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Aaron Cybertron Zheng has always been a competitive gamer, but he is most well known today as content creator of the YouTube series Road to the Ranked. We deep-dive his early playing days and discuss how kids today can apply their gameplay into their real life pursuits.

Show Notes

Aaron Cybertron Zheng and I discuss his journey from a Pokémon player during the Game Boy days to a popular content creator on YouTube. 
  1. How did he start playing Pokémon? Aaron recaps the social experience from elementary school, playing Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald in 4th grade. "A hobby that calmed me down."
  2. What were his first tournaments like? "Free trips to Disney World!"
  3. How he convinced his parents to let him play: Math and reading!
  4. How he got good at Pokémon, as a hobby he could balance.
  5. eSports: Will Pokémon ever become an eSport? Does it need to?
  6. "No one really does it full time." - A competitive outlet without spending your life training or playing.
  7. How to design a competitive game in which even children and newcomers can rise up quickly. 
  8. Competitive Chess and Poker: "How are you ever going to beat the people at the top who have studied and mastered this craft for so long?"
  9. Comparisons to Fortnite: A way to socially interact with friends.
  10. Teaching the game to his younger brother... then to the world!
  11. "If I can help even one person get better at the game, it'd be awesome. After that, let's see how many more people we can get into that!"
  12. Starting out with a very specific niche, and growing that organically.
  13. YouTube as a teaching platform - showcasing how to play the game.
  14. Learning the skillset of teaching, taking feedback from criticism.
  15. Content creator in modern day -- Managing a lot of anonymous comments! ...and trolls!
  16. World Championships: major conventions with a world flair. How to bring the younger demographic into the game.
  17. How to be more inclusive of kids playing casually. Bridging the single-player experience and the competitive scene.
  18. Kids creating for kids: Content tailored to the younger demographic.
  19. How people find online content, and what's still lacking for the younger viewers.
  20. Lessons learned from creating on YouTube
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Discussing What Creators Make Tick, and What Makes Them Tick! Kids can create, so let's help them figure out how!