VTubing is no longer confined in the typical streaming type of content such as gaming and singing streams. The industry has now also evolved to include educational content, ranging from more sensitive topics such as reproductive health, medical diagnosis, and even science communication.
However, the true crime topic, despite being one of most interesting topics to cover, is still yet to be tapped by the larger VTubing community. That is, until we've met the true crime VTuber Fear/Sona.
The Taiwan-based Polish VTuber, aside from doing typical streaming content, has also dedicated livestreams to discuss true crime content, and diving deep into other unsolved mysteries such as the disappearance of Flight MH370 to the sightings of the infamous 'Big Foot'.
We've sat down with Sona to learn more about her content direction, her lore, and balancing her content creation with being mindful of these topic subjects.
Entering the VTuber Space and Lore Creation
Q: Could you tell us a little bit on how you ventured into the VTubing space and eventually becoming a VTuber?
Fear/Sona: Before I even knew what a VTuber or VTubing was, I started my YouTube journey with animated videos where I had this little, cartoon character as my persona, so I guess you could say that I was a PNGTuber unknowingly.
Then, a year or two in, a couple of friends from YouTube introduced me to the concept of VTubing and streaming as a VTuber. Even though I had no experience in live streaming and was rather awkward at first, I came to enjoy it a lot.
Q: Interestingly, your VTuber lore is derived from the true crime genre. Could you tell us more why such topic drove interest in you?
Yes, my VTuber lore and model are strongly intertwined with the leading theme of my channel, and it was the same back when I made animated videos.
True crime has always been something I've been majorly interested in. It's the mystery of the unsolved cases, the strangeness of others, and yes the horrifying scenario of some of them that lured me in.
So, Why True Crime?
Q: Let's talk about your content. Out of all the educational topics to be discussed, why is true crime that defined what streams you do?
I see a lot of educational value in discussing these topics, be it true crime or conspiracies, because even though it often shocks you, it also makes you think, "How do these things happen? How can I avoid this kind of situation? What can I do to keep myself safe?"
I come from a small town and as a kid or a teen, I had this attitude of "Hey my town is so small that nothing ever happens here. What danger could I possibly be in?," and yet by researching these stories I came to a realization that so many of them happened in a town as small, or even smaller than my hometown. It really made me change my way of thinking about personal safety.
I also am fortunate enough to have a family member in the law enforcement, who introduced me to some of the local cases and opened my eyes to dangers out there.
On Balancing Content Creation with Mindfulness of the Topic
Q: There have been discussions about how some true crime content doesn't drive awareness but instead harm others. How do you think true crime content should be delivered in a balanced yet educational way?
I think it's important to remember that these are not just stories. There are real people, real victims and real families behind these cases. It's important to have the utmost respect for them and execute that respect in your delivery.
I personally had a lot to learn from when I started making my content, and there is definitely room for improvement in my videos and streams, but I also try my best to preserve that respect and remind my audience to be respectful as well.
I do include humorous aspect in some of the cases I cover, but I allow myself to do so mainly with either conspiracy cases, or cases that did not involve gruesome themes. One such example could be the epic escape from Alcatraz prison, or the mystery of Mel's Hole. Otherwise I stick to serious tone in my true crime streams.
On Which Topics Speaks to Self
Q: Out of all of the true crime events that you have covered, which one do you think is the most relevant to you and why?
I think the cases most engraved in my memory are the ones that happened in my home country, Poland. For instance, the mysterious disappearance of Joanna Brylowska, who boarded a ferry to Sweden but never arrived. Her family members are still looking for her and hoping she's out there somewhere.
I think from a more light-hearted ones, I definitely always remember the Alcatraz prison escape one, the case of the Watcher, or the Mothman. These are the type of cases that sort of take your mind off of the harrowing ones that I cover.
Advice for Aspiring Educational VTubers
As closing, do you have any advice for VTubers who will start doing more educational content?
Don't be afraid to explore different genres! VTubing is not limited to the already paved and established themes like gaming, singing, or drawing (which, by the way, you can absolutely do and put your twist on).
There's always something to learn about a topic, or a skill, and someone out there will want to hear and see your take on it! Sure, you will make mistakes along the way, but that's the beauty of creating content in your niche; you can transform it, improve it, and get it to what you want it to be.
We thank Fear/Sona for her valuable time spent for this interview. You can check out her content on YouTube, as well as following her official Twitter account. For more exclusive and extra content from her, you can check out her official Patreon page.