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The difficult search for their dreams by “Thames – Artto” in the role of a Cosplayer and a Game Master

Thames Sarana – Artto Wisarut

Search for identity of “Thames – Sarana Khunponpitak” the cosplayer, also known as “Thames Malerose” and GM (Game Master) and young streamer, “Artto – Wisarut Pongthanapisit”, also known as “Al2TTO”, here with a unique charm

Get to know “Thames Malerose” and “Al2TTO” through a conversation where they have to talk and interview themselves (?) about the beginning, obstacles, and future of their roles as a Cosplayer and a Game master.

Thames Sarana

Thames – Sarana Khunponpitak

Q: Please introduce yourself

A: Hello, I’m ‘Thames – Sarana Khunponpitak’ or you can call me ‘Thames Malerose’ or ‘Thames Line 4’ or you can call me honey
Q: Pleasure to meet you too. How are you right now? Everything good over there?
A: Well, I’m good. Everything’s fine. There’s quite a lot of work, very busy.

Q: Speaking of your life, I’d like to know what is cosplay

A: Right now, I view cosplay as an inspiration. The more I do it, there’s more driving force for me to be a better cosplayer, improve myself to become better. It’s like being my own inspiration and also to those who follow me. How about you?

Q: What do you think about our cosplay? How do you feel about your first time doing cosplay?

A: Wow, it’s the first time, so it’s not perfect. We have to keep on improving, just like the fact that we’ve improved so much since the past. I remember that the first time was at the J-Trends in Town event. I cosplayed as Virgil from Devil May Cry and the costume was made from leather, PVC leather, and how do you ventilate the air in Thailand? It’s so hot, I was all sticky
Q: Exactly
A: Our first time was like that But we had a friend who cosplayed together, so it was a fun first time. Even though it was hot, or sticky but since we had a friend cosplaying together, it was fun.

Q: Can you tell us how we came to meet each other?

A: As we know, I’m a Chuunibyou guy (Eighth-Grader Syndrome), right? We are a Chuunibyou guy. I like cartoons I’ve been reading comics since I was a kid. I’ve played games since I was a kid. I like mini-figures. You know what mini-figures are, right?
Q: Of course, mini-figures
A: We like those kinds of things. Role playing as various characters. When I was a kid, I’d invite my friends to play and like, you be this, I’ll be that and we’d play. It’s a Chuunibyou thing, that feeling and eventually, we learned about cosplay, and felt that this is what we want, this is our world, this is our place. Something like that.
Q: Simply put, Chuunibyou got us to meet each other.

Q: Tell us about your favorite moment in cosplaying

A: Doesn’t have to be just one story, tell us about it. There’s a lot, you’d probably remember. There’s so many I can’t count. I’ll choose some major good moments. I got to meet cosplaying friends who like the same thing. This is a moment that I am very touched. When I go to these events, and when there are people giving us warm welcomes.

Recently, I went to Vietnam since Covid, I haven’t travelled abroad for 2 years. Didn’t join any events. When I went to Vietnam, I thought they wouldn’t remember me that there wouldn’t be that many people but it turned out that it was packed. This most recent one hosted the most people of this event ever. It turned out that everyone was still welcoming us. Or when I travelled abroad for the first time, when I went to China for the first time. I didn’t expect so many people to welcome me. It was a very fun moment. And then there are moments from people I didn’t know but they liked me and we became friends. This gives me a great feeling becoming someone’s inspiration is a great moment.

Thames Sarana

Q: Were there moments when you felt failed, did something wrong, and got discouraged? And how did we get through it?

A: Moments when I felt failed, and bad? There were moments like that, not everything turns out well. There were times that I failed but I didn’t fell fail for others, I felt failed for myself like, why didn’t I do it like this? Why didn’t I cosplay better than this? I felt like I wanted to overcome and win myself Simply put, I wanted to win myself. I wanted to win myself, and step forward constantly. Do you understand?

We are quite ambitious people. That’s right. There were times that I failed, I couldn’t do what I hoped I could. Sometimes it was family problems, that you all may already know. I’ve talked about this a lot that at first, my parents understood me but more recently, when I did more cosplay and the result was that I spent money on cosplaying and I didn’t get any income in return. I got rewards from cosplaying, but it wasn’t tangible rewards.

So, they wanted me to quit. They wanted me to do something else that’s more useful, something more tangible. That time, I felt failed, and I wanted to quit too. That was probably the point when I thought I had to change that I’m going to quit cosplaying and do something else. I did many things at that time, cosplay, music, art. I did many things. In the end, I asked them to do cosplay again that I’d do it properly, give it all I got and it turned out that that time, I succeeded And it became something stable.

Q: That means you got through it because of cosplay, right?
A: Yes, I got through it because of you, really.

Q: How do you see both our future turning out?

A: I didn’t think of it at all. Didn’t think at all. I do things without planning all the time. You should know that but let’s say that we’ll be together for a long time. Like I said, I haven’t planned anything but let it go naturally whatever comes, we’ll find out, I don’t know. Let’s say that we’ll be together for a long time. You and I.

Q: Anything you want to say to those who like and dream like us?

A: If you want it to happen, don’t just let it be a dream. You have to make it real, you have to take action. Otherwise, it’ll stay a dream. Can you do that?
Q: Yes, of course.
A: I’ve said so much already, don’t you have anything you want to say to me? Please say something.Q: Wow, I have many things I want to say to you. You have to speak less when streaming. You have to save up more money. You have to work out more so that when you cosplay, you’d look cool, just like me. Do better, better than now. So that we can be together for a long time.

Artto Wisarut

Artto – Wisarutt Pongthanapisit

Q: Please introduce yourself 

A: Hi, I’m ‘Artto – Wisarutt Pongthanapisit’, some of the younger fans may call me “GM”
Q: Pleasure… It is my pleasure to meet you (laughs). I’d like to ask what you’re doing at the moment?
A: I’m giving an interview right now (Q : you’re funny), just joking. I’ve been working on many things recently, I’m a GM (Game Master), I stream, I’m a YouTuber, I still cosplay too, if P’Thames is available. 

Q: Could you please tell us about your role as a GM? Why did you choose to do this?

A: For this question, I have to go back to when I was a kid. I’ve always loved playing games since I was a kid, I grew up with games since consoles were still black and white, when it was still Famicom using cartridges. So I felt that I wanted to pursue my career in gaming, anything related to gaming. When I grew up, I was like… I have to say that during that period, it was a little hard, because games were not widely accepted like they are nowadays. To be able to go to school and pursue a career related to gaming was hard, so I chose to study in the computer field. While in school, I got to compete in gaming and stuff, and then I felt that being a professional gamer was too hard for me. And during high school, I met a GM of a certain game, I got to talk to him and got close to him and I felt like “Hey, I want to be a GM that is close to the players, I want to work in the gaming industry”

Q: Does a GM play game the whole day?

A: That’s not true, people like to think that being a GM is an easy job, that I’d play games the whole day. I have to say that it’s not true. Working in the gaming industry or being a GM is like other jobs, every person has a different duty in their jobs. Some people may be in charge of marketing, some may be a QA testing for bugs or fixing bugs. There are parts where we have to play games, but it’s not about playing for fun, it’s about playing for work. 

Q: Everything that you’ve said, you haven’t even told me what you do
A: (Laughs) I don’t really want to tell (Q : Tell a bit) Let’s say that I can do everything, but for the people who have questions to ask, if you have an inquiry, please contact customer service, don’t ask me. 
Q: How can you say that? The kids will be scared of you. You’re telling them off to talk to customer service, so let’s do as he says, so he doesn’t have to do more work.

Q: Is there something about working as a GM that people in general do not know? 

A: Hmmm… Just like what I mentioned just now. Many people think that each game has only 1 GM doing everything, from game testing to fixing bugs, uploading game patches, esports, marketing, sales, and so on. It’s nothing like that. You can imagine that each game is like a small company, each person has different duties. Sometimes, a game may have just a few GM’s, or it may have dozens of GM’s, and each person would have different duties, for example, some may do esports, some do marketing, some work on bugs. A lot of people may not know, so when there is a problem, they like to come and criticize me. I’m the one who gets the blame (smiles). Don’t forget, customer service.
Q: Poor guy, what people probably don’t know is that the GM gets scolded a lot.
A: I think everyone knows that GM’s get this everyday

Q: In your point of view, what qualifications does one need to be a GM?

A: It’s like every other job, you have to love the job, and you have to have responsibility. As for other stuff like Hard skills or Soft skills, those can be learnt, but if you don’t have the passion, you don’t have the love for the job, and the love for games, you won’t be able to do the job well.
Q: You work as a GM, a streamer, and a cosplayer too. Are there any moments that you are really impressed with? It could be any aspect of the job. 

A: Wow, I would tear when the pay is wired into my account, I would know that “Yay, I got paid for my work today!” (laughs) That’s the truth. It’s a job, I work for the pay, so I should be happy when I get paid. Just kidding… That’s just part of it, but since I started working as a GM, I used to be a programmer, an IT consultant. That job is much more stable. Going back 7-8 years ago, the gaming industry wasn’t as big as it is now. When I wanted to switch my career, I had to discuss with my family, and it wasn’t easy at that time. It was a really good thing in my life when my family was okay with it. And when I was working, each year, there was a milestone, for example, I worked on this game well, I have new initiative ideas for this game, and that is joy for me, it’s like a gradual success for me. As for being a streamer, I’m proud to a certain level that I am a streamer that grew quite fast in the first few years. Maybe it’s because there aren’t any GM’s who stream, players don’t know who to scold, so they came to scold me, then I got 1 million subscribers quite fast. When I reached a million subscribers, I was really happy, and I got an award… I don’t remember the exact name of the award, but it was an award for a lot of growth. YouTube sent the award to me; I was really happy about this too. (Q : applause)
Q: It’s a great moment for you. 

Artto Wisarut

Q: If there were moments that you felt was hard to get through, or felt bad, and how did you get through it? 

A: I’ll give you 2 answers. The first one is related to work. Work has its difficulties every day, especially IT related work. Sometimes, the game would just crash, or there would be bugs, so I have to find the cause and fix the problems every day. I have to use a lot of Crisis management, and sometimes there is pressure from the players and from myself too, because I want to make the game come out well. As for the other answer, it’s related to being a streamer. Actually, there’s a lot of people and friends who come to talk to me. I have to say that my page probably gets scolded the most from the players. They would ask me how I handle my own thoughts, how I handle toxic people, which… I don’t know if I should say this, but I will. In my page, if people are rude to me, I will be rude in return. I was just lecturing about bullying and using social media the other day, by a doctor from the Department of Mental Health. He said it’s not really good, but it’s up to me.

The doctor said it’s up to me, he advised that when someone throws a stone at me, I can choose whether I want to catch the stone or throw it back. But I often throw the stone back in my page. And like I said that many people asked me whether I feel down or not, sometimes I just think that some people grew up in a different environment, different from me. They may lack the knowledge, for example, why there’s a bug, they may not know who to complain to, so they came to scold me. Which I try to find a positive side to that, for instance, “They came to scold me, but I got engagement in my page, I get more money. Since I’m getting money, fine, scold me”. So I’m quite calm about that. 

Q: How do you handle these trolls? 

A: Not so good, but… but if you think that some of these trolls still have some use for your streaming, that they can still make revenue for you, and if they’re not too bad, keep them. But if they are too toxic, you can always kick them out of your page, so you don’t have to see them again.
Q: So you have to think, analyze and identify, whether that person is suitable for your page or not, and then handle the problem according to the situation.

Q: For those who want to work in the gaming industry or something related to gaming, what do you want to tell them?

A: Sure. Whether you want to be a GM, a streamer, a gamer, or anything, the gaming industry is very big now. Whatever you want to be, you can be, you have time. Many kids like to think “I want to quit school to become a streamer”. To be honest, I want to tell you realistically, there are very few people who become a successful streamer. You should focus on school first. As for game related work or something else, consider those as a hobby. If you want to go in depth, you have to analyze yourself to see what you’re good at. There are a lot of jobs in the gaming industry, you don’t have to focus only on being a streamer, that’s not the only job. Like me, I’m a GM, there’s also voice acting, casting, streamer, athlete, coach, or even other lines of work like sports scientist who takes care of the health of the athletes. There’s a lot, you have to look and analyze yourself which line of work you’re good at and grow in that field.

Q: There’s so many kinds of jobs in the industry, if you want to find out more details, GARENA’s website has gathered careers related to the gaming industry for you to learn, there are interviews from people who used to work in those fields too.

A: You’re only asking questions, aren’t you going to answer some questions? I want you to say something about me or how our lives are going to be in the future. 
Q: I’m the host, do I have to answer questions? Fine… I’ll answer. If I had anything to say about you, right now, P’Thames is giving you a hard time because you’re not exercising, try to exercise, and don’t sleep late, I see that you haven’t been sleeping on time recently, sometimes 4-5 am and you’d have to wake up in the morning to work. I won’t live long, you won’t get to use the money you made, but don’t be too comfortable at the same time, you have to make money. It is said that fortune won’t buy you a path to heaven, but you can use fortune to create your own heaven. Let’s go create our heaven. 

Model : Thames – Sarana Khunponpitak (Thames malerose) & Artto – Wisarut Pongthanapisit (Al2TTO)
Photographer : Franken.STL
Stylist  : Patipan Jaksukan
Editor-in-Chief : Natthida Ratchawong
Producer : Ployrawee Choksuchanun 
Content Creator : Aditchaya Sukprasert, Palita Iamnoppakhun

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