Just like many Filipino netizens in the time of COVID-19, social-media influencer Aryanna Epperson focused on her hobbies to pass away the time constructively.
Aryanna revealed to PEP.ph (Philippines Entertainment Portal) she's been spending more time in the kitchen and creating video games.
The 24-year-old vlogger said, "I’ve fallen back in love with cooking and baking over the pandemic.
"A lot of my followers loved the recipes I shared so I decided to turn it into a series on my Instagram called #HangryManagementWithAryanna where I feature quick and easy recipes made with ingredients most people probably already have in their pantry."
She also enjoys playing video games and trivia games with her friends online, and has started streaming games such as Valorant and Mobile Legends for her followers on her Facebook page /OfficialAryannaEpperson.
This led Aryanna to start creating gaming content on her YouTube channel.
PEP.ph spoke to Aryanna in an exclusive interview after the #TicTacForTheWin digital event in April 2021.
ARYANNA: THE GAMER
The former MTV VJ told PEP.ph, "My go-to chill activities are either playing video games, having online quiz nights with friends, or even bingeing a new anime series.
"I grew up always playing video games, so it only seemed natural to start streaming.
"It was only when the pandemic started that I had more time to spend at home which meant more time to play games!
"I’ve always shared my passions with people online and was excited to finally share this side of me online."
Her skills in answering trivia questions came in handy during the #TicTacForTheWin digital event that won for her a brand new PS5.
Aryanna expressed excitedly, "It was a challenging and exciting trivia game, but I feel super grateful and excited to finally have my own PlayStation5!
"My 11-year-old brother Dylan is probably just as excited or even more excited than I am to play with it!"
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Asked about the first game Aryanna will play using her new PS5, she quickly answered, "It definitely has to be Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Persona 5 Royal!
"I love both franchises and can’t wait to experience it on the PS5!"
The gaming community is also filled with bashers. How does she handle toxic players she encounters while playing online games?
Aryanna said, "It’s easy to feel tilted or annoyed when someone negatively comments on my stream, especially when it has to do with being a girl.
"Personally, I don’t understand it. For as long as you play a game, that makes you a gamer, may it be that you play professionally, competitively or even just casually.
"I try my best not to mind those who are toxic by muting them—out of sight, out of mind, and just continue to enjoy playing the games I love!
"Girls can do pretty much anything guys can do, and while bleeding too, haha."
Toward the end of the interview, Aryanna left a piece of advice for Filipino netizens who are also planning to create gaming content online.
She said, "Go for it! I always ask myself 'what’s the worst thing that could happen?' before trying anything new.
"You’ll never know what you’re passionate about unless you try different things.
"Through a process of elimination, you can then discover what truly makes you happy or piques your interest!
"If you love games, then stream it! Your love and passion will resonate with your viewers if you are your most authentic self."