Behind The Model: RADIAACTIVE In Name, Radioactive In Nature

RADIAACTIVE got into VTubing for the escapism element. Why she needed that is for a different reason than most.

If you couldn’t guess from the name, RADIAACTIVE has a nuclear story.

The cosplayer-turned-VTuber isn’t quite a mad scientist ⁠— but they do have a background in chemical, nuclear, and software engineering. Fresh out of university, they dove head first into dealing with radioactive samples on secretive projects.

The experience was interesting to say the least, and ultimately led them down the path today where they have one foot in the scientific realm, and another in content creation.

“You accept some relative degree of risk, but you don’t really accept human negligence and government negligence and the aspects of human error that come into play,” she said. “You don’t expect someone to lie to you, which is the situation I encountered in many aspects.

“That has influenced my future and influenced the path I have taken with my design choice in VTubing, and it’s definitely given an interesting spin on my concept, which is fun and unique.”

RADIA’s story in the lab wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Working in a biohazardous environment comes with its risks as mentioned, but she felt it more than most.

Previously diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, RADIA also got chronic radiation illness from her line of work. It affected her in many ways. Some are simple, like not growing patches of hair in specific places any more. Others are a bit more complex, like organ issues and not sweating like a normal person.

It was a high cost physically, and mentally, it didn’t give her the fulfillment she expected.

“I went in wanting to help people and help the world. I feel in some regards I failed to do that, but now I am kind of taking it in a way with content creation where I can help people.

“I wanted to make something that was my own moment in the sun. That’s something content creation gives you. The freedom of expression with VTubing lets you take negative experiences and make something that is positive.

Originally starting as a cosplayer a decade ago, RADIA now dabbles more in the virtual realm, but it was a core crutch helping her push through some of the stresses of university and lab life.

“Cosplay was an escapism, and VTubing is as well. [But] I don’t have to go and sew something for 80+ hours and dress up at a convention and walk around for another 10 hours, and then my feet hurt and then I want to pass out.

“[Cosplay] was my own personal way to not be me in so many regards. I don’t have to be sick, I don’t have to be tired. I don’t have to be trapped in a windowless lab for six days a week. I can just be whatever character I’m dressing up as, and that was kind of refreshing in a way, but it also became very isolating.

“When I saw VTubing, I saw people actually bonding with their community and other people…it was actually caring about what they did and what they wanted to do and the things they had aspirations for, and I was like ‘that looks pretty neat.’”

RADIA’s VTubing platform has given her a new way of expressing herself ⁠— both creatively and literally.

She didn’t have to risk going outside while immunosuppressed to flaunt a cosplay. Sitting at home, pants optional, she could regale stories about her scientific or creative background. Swapping between the topics at breakneck speed is part of the experience, and what makes RADIA the enjoyable streamer many are endeared to.

“People tend to find that aspect of history interesting. It’s less talked about. If you're going to try and learn about nuclear history, it starts and ends with Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and then nothing else. Usually the information they understand about it is very surface-level, vague, or completely wrong.

“People get to ask questions that might be on their brain and I can answer it in an educational and joking way. Nuclear history, radiation, nuclear weaponry ⁠— all of that is a serious topic. But it can also be fun, and you can make it enjoyable.”

Recently she’s expanded keeping her audience occupied with terribly hard playthroughs of games ⁠— made more painful by self-developed mods ⁠— and whatever else fleets into her brain.

All these creative ideas, executed with the technical prowess she possesses from her hard work learning everything from coding to entertainment, has finally given her the fulfillment she didn’t get working science. She’s making an impact on the world, one viewer at a time.

“The fun thing about content creation is you get to be different. I don’t do something like a corporate VTuber does, I do very weird stuff. I get to have that freedom because I’m an independent creator and I get to be weird with the things I want to do.”

Learn more about RADIA’s story in her Behind The Model episode.