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Vtuber Ironmouse hosts a sleep stream during a subathon with avatar

Ironmouse is even streaming while she sleeps

an image of a cute pink and purple colored hair character laying in bed. she has horns and wears big glasses. Image: Ironmouse/Twitch
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Subathons, marathon streams where content creators stream nonstop for days on end, are notoriously strenuous affairs. Although the events can help rack up subscriptions, streaming every day, and even while sleeping at night, is a ton of work. This is even true for Vtubers. During her ongoing subathon, Vtuber Ironmouse has continued to have her avatar on screen and her tracking software on, even as she sleeps, just like any other streamer might during a subathon.

A Vtuber, or virtual YouTuber, is a term for content creators who use a virtual model of a character to stream, instead of showing their actual face with a camera. Ironmouse’s design has pink and purple hair, with horns. The adorable, demon-looking character streams on Twitch for an agency called VShojo and is known for her karaoke streams and lewd sense of humor. As the person behind Ironmouse moves their head and talks, the character on screen will mirror their movements.

In addition to having their characters on screen, Vtubers will often layer objects over their models to change environments. Previously, some Vtubers have layered over images to make it look like the characters are in different outfits or sets, like a hot tub. Ironmouse has a bed for her character. Meanwhile, on stream, her friends are able to chat and stream videos for viewers to watch.

As an added struggle, Ironmouse suffers from an immune disease known as Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID), which causes her various health issues and makes leaving the house — or even her bed — difficult, especially during the pandemic. CVID also made streaming for long periods of time extremely difficult for Ironmouse when she first started, which makes this subathon feat even more impressive.

Sleeping is often one of the strangest and funniest parts of these long subathon streams, and Ironmouse has found a way to capture a similar idea without changing up the Vtuber style of having her avatar on-screen instead of herself — though she isn’t the first Vtuber to do this.

At the time of publication, Ironmouse was on day five of her stream. When Ludwig Ahgren undertook his record-breaking subathon, the streamer just kept a camera fixed on him in a tiny race car bed all night. Now, Ironmouse can do the same thing day in and day out.

Update (Feb. 11): This story was updated to add additional context to Ironmouse’s stream and CVID condition.

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