How I'm Introducing The Basics of VTubing to My Mom

(and how you can introduce the next generation of online entertainment to your parents too!)

I am taking my time away from the bustling metro and into the confines of my mom's house in the suburbs, but I still carry the habit of being fond of VTubers.

Two nights ago, I was watching a local VTuber named Maddie (who is affiliated with Pinoy Virtual Bahay or PVB) talk about her recent experience at the year-end Cosplay Matsuri event.

My mom was hearing Maddie giggle that time, prompting her to ask me what I was watching.

It is stereotypical for parents who are unfamiliar with VTubers to tease (and your parents can unknowingly do this as well, some doing what they can to keep up with what you love doing), so I had to find a way to explain this thing called VTubing. This is what I came up with.

VTubing is Entertainment with Its Own Ecosystem

The way I start explaining VTubing to my mom goes like this:

  • VTubers are like streamers who broadcast themselves on the internet, but what VTubers do are similar to puppeteers.
  • These virtual puppeteers use their phone's camera to move their model, that's why their mouth movements sync with their voice. (Of course, mouth movements vary from model to model)
  • They get their models first from artists, who divide the parts into layers.
  • Another set of artists called the Live2D riggers will put the parts together and "attach the strings" to each corresponding part.
  • These entertainers first invest on three to four things: PC, microphone, lighting and their iPhones. (In the early phase of VTubing, using iPhones became the norm as it incorporates a better face-tracking mechanism reflected with the debut of Animoji).
  • Once things are all set up, the entertainers start their road to fame. Entertained fans show their appreciation by donating spare cash to them.
  • VTubers can also invest in other tools to help them entertain their audiences more, like full-body trackers or head mounts for virtual reality programs like VRChat.
  • If the VTubers want to make their hobby their business, they start becoming their own entrepreneurs and serve other aspiring entertainers or businesses seeking to enter the field. (But that's for another story)

Of course, parents still need to ingest these gradually in order not to give any misconceptions, especially with the meta which have passed which also involve the VTubing scene AND can include indecent behavior of any kind. I personally appreciate parents who are doing their best to understand what their children's hobbies are.

We have more details to share about this matter, but if you do find this suggestion helpful, or if you'd like to add anything to it, please do let us know on Twitter/X or via email at [email protected]. Thank you for reading!