That’s the word Kason Patterson uses to describe her parents, who a few years ago couldn’t quite believe that she was quitting a stable job to pursue a self-employed career as CupAhNoodle, an online content creator focusing on gaming and pop culture.
But Patterson, an LA native, had grown up playing video games with both her dad and older brother.
“All I used to hear is, ‘there you go, playing them little video games.’ Fast forward to cut off ‘them little video games’ when I played too much. And now, what do I do for a living? Play them little video games,” laughs Patterson, who uses the CupAhNoodle gamertag bestowed on her as a joke by her brother.
She had to explain to her parents, who were born in the 1950s, how she would make a living as a full-time content creator and streamer: People would watch her play games online, and they would interact.
“But I’ve learned that it’s literally much more than playing a game,” Patterson says. “Your chat is building your communities. You genuinely get to know people. If we’d met in high school, we would have been best friends. I’ve seen community members graduate from high school and college, start families and get married.”
Her parents were livid she was leaving her job as a supply planner – which had a good salary and benefits – but they eventually came around.
What Patterson loves most about being her own boss is problem solving. Some days, it’ simple: streaming while playing a video game, interacting with her community. But other days, she’ll need to produce a show that requires setting up multiple cameras around her house, which takes a lot of trial and error for someone self-taught and still learning from her community.
For Patterson, streaming is more community-based and hosting is what she does at conventions or other focused events. Hosting is for the general population of the gaming community as opposed to the streaming audience, which is about building a community specific to her content. The chat goes all over the place, but mostly focuses on what’s happening in their lives. This is also a community she feels indebted to, as they’ve helped her over the years, like helping her get a graphics card so she could better stream PC games.“That stuck with me, so I would love to help people,” she says. “Sometimes you just need someone to believe in you. And if I can help you out even a little bit, I would absolutely love to.”
She’s not really technical, but she can “MacGyver” things.
“I have to find the answer for myself,” she says.
Nowadays, the technical parts of her job are easier with the addition of OMEN PCs, powered by Windows 11. She’s part of the OMEN Squad, a group of Twitch streamers chosen by OMEN to use OMEN PCs. As she grows her own business, OMEN is one of many companies and brands she works with, but at the same time, sponsorships are new to her. In alignment with the brand she’s building for herself, customer service is paramount, so saving time is important to her.
Before OMEN approached her to be on their squad, she had a rig she joked was “literally put together with paper clips and rubber bands. I could barely stream PC games.”Now, she can do so much more with OMEN PCs and accessories. Her current OMEN 40L gaming desktop is her third PC from OMEN.
“I’ve never had any issues with my PC. It’s one of those things where no matter where I go, no matter what I do, and although I know that the future’s never set in stone, I just hope to be with HP,” Patterson says. “It has to be absolutely durable because I’m kind of rough and I’ve accepted that. But the monitor clarity is superb, and the speeds have no lag. A big thing with PC streaming is, are my games going to be laggy? It was the reason why I was afraid of PC gaming because I have to go in the back end. I have to touch everything. But with OMEN, everything is so smooth, processes are fast. The RAM capabilities are insane.”
She also thinks it’s the perfect PC for those who want to expand and customize, even redo everything (such as overclocking).
She also has an OMEN 27 monitor, which she says is one of the best she’s ever had.
“The clarity, the colors, are so vibrant. I play a lot of horror games, so that means they were usually dark and I couldn’t see anything, but that is not the case with these monitors. I don’t have to mess with the brightness,” she says. “The clarity on these things is bar none and again, this comes from someone who predominantly plays games where someone would be staring at me, and I didn’t even see them because it was blurry. Now, I see everything.”
She hasn’t had Windows 11 long, but she’s already picked out some features she’s using frequently.
“My favorite is voice typing. I like that now the dictation comes with punctuation because it helps me immensely with hosting, for scripts,” Patterson says. “As opposed to just typing it, I could just talk, and now the punctuation is there, I don’t have to go back in and clean up run-on sentences. That is really cool.”I only have two monitors but I can even go a step further and customize the way I want to snap my screens.She’s also a big fan of Snap Layouts, a new feature in Windows 11 that presents different ways of snapping (aka organizing) your apps and screens on your display.
“I run a dual setup. I only have two monitors but I can even go a step further and customize the way I want to snap my screens,” she says. “I feel like if you plug that in with multiple desktops, you really could be unstoppable. There’s nothing you can’t do.”
When she’s hosting from home, she’ll have that up as well as any notes, the run of show (a step-by-step script), an internet browser and production video chatting to her through Microsoft Teams. It’s not unusual for her to have five screens up at once, so she loves the flexibility of Snap Layouts to put them where she wants.
She’s been a devoted subscriber to Xbox Game Pass for a few years, enjoying the new releases and being able to try all kinds of games.
While she started off playing video games on consoles, she’s been playing on PCs almost exclusively for years, preferring indie games that offer a variety of stories. Horror and thriller games are her favorites because “you never know what’s going to happen, and I think they’re fun games to play with everyone because none of us knows, right? We’re all on edge wondering who done it.”
And through her audience, she lived and learned, as she didn’t go to college, but some of them did. She started working at the age of 15 and never stopped. Among her many jobs were bartending, fashion blogging and working at a record label before realizing how much she enjoyed community management, which led to her current role.
In 2018, she started creating content full-time, after realizing juggling hosting eSports tournaments, online streaming and day job schedules wasn’t sustainable. She also realized that starting her streaming during the day – Pacific time, where she lived – was more conducive toward getting more people to join and interact from the East Coast.
“I was absolutely broke, but I believed in the dream,” says Patterson, who gives credit to her husband and family for supporting her decision.
She gained confidence in her ability to work full-time on her own content thanks to training at Twitch hosting summits (she produced the panel for TwitchCon 2017 and was invited to host TwitchCon 2018) and E3 interviews where she found producers willing to take a chance on someone with relatively little experience. And as she’s ramped up in the streaming and hosting world, she’s found other creators who constantly inspire her.
“It’s nice to see people who look like you, but you can learn so much from them or you can engage with them, and it’s so cool to see where we’re at,” she says. “And I know that there’s always more to come and nothing is ever written in stone. We just get to see what’s coming next. And I’m excited for the future.”