not qualified when I was younger to work for them." Tim went on to explain that he viewed this job as a "last resort" in a time where he didn’t have many options. He didn’t go into much detail as to why he needed the job so badly, but did express how disheartened he was when he discovered he wasn’t qualified.
He summed everything up by saying, "Long story short, I didn’t get hired at Taco Bell and, you know, look at me now … and I still love to eat there, just to be clear." Things may have worked out in the long run for the streamer, but it’s apparent that this rejection came at a time when he desperately needed the work.
He almost quit streaming
One of TimTheTatman’s viewers submitted a question in a stream asking how Tim kept his motivation to keep going with Twitch back in the days when he had almost no viewers. This seemed to strike a chord with Tim, and it led to him recounting the period of time when he almost quit streaming forever.
"I’ll never forget it," said Tim. "’Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.’ I was playing, I was probably averaging about 300 to 500 viewers, maybe 300 to 700 on a good day, where it was going really well… ‘Call of Duty: Ghost’ came out … I get on to do my big 24-hour stream after my work … and I had 20 viewers."
He went on to explain that he had finally grown used to having hundreds of viewers at once, and the drop from what he had come to consider "the norm" shook his confidence. He also said that he now understands that a drop like that is normal with new release titles, since more people are online playing the game. Even so, the moment briefly wrecked the streamer’s confidence, and almost led to the premature end of his career.
There’s a silver lining here, however. This experience seems to have changed the way Tim thinks about streaming. "The thing that kept me going was a mindset," he said. "And my mindset was, I’m not going to worry about the, you know, 680 viewers that I was averaging that aren’t here. I’m going to try and focus on the 20 viewers that are here."