To outside observers, all a streamer seemingly has to do is record themselves applying makeup or screaming at the tops of their lungs while playing video games — and bam, instant profit. However, that is an oversimplification and doesn’t take into account the hard work, stress, and occasional accidents that can happen when streaming live.
If you pay attention to the news, you probably lose faith in humanity on a daily basis because of all the dangerous stuff people do in flagrant disregard of common sense. Acts of human carelessness are a daily occurrence, and streamers are no exception; the only difference is they stream their acts for the world to see, and it can totally blow up in their faces — figuratively and (occasionally) literally.
Perhaps a streamer does something intentionally dangerous for views, or maybe they aren’t thinking straight. Whatever the case, it’s usually a matter of when, not if, and the internet has a video library’s worth of recorded threats to life and limb caught live on stream. Here are some of the most dangerous examples.
WARNING: This article includes numerous instances of grievous bodily harm, including one instance in which a streamer died. Reader discretion is heavily advised.
Jumping into strangers’ cars
Stream sniping is widely frowned upon by the competitive gaming community, since it’s essentially the streaming equivalent of looking at your opponent’s screen during an otherwise-friendly splitscreen match. But, some streamers will tell you that stream sniping is also a great way for random strangers to locate content creators in the real world. This knowledge is dangerous in the wrong hands.
Sushipotatoo is a livestreamer who records the streets of Japan one night at a time. She visits convenience stores, chats with passersby, and eats snacks. But, on February 24, 2021, her stream took a potentially dangerous turn. She was taking her daily nocturnal sabbatical when a complete stranger drove up and claimed he was a fan. He also demonstrated this by offering Sushipotatoo a birthday present — an expensive necklace from Tiffany — and letting her get in his car to open it.
Normally, here is where things get creepy, but Sushipotatoo lucked out, since the gift-giving stream sniper was just the beginning of a momentous night. Sushipotatoo hung out with him and drove around until dawn. They even shared the breakfast of champions together: sushi.
The stars must have aligned for Sushipotatoo, since she came across a total stranger who actually wanted to know her better and didn’t want to hurt her. Despite Sushipotatoo’s preternatural luck, it’s generally a bad idea to accept presents from and jump into the cars of any random stranger who approaches you. That’s a great way to get kidnapped.
Trying to be a real fruit ninja
Who doesn’t want the deftness and dexterity to slice a flying piece of fruit clean in two? Games like "Fruit Ninja" make it look easy, but reality is rarely reflected in video games. When wielding a sword, you have to worry about its heft, length, and most importantly, sharpness. Swinging a sword improperly is, well, a double-edged sword that can easily come back to bite you in the behind — or, in Lance Stewart‘s case, the hand.
Stewart is a streamer who posts just about anything. He’s made videos that feature everything from prank compilations to puppies. In 2016, he posted a video in which he dual-wielded swords and swatted fruit lobbed his way. This went about as horrifically as you expect.
Barely 10 seconds into the video, one of the swords caught on Stewart’s right hand, and he started bleeding profusely. His friends and family called 911 and gave him a large towel to soak up the blood, and while they waited for the ambulance, Stewart momentarily passed out, possibly due to the shock. Thankfully, he was quickly revived, but the pain didn’t subside until the EMTs arrived. Eventually, Stewart’s hand was stitched up, but the damage was so serious that it took him a year to regain feeling in his pinkie.
Stewart begged his followers and fans to learn from his mistakes. Trying to recreate "Fruit Ninja" in real life is a bad idea, and Stewart quite literally has the scars to prove it.
Firing a gun
Alcohol and bullets do not mix. It’s always a bad idea to fire a gun while under the influence of alcohol — or while drunk on gamer rage. Firearm instructors always claim you should never point a gun at something unless you plan to shoot, after all.
One of the prime examples of dangerous and inebriated gun handling came to the streaming world from Carl "SoaR Carl" Reimer. Early in March 2020, he got drunk while streaming and cocked a handgun while daring viewers to say he didn’t have money. He thought it was unloaded and therefore safe to pull the trigger — but it wasn’t. The gun went off and demolished the G-Fuel container on his desk, as well as his career. Reimer was banned from Twitch and booted from his esports team (via Dexerto). Luckily, no one was hurt during the incident.
However, alcohol isn’t the only cause of improper gun handling while streaming. In December 2020, Faze sWiisH (no affiliation with the actual FaZe Clan, apparently) experienced a humiliating death in "Call of Duty: Warzone," so he vented his frustration by opening a window and unloading an entire handgun clip worth of catharsis into the night. Luckily, according to Dexerto, the window faces an empty field, so nobody got hurt. But, it’s still dangerously (and potentially fatally) irresponsible to fire a gun blindly — for any reason.
Accidentally lighting your own house on fire
When you were a kid, your mother probably told you to never play with matches or anything that can start a fire. Apparently, some streamers never heeded that warning, as AnaPlaying accidentally lit her own hair on fire while absentmindedly playing with a lighter. Luckily, she quickly put out the burgeoning blaze. Ultimately, she got off easy, compared to the Japanese streamer Daasuke.
During a 2015 "Minecraft" stream, Daasuke decided to take a break and show off his lighter collection while he refilled one with lighter fluid. He apparently spilled some fluid on a lighter/matchbox combo, and even though he wiped it down, he still made a wrong move when he tried to light a match on it. That was where his stream literally went up in smoke.
After several failed attempts, the match caught fire, and so did the lighter. And the problem with fire is that most people can’t keep a cool head after they start one by accident. Daasuke immediately dropped the lighter, tried to put it out, and gently placed the lit match on even more flammable material. At this point, he was facing fire on two fronts and couldn’t keep up. Soon, his house was ablaze. Luckily, according to eTeknix, Daasuke and his family were able to escape the flames unscathed.
Given all the flammable material in Daasuke’s room, it’s a miracle the fire didn’t spread quicker than it did. Things could have ended up a lot worse.
Lollipop stranger danger
Never accept candy from strangers. That is Rule Number One of daily life, and most people wouldn’t even consider it. But sometimes, the morbidly curious part of your brain wonders what would happen if you humored the person handing out candy. The answer is getting a front-row seat to a possible creep.
Andy Milonakis made a career in film and television with his childlike appearance. Despite looking prepubescent, he is over 40 years old and spends a lot of time streaming. During a nighttime IRL stream in 2017, Milonakis was approached by a stranger carrying a paper bag of junk. The man immediately set a weird tone by inviting Milonakis to a "tea party," tossing him a lollipop, and stating he had been in jail for the past week. Oh, and the stranger claimed he was released because he promised a cop a sandwich.
As the stream went on, the stranger’s behavior got even more uncomfortable. He stated that he wanted Milonakis to come with him and repeatedly asked Milonakis to turn the camera off. Milonakis played along (without turning the camera off) and walked with the stranger, at least until he wandered into a store. Only then did Milnoakis make a hasty retreat.
While it’s unknown if the stranger was an actual danger, most people wouldn’t have stuck around to find out. Despite his age, Milonakis may have risked far too much documenting the man.
Looking at a champagne cork bottle while opening it
It’s a common trope in comedies for champagne bottle corks to break fragile objects and blacken eyes, so most people open them with care. However, one streamer had the brilliant idea to turn a champagne bottle cork into a game of Russian roulette. He also accidentally reminded himself it was a bad idea by demonstrating it live on stream.
Since 2015, Kyle "Bitwit" Hansen has teamed up with Paul "Paul’s Hardware" Heimlich to produce Awesome Hardware, a weekly video series about everything tech and PC (the two recently went their separate ways). While Hansen and Heimlich primarily created computer-themed vlogs, they also occasionally goofed around on set, which once almost cost Hansen an eye.
In 2017, Hansen was brainstorming live about a "game" in which participants would take turns loosening a champagne bottle cork while pointing it at their eyes. The loser would be whoever caught an facefull of flying cork. Hansen discussed this idea while slowly loosening a bottle cork and looking at it (cue dramatic irony).
The bottle was barely an inch away from Hansen’s face when it exploded and sent the cork screaming towards him. Luckily, Hansen was wearing glasses, so his eyes were protected from harm. The experience did, however, give him a nasty shock — and an unwanted champagne shampooing.
If it weren’t for his glasses, Hansen probably wouldn’t have been able to laugh off the experience, so let his mistake be a lesson: If you liken a competition to Russian roulette, it’s probably bad for your health.
Skewering a leg with a skewer
The kitchen can be a dangerous location. It’s full of sharp, nasty tools that can slice you up and burn you to a crisp if you’re not careful. Respect your kitchen utensils, and they won’t harm you; treat them like toys, and you will probably end up with one of them sticking out of your leg.
You might not have heard of the streamer MangoSpears, at least not recently. He hasn’t been active in a while, and if you search for him, you will mostly find, well, mango spears snacks. All videos have been removed from MangoSpears’ ghost town of an account, but one of the few pieces of his remaining content features the aftermath of a poorly thought-out desire to play with kitchen skewers.
In the clip, MangoSpears has speared himself with a skewer. The kitchen instrument is sticking out of his leg and has clearly made a hole in his jeans. He is obviously in pain, but he isn’t bleeding, so the damage luckily isn’t too severe (probably). The clip ends with MangoSpears laughing through the pain and trying to yank the skewer out of his leg.
The moral of the story is: Kitchen skewers are supposed to skewer food the chef intends to cook, not the chef themself.
Driving while distracted and livestreaming
Distracted driving is dangerous driving. If you are paying attention to your phone, especially if you are using your phone to livestream, you could easily cause a fatal accident.
In July 2017, Nikol Barabasova was driving with her friend just outside of Obrnice, Czech Republic (via The Daily Telegraph). They were singing along to music and generally having a good time. Even though Barabasova’s friend was livestreaming their fun, Barabasova was unfortunately preoccupied and continually took her hands off the steering wheel while traveling at high speeds.
Around 10 minutes into the stream, Barabasova and her friend hit a road barrier. The stream captured the crash and continued to broadcast for another horrible half hour. According to The Daily Mail, emergency services didn’t arrive until 20 minutes after the incident. Barabasova’s friend sustained multiple injuries. Tragically, Barabasova didn’t survive.
Moreover, Barabasova isn’t the only example of a driver who was livestreaming at the time of a wreck. In 2016, Onasi Olio-Rojas recorded himself driving at over 110 mph near Providence, Rhode Island (via NBC 10 WJAR). He weaved in and out of traffic until he finally lost control and rammed into a garbage truck and concrete barrier. However, despite the severity of the crash, Olio-Rojas survived in critical condition.
Almost electrocuting yourself
It’s no secret that streamers, especially gaming streamers, need beefy computers. They need rigs that can simultaneously render a game, record footage of them playing, and maintain a stable connection to audience comments without blue screening under the strain. As such, streamer PCs cost a pretty penny and are usually customized out the wazoo. No streamer wants to potentially destroy their rig while troubleshooting problems — or almost kill themselves in the process.
Back in 2016, Ice Poseidon was having some problems with a freshly-purchased $5,000 PC. He experienced a "power surge," and his computer refused to turn on afterwards. He talked to fellow streamer Destiny, who suggested resetting the computer’s BIOS by pressing the "Clear CMOS" button. Instead, Ice Poseidon stuck a rivet directly into the computer while it was plugged in.
When Ice Poseidon jammed the small rod into his PC, sparks flew out, and he yelped in either surprise or pain. According to Destiny, he shorted something in the computer and is lucky to be alive, since he forced large amounts of electricity to go where it wasn’t meant supposed to, including his hand. Basically, you should never try to DIY computer repair when power is running through it, especially with an electrically-conductive tool.