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  • Writer's pictureAshSaidHi

AnnK_ Interview with AshSaidHi

This article was originally written for It appears in issue 44 of the Dank Zine which is unfortunately sold out however, you can purchase other issues of the zine here. Thanks Ann for letting me contribute to your Zine!

Ash at her broadcasting office
Ash at her broadcasting office

AnnK: How about you start by introducing yourself and then tell us a bit about your stream.

AshSaidHi: Hi, my name is Ash or Ashlie and my Twitch channel is AshSaidHi (Acronym of ASH). My channel is all about spreading joy by connecting with each other through our shared love and nostalgia for video games. I came up with this name because I wanted it to be a call to action but also a catchy way of remembering who I am, which is why I always end the show by saying “Don’t forget to tell your friends Ash said hi!” I play a lot of Nintendo and retro. While I do play current Nintendo Switch titles periodically, my passion is for classic consoles and older computer games. I have played Amiga, DOS, NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Genesis, and Nintendo 64 to name a few. I love to make people laugh and feel welcomed and I love learning about my community through our shared love of games. I always feel super lucky to be a content creator and broadcaster on Twitch. There are thousands of channels on Twitch and the fact that people choose to hang out with me makes me feel like I won the lottery every time I meet a new friend.

AnnK: I also wanted to start by congratulating you on your most recent achievement: Retro Twitch Ambassador. Could you please explain to me a bit about that role and what an Ambassador does?

AshSaidHi: Twitch Ambassadors positively contribute to the Twitch community - from being role models, we share our inspirational stories and empower those around us, we embody what it means to “Bleed Purple.” We also pop up on social media and other official Twitch communication channels. Twitch wants to ensure that they're promoting people within the community who are giving back through education, charity, creating homes for their community, and inspiring the next wave of streamers. It is truly an honor to represent the retro community and I do so proudly.

AnnK: What are some of the things you hope to achieve as the retro twitch ambassador?

AshSaidHi: Retro is growing and fast. My goal is to bring more visibility to our category and help other content creators. When each person succeeds it helps the category grow as a whole.

I had many wonderful and selfless people help me along the way and I would love to pay the community back by uplifting and doing the same for others. I absolutely love helping anyone with advice or sharing my story and experiences in the hopes that it will inspire others on their journey to success. My mantra to myself is to always be the example I want to see in the industry. I also hope to inspire more women and people of color. Sometimes just existing on a platform is all the inspiration someone needs to see themselves in those shoes and remind them that they can do it too.

AnnK: You are also not too shy about getting out there and being involved. I saw that in Feb. you were doing a HUGE event for Black History month and even before then you have been very active doing charity events. Can you tell me a little about your hustle and why getting out there to show events like these matter to you?

AshSaidHi: It is so extremely important to set a positive example for those who are watching and want to create themselves. When you are given a voice and a platform I believe that you should dedicate time to uplift others. Sometimes people are afraid or unsure of how to use their voice but when they see someone they respect taking action that may also empower them to do the same. I believe it is critically important to raise a megaphone to marginalized voices or amplify causes that can create change in the world around us. Like I said before I want to be an example to inspire and ignite action in those around me.

AshSaidHi raising money for charity
AshSaidHi raising money for charity

AnnK: There are so many people out there streaming the hottest and latest and most popular games on this platform yet you stream retro games. Tell me a bit about why you focus on retro games?

AshSaidHi: Retro is something very near to my heart. I am passionate about retro. I spent my life collecting games, reading about them, and playing them. When I play in the retro category I feel like I am sharing the best part of who I am as a person. I have so many fond memories of playing these games with my mom, dad, and cousins. I love to connect with my community through sharing memories about what games they are passionate about. I also love exposing the younger generations to games they never heard of. Game history and preservation is important to me because I see video games as an art form similar to movies and books. It brings me joy to share these games with everyone.

AnnK: Speaking about Retro games, what got you into playing older games? What sort of personal connection do you have with retro games as I can see a crazy collection behind you in every stream.

AshSaidHi: Haha. Yes I love my collection a lot! I have so many items with fun stories. I think the thing that got me into retro in life outside of Twitch was all the fun I had as a kid watching my mom and dad play Amiga, NES, and SNES. What got me into retro on Twitch was the amazing community and all of the friends I made. There are so many wonderful people who want to help educate and preserve games. I get a lot of energy from having fun conversations about favorite game OST’s, tough boss battles, super obscure and jank games. It is just so much fun.

AshSaidHi's Sega Master System Games
AshSaidHi's Sega Master System Games

AnnK: You collect a lot of games, yet a lot of these games were handed down to you from within your family. Can you tell me a bit about your family connection with your games?

AshSaidHi: I remember watching my dad play Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master as a kid and it always stuck with me. I also remember beating Final Fantasy Mystic Quest and Robotrek with my mom. My cousins and I used to stay up all night playing Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Final Fantasy together. When I think about some of the coziest, and warmests memories, it usually involves a game experience I had with my family. My dad and I would play and watch game videos together for hours. I remember one time when the original Playstation was brand new we hooked it up to the VCR so we could record game intros together because at the time those intros felt like movies. We used to play Bust A Groove together a lot. My dad always picked Kelly and I would always be Kitty N. He was also REALLY good at Parappa the Rapper. I could go on and on but to summarize, we had a strong bond and it was shared with a lot of gaming time together.

Amiga games I Inherited from my dad
Amiga games I Inherited from my dad

AnnK: What would you consider as the most meaningful thing in your video game collection and why? Can you tell me how it got into your collection?

AshSaidHi: My Dad’s Amiga 500 because I think that’s my earliest memories of seeing or playing a game. My Legend of Zelda NES that is in the box, because that was the original one from my childhood. My Sega Master System and Zillion because it has my dad's hand drawn map and my Slime that is signed by Yuji Horii I got that from a lucky opportunity I had to meet Mr. Horii at the Nintendo store.

AnnK: What drives you to collect retro games? Did you actively go to game swaps or do you just have an eagle eye when it comes to finding things for your collection. Do you think as retro games become more popular with people streaming on twitch that it might reflect on the prices?

AshSaidHi: I held on to A LOT of my collection from when I was a kid. That’s where most of my collection came from. I do also love going to yard sales or flea markets and seeing what I can find. There are also a lot of cool retro game stores in NYC that I would frequent. I also got some games from close friends. I think as our demographic ages and enters into adulthood, that new found buying power allows us accessibility spending on games to relive our childhood years. I also think now people want to buy the games they might have missed out on as a kid. I also think because a lot of older physical games carts are not readily accessible and some people don’t want to emulate for moral reasons or because they want a physical game that they can display and show off and pass down, it inflated the market. I think there are a lot of factors, and obviously resellers either take advantage of that nostalgia or are looking to make a quick buck.

NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 games and various toys
A portion of my game collection

AnnK: What is the best thing about streaming and what are some of the biggest challenges you face when you do stream? How do you spin your challenges around to make a positive for you and your streams?

AshSaidHi: The best thing about broadcasting for me is the community. I also love to entertain and help people by giving them a laugh with my gameplay “skills.” I have made so many friends from all over the world on Twitch. Twitch also helped me through some of the hardest times in my life which is why I focus on having a gratitude mindset on the platform. Some challenges I face are creative, like how to keep the show entertaining and engaging. I am always searching for ways to grow as a broadcaster and improve as an entertainer. I think time management is always a hurdle but it gives me an opportunity to practice prioritizing and building good work habits. I also think as a woman on Twitch and in my professional career, one hurdle I usually face is credibility. People sometimes seem to question the legitimacy of your skills as a woman. The way I would turn those hurdles into something positive is by staying focused and doing my best work. I focus on myself and my work ethic. I learn from those difficult moments through dedication, I show people what I am capable of and with that comes credibility through action.

AshSaidHi Billboard in Times Square
AshSaidHi Billboard in Times Square

AnnK: You recently traveled to New York earlier in March after getting your ambassador role? There was a huge billboard with your face on it in New York talking about you and your streams. Can you tell me a bit about how that happened and what that experience was like seeing your name and face up in New York?

AshSaidHi: The Billboard was absolutely incredible to see. The first thing I did when I was chosen for that was call my mom. I am a native New Yorker so that made it very personal. When I lived there I would always pass through Times Square on my way home from work or before a Broadway show. Never in a million years would I have thought I would see my face featured on a gigantic screen in the crossroads of the world. I am so grateful to Twitch for choosing me for that opportunity.

AnnK: A lot of retro streamers are now looking up to you and saying, “Wow- I want to do what Ash is doing!!” What kind of advice can you give people in the Retro Gaming Community that would inspire them to reach for their own goals?

AshSaidHi: Oh wow! I am always so happy to share with others to help them build. Here are a few practices I think worked for me on my road to success. Consistency is vital, keep a schedule that you know you can maintain. Assume positive intent, what that means is when faced with adversity keep the thought in your mind that the person or situation you are dealing with is there to help you or allow you to learn. It makes dealing with difficult situations so much easier and you will take less to heart and be more open to receiving feedback. Think about your direction, intent, and what goals you want to achieve. When you can figure out your intent it will drive you and help you find your focus. Finally, do what brings you joy. When people feel that you love and enjoy what you do, they will receive that energy and send it back to you.

AnnK: Do you have anything else to add?

AshSaidHi: Just a giant thank you for reading. Thank you for your time and energy. I am so glad I got to share some of who I am with you. Thanks Annk for this wonderful opportunity!

AshSaidHi sitting


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