Popular VTuber and Twitch streamer CodeMiko is known for her creative streams that allow viewers to get involved by influencing parts of the broadcast. She uses her setup and virtual character rig to engage with her audience—which averages nearly 8,000 viewers per stream—and fellow content creators through various segments and interviews.
The Technician, or the developer behind Miko and the stream, does all of the coding, engineering, and rigging herself and is always pushing the level of interactivity with the broadcast forward, describing it as “a quasi interactive, RPG.”
The nature of some interviews, however, has led to Twitch banning Miko from the platform, including two short-term suspensions in September 2020. She found herself suspended from the platform yet again when her account was banned on Jan. 19—this time for two weeks. Neither Miko nor Twitch clued the streamer’s audience of nearly 360,000 followers in to what caused the ban.
Following her third ban, Miko spoke with Dot Esports about what led to the suspension, how she approaches content creation, and her future plans, including details about her return stream planned for Feb. 5 at 2pm CT.
You said you had more details about why your channel was banned and it wasn’t because of your usage of the word “simp.” What was the reason this time? How long is the ban?
Miko: It was not because of the word simp. It is a long story, but the short of it is, I messed up when I was chatting with a friend and fellow streamer and kind of got lost in the moment.
Was it something specific that broke the Twitch Terms of Service?
So I have this interview content and basically feature other streamers. During an interview, they often share things with me and send it to me to show on stream. So they will share it and I will put it on screen.
At this particular moment, we were talking about female harassment online and I asked her what was like the worst comment she had ever received. When I saw the email, it was pretty bad and was more like a threat than a comment. From my experience, threats are almost never from a user’s actual email address, but when I threw up the screenshot, that is basically what got me banned. I violated terms [of service] around privacy.
Obviously, my friend didn’t mean for this to happen, she is very sweet, and I think we both overlooked it because we were so focused on the threat of the email, but I learned my lesson.
What made this ban different from the two your channel was given in September?
Yeah, those were also little slip-ups. It is unfortunate, but I just have to be more careful with things like that and work to prevent them from happening in the future.
My content isn’t about that stuff, it is about the innovation behind livestreaming and I just want to show what I can make and the innovative side of my stream. I’m actually really excited about coming back because I have been using this time to work on some new stuff and it has been good.
The suspension is horrible, but at the same time it has kind of given me this time to really really work on my stuff and I am really excited to show it off when I come back.
How has Twitch been communicating with you since your ban?
I am getting myself an account manager and I think that will help a lot when it comes to communication with Twitch. Once I get one, I hope communication will go a lot smoother in the future.
Are you going to approach streaming any differently when you get back?
I want to focus more on the innovative side of my content and really push more in the direction of creating fun things to drive that live interaction, in terms of mini-games I can play with chat and the guests during our interviews. I imagine it will be like my interviews but on steroids.
Basically, I want to focus on adding more interactive aspects to chat that will help the humor of the interviews and situations within the interviews and just adding a lot of color to the content.
I am always super excited for new stuff. Currently, I was only working on interview content, but now, I am going to implement game show aspects to it as well. I have been going head-on with the live, interactivity part of it. I am planning my return stream to have big streamers that I have worked with and making it into a really fun event.
I am also just planning out my everyday content as well and it will have different things other than interviews.
You touched on it a bit there, but with how you have been working on your content during the ban, what are your plans for your return stream?
I want to have it be a big game show with my big streamer friends and I am going to hype it up! It will be something that has never been done before on Twitch, in terms of like how I am going to run my version of the content.
Twitch has done game shows before, but they have done them in a way that is very 2D with cameras and an overlay type of thing where it is flat. But with my VTuber capabilities being in the 3D space I can have it feel more like they are actually inside a studio.
In my interviews, the streamers come in on a monitor and that is how I interview them, but this way I am going to do this by giving them robot bodies but their heads will be like the computer screen. So they will have certain controls for how they can move their robot bodies and it will feel like they are more inside the space because they will have additional elements that are used in game shows, like a podium and there will be camera cuts to the streamer with their face on the robot head. It will just feel a lot more immersive that way.
They will be able to interact with a wheel that they spin, there will be animations, so when they spin their character spins the wheel we can still see the streamer’s expression because their camera is being fed on the PV screen of the robot. Stuff like that is what my game shows will feel like and chat can always throw fun things at us during the show to throw the streamers off or make things happen to the avatars. I’m excited to debut this when I come back.
Your content has picked up dramatically in recent months. How have you been able to grow your channel? What have you been doing that you feel works?
I have been streaming since the end of March beginning of April and throughout those first few months, it was just me trying new things every day. My schedule used to be really crazy, where I would go to sleep at around 9pm, wake up at 2am, dev until 12pm, and then stream. I would stream for like four or five hours and then eat and do some other stuff and then repeat all over again.
During that time, it was very rough developing because I would quickly code things in to just see what would happen in chat. It was just testing as I went because there was no rulebook when it comes to that kind of live content that tells you stuff like “chat prefers when they can spawn random things, mini-games, and interaction that is more in the background.” I had to figure out what chat likes in that interactive space because there have been a lot of things that have worked, but a lot of things I have built I have had to scrap because in my head it worked, but when I tested it out live, chat just got really bored.
Those early months were a lot of RnD and trying to figure out how I could have fun with chat. And then I got to the point where I was doing interview content, just over a Discord call, and I noticed that chat really liked just sitting and watching me talk and interact with another person while being able to affect the interview in various comical ways. So I just pushed that more and created a new environment for it with the TV and format I use and chat really liked it.
It did really well so I decided to stick with that for now, but I am still researching and developing more things that I can do. One of the biggest projects that I have is I want to create an RPG world where Miko can go on adventure and the bosses would be like big streamers, and chat and Miko have to work together to defeat the boss, like Hasan [HasanAbi], maybe it would be a giant Hasan.
It is a process that I am constantly going through and that idea might not even end up working. Chat might not feel like it is fun and, in that case, I will scrap it and try something new, but it has just been an ongoing development process and I think that is what I enjoy the most. I love making things and seeing if they are fun, and if they aren’t fun, I scrap it. If it’s fun, I keep it, and I just keep going like that.
Other than chat liking the content, what made you pivot so hard into interviews on stream? What was the idea behind it?
Before I started the interviews I would just talk to chat all the time, but having another person that I could interview, I don’t know. I just feel like my content became funnier because I could bounce off of someone, what they said, create more humor with that back and forth. It just led to more funny moments and chat really liked the interactivity with the streamer I am interviewing. I think it kind of created a very fun, sometimes chaotic, sometimes more serious atmosphere.
When I interview someone I can figure out where their comfort level is, which I do ask them prior to the interview what they are comfortable with sharing and not sharing and if they are okay with me occasionally trolling them on some things, all of those things. Some streamers I take a very laid back approach and we can be more calm or serious to have a nice talk, but with others, I know they are all for being trolled and the humor part of it so I can mess with them a little bit and it becomes a fun back-and-forth.
Overall, the interview format was just really fun, and was doing really with chat so I decided to keep going and innovating with it.
What are your thoughts on the growing impact of VTubers and similar styles of creators becoming more common in streaming and content creation, specifically as it starts to expand into Western markets more and more?
I think it’s great! I really like the creative side of Twitch, and it is really exciting to see different content creators try new things and bring new, innovative content out because it just shows that you can do really cool things with just livestreaming.
I feel like it makes the future of entertainment in this livestreaming and digital format really exciting. So I hope it keeps expanding and more new things pop up on the creative side of Twitch.