JazzyGuns: Putting a New Face on Competitive Gaming

YouTube gaming phenom

JazzyGuns is a fierce gamer with a knack for four-letter words. Along with her band of nearly 500,000 loyalists, she's here to shake up the gaming industry and introduce a diverse, new perspective.

Profile picture of JazzyGuns.

In three short years, she has ascended as a "creator to watch" in the YouTube gaming sphere. She is a juggernaut breaking down barriers with a unique brand of terminal positivity and a healthy dose of that gamer-brand hustle.

"When I first started my gaming channel, I was highly nervous to do it. I wasn’t sure how people were going to take my aggressiveness. I’m not dainty at all when I play video games; I scream, I cuss, I didn’t know how that would be taken," JazzyGuns, who asked to only be referred to by her screen name due to privacy issues, told Lifewire in a phone interview.

"After a while, I realized I didn’t really care what people thought about me and I was doing this because it was fun for me, so I kept going and I’m glad that people like it." 

Quick Facts About JazzyGuns

  • Name: Jazz
  • Age: 26
  • From: Jazz has a West Indian background with parents who trace their roots back to the Virgin Islands. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Maryland.   
  • Random delight: Dream on! Jazz’s first foray into the world of gaming was with the 1999 Sega Dreamcast. Before becoming a full-time content creator she worked as a bank teller at an in-store grocery shop PNC Bank branch.  
  • Key quote or motto to live by: “Bang bang, gang gang!”

It’s on Sight!

Jazz is a connoisseur of all things nerdom: from anime and manga to comics and video games. It's a love that started at the tender age of 4 when she was introduced to the world of gaming by her father and older brother via the not-too-kid-friendly Mortal Kombat II.

This fostered a competitive spirit in her that would later inspire her dive into gaming content on YouTube.

With that enthusiastic competitiveness came a realization that would, unfortunately, follow her into the content creation space. Being a woman who enjoys video games comes with some unintended consequences. Namely, a dose of assumptions and a hint of misogyny.

I feel like, whatever I’m doing is unique to me and that’s what I should continue doing.

"I got into playing Halo when I was 13 years old. It was my first time experiencing a shooter game and that was my first time experiencing playing online with people," she remembers.

"That was my first time experiencing how other people would talk to me hearing that I was a female." 

She got used to proving herself online in the throes of gaming culture. It nurtured her competitiveness and desire to win. Those moments in the Halo lobby would leave an imprint on Jazz, and dictate how she’d later develop her distinctive brand with her fiancé.  

The two started their couple’s reaction channel back in 2016. After a string of copyright strikes on the original channel, their new home is their current one, Dwayne N Jazz. This reaction channel catalyzed the creation of Jazz’s gaming channel one year later. She had the privilege of a baked-in audience, but don’t call it easy. 

The JazzyGuns brand is one of her own making, and her skill as a gamer and editor are the primary tools behind its success.

Through steady streams and gameplay videos, she was able to almost triple views on the channel while gaining roughly 190,000 subscribers between 2020-2021; almost doubling her reach.

"Usually when you see gamers, you don’t see people like me. I wanted to show people that people like me do exist; Black girls do play video games and we play them well and can be competitive just like you," she said.

"That’s why I wanted to start my gaming channel so people could see that and maybe even feel inspired to do it themselves."

Positive Vibes Only

The JazzyGuns brand is pure positivity. She carved a unique community in opposition to the negative mystique often associated with online gaming communities. With zero tolerance for negativity, her block button stands ready to protect the integrity of the community she has built.

JazzyGuns says that being a Black woman in gaming can be a lonely struggle. She recounts battling off potential stalkers, dodging explicit messages, and being flooded with unsolicited lewd pictures.

It’s a challenge her fiancé, fellow streamer Dwayne Kyng, does not experience, she notes. Still, she marches on for the sake of a hobby she’s passionate about and a community she’s nurtured into a microcosm of her life’s philosophy. 

"If you ever feel like nobody accepts you, know that I do and my community supports you; that you have a friend that supports you and is an ally," she said. "I feel like, whatever I’m doing is unique to me and that’s what I should continue doing."

After a while, I realized I didn’t really care what people thought about me and I was doing this because it was fun for me...

Jazz is a fighter seeking to eliminate the stigma associated with being a double minority in the gaming community through her party game streams and story-based, edited gameplay videos. Cutting through the cesspools of the gaming community has been a chore, and being a representative of positivity is not easy, but someone has to do it.

The JazzyGuns channel boasts a gender-balanced audience, 50/50 according to her Google Analytics, and a sizeable LGBTQ audience that rounds out her community as a shining city atop a hill. In this gaming community, authenticity is the golden goose.

From reactor to video game streamer, Jazz has transcended the box imposed on many big YouTubers and does not plan on stopping. Au contraire, the coveted gold YouTube Play Button for 1 million subscribers is her main focus. It won’t be too long before she attracts another 500,000 subscribers, changing the gaming world one loyalist at a time.

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