27 February 1990
|Height||5 ft 5 in (165.1 cm)|
|Also known as||Miko, Technician, Youna|
|Total views||8.69 million|
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Youna Kang aka. The Technician (born 27 February 1990), better known by her online 3D Virtual YouTuber persona and alias CodeMiko, is a Korean-American Internet personality. As a Twitch streamer and YouTuber Kang is best known for her live streams on Twitch, interviewing other streamers, content creators and internet personalities as her alter ego persona CodeMiko and for pushing the envelope with regards to interactivity in VTuber technology.
Kang created the CodeMiko persona using Unreal Engine, a motion capture suit from Xsens, motion capture gloves from Manus VR and a facial tracking helmet from MOCAP Design[lower-alpha 1][lower-alpha 2]. The CodeMiko avatar is comprised of 36000 polygons, modelled in Autodesk Maya and textured using Adobe Substance. While Kang originally created CodeMiko alone, the project is now developed by a team consisting of an engineer, a artist / animator / rigger, a publicist, a personal assistant and a manager.
Kang now focuses on leading the development effort, on broadcasting and idea generation. Kang is focused not just on the broadcasting, but rather on introducing new standards of interactivity with her audience. CodeMikos virtual environment is designed to be quasi interactive, meaning that viewers can influence and modify the CodeMiko avatar and surroundings by engaging in live stream chat or by donating money.
Kang was born and raised in South Korea, but moved to the United States of America in 1998 when she was 8 years old.
Kang attended high school at Rancho Bernardo High School between 2004 and 2008, after which she went to Palomar College to study Fine Arts for 2 years. In 2010, Kang went to Ringling College of Art and Design to study computer animation.
Kang worked as a data wrangler during her studies at Ringling. After finishing her studies Kang moved to Los Angeles, California to work with Autodesk Maya at Noble (named Duck Studios at the time), after two months Kang found a position at Halon Entertainment in Santa Monica, California where she worked as a 3D generalist for 2 years, doing game cinematics and Virtual Reality. In August 2016 Kang changed her job to become a Virtual Reality Artist for Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, California.
Kang came up with the idea of CodeMiko while working at Nickelodeon. After being laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to pursue streaming full time. Early on, she made around $300 per month from Twitch, which couldn't cover rent. This move was quite risky considering that Kang went into debt to acquire the Xsens Mo-cap suit, in total she accumulated over $20,000 of debt in order to get the setup she needed. She has attributed this debt and her poor risk management to her success:
“I told myself I'm not gonna have a backup. Because if I did have a backup, then I'll give up, if I don't have a backup then you have to make it.”.— Youna Kang, "CodeMiko will see you now", The Verge article (7th of April 2021)
“The smart choice would have been, 'Let me apply for more jobs that would pay decent,'“ - “But I was like, 'You know what, mom and dad? I'm 30, I'm going to become a VTuber.'“— Youna Kang, "CodeMiko will see you now", Business Insider article (28th of May 2021)
Kang states that, since CodeMiko project has been a success, she can now afford a comfortable living.
Kang began streaming on Twitch in 2016 albeit under a different channel name (younacorn27 / youneh (now codemikoalt)). Her early streams consisted of chatting, Yoga and pole dancing content, however it was not until the creation of the CodeMiko persona (developed on the youneh twitch channel from autumn of 2019 until spring of 2020), that Kang had a breakthrough going from averaging about 100 concurrent viewers in 2020 to about 8500 concurrent viewers in 2021. Kang has attributed her sudden raise in popularity due to having a viral tweet on Twitter and going viral on r/LiveStreamFails on Reddit.
The CodeMiko avatars in-universe backstory, is that she is a video game character without a game. She had always wanted to be in a mainstream video game, but never succeeded in doing so, due to her 'Glitch'. A story arc very similar to Vanellope von Schweetz from the Wreck-It Ralph-franchise. CodeMiko has expressed that she was forced to take smaller roles, such a bush in The Last of Us, following the archetypical story of the struggling Hollywood actress, someone who just wants to be in a movie, any movie, but for Miko, any video game. She finally managed to find her way into Kang / The Technicians Unreal Engine project, and thus becoming a twitch streamer. She is currently roaming different game worlds, looking for a place she will fit in. So far she's visited the world of dead memes and The Sims.
The CodeMiko avatar is aware of the Technician and frequently breaks the Fourth Wall, both indirectly through cross-over interviews such as CodeMiko interviewing the Technician, and directly through the use of augmented reality.
The 'glitchyness' of the CodeMiko character is expressed and explored through her sometimes glitchying into her evil alter ego avatar simply known as 'Glitch', exchanging her usual pink-haired avatar, for a semi-transparent Matrix digital rain-inspired avatar. The 'Glitch' avatar is additionally distinguished by having a deeper and hoarser voice achieved through the use of a voice changer. Glitch is very profane and seeks to offend. CodeMiko and Glitch have a relationship reminiscent of Sméagol and Gollum.
The interview show has been compared to 1990s animated parody talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
On CodeMiko, Kang said, “She's kind of stupid, unfiltered, and not afraid to say whatever is on her mind or what she sees.”
CodeMiko participated in in the online amateur chess tournament PogChamps 3 in 2021. She placed last with 4 losses and 0 wins, along with streamer Myth.
Kang has reported having developed self coined TOS PTSD following her unintentionally breaking the Twitch TOS and subsequent receiving bans, leading to her developing economic anxiety and seeking professional help by Alok Kanojia on stream.
Kang has expressed worries about Twitch introducing a 'Brand Safety Score' system, with regards to how her X-rated jokes and humor may not be advertiser-friendly content, and thus may threaten her income potential on the platform. She has since lessened these worries, as she has come to be sponsored by the energy drink G-Fuel, the gaming-chair firm Mavix, Seagate Gaming and metal poster company Displate
The CodeMiko project has generally been positively received, with Kotaku describing CodeMiko as 'The Future Of Streaming' and Designboom stating that she is 'Revolutionizing the digital space'. The Financial Times have reported that her content might be signalling 'The next frontier of digital entertainment', while Quartz has reported CodeMiko as 'The talk show host of the future'. The Verge has reported CodeMiko as someone who is "reshaping the Twitch landscape in her image".
The project has also received interest from several hentai producers.
- Ami Yamato — Japanese virtual YouTube vlogger
- Kizuna AI — one of the largest and earliest VTubers
- Projekt Melody — follow VTuber, whom also has a glichy alterego - Melware.
- The face tracking helmet utilizes an IPhone X for its depth camera
- The motion capture and facial tracking data is fed into Unreal Engine using the LiveLinkPlugin
- "CodeMiko - Played Games". TwitchTracker. 5 March 2021.
- "Welcome @thecodemiko to the G4 family!". Twitter. 1 May 2021.
- Purslow, Matt (1 May 2021). "G4 Adds a New, Entirely Virtual Presenter to Its Line-Up - Twitch hit streamer CodeMiko is joining the gaming network". IGN.
- Amos, Andrew (26 February 2020). "Sodapoppin explains how he 'hacked' Twitch to troll upcoming streamer". Dexerto.
- "Pokimane Cancels CodeMiko". YouTube. 29 December 2020.
- Barandy, Kat (12 January 2021). "Technician and streamer CodeMiko is revolutionizing the digital space". DesignBoom.
- Grayson, Nathan (4 March 2021). "CodeMiko Is The Future Of Streaming, Unless Twitch Bans Her First". Kotaku.
- Robison, Kylie (28 May 2021). "This former designer explains how getting laid off inspired her to create CodeMiko, a 'virtual' Twitch star that's now successful enough to be her full time job". Business Insider.
- Stephen, Bijan (7 April 2021). "CodeMiko will see you now - Chatting with Twitch's newest virtual talk show star". TheVerge.
- "Youneh Streams List". TwitchTracker. 5 March 2021.
- "Youneh Statistics". TwitchTracker. 5 March 2021.
- "Codemiko Statistics". TwitchTracker. 5 March 2021.
- Faber, Tom (20 April 2021). "VTubers and the women behind the masks". Financial Times.
- "CodeMiko Interviews her creator, Technician". YouTube. 6 April 2021.
- "I have infiltrated your world, humans..." Twitter. 29 March 2021.
- "mikoglitch channel". Twitch. 29 March 2020.
- "PogChamps". PogChampsChess. 5 March 2021.
- Rudolf, Anna (15 January 2021). "Can popular V-streamer CodeMiko play chess?". YouTube.
- Botez, Andrea (12 February 2021). "Chess lesson but my student won't stop moaning..." YouTube.
- Michael, Cale (23 January 2021). "CodeMiko talks reason behind Twitch ban, her approach to streaming, and plans for return stream". Dot Esports.
- Puleo, Anthony (25 February 2021). "Streamer CodeMiko Claims to Have PTSD From Twitch Bans". Game Rant.
- Stephen, Bijan (25 February 2021). "Twitch may be adding a 'brand safety score' for streamers". The Verge.
- Epstein, Adam (28 March 2021). "The talk show host of the future is a 3D video game character on Twitch". Quartz.
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Category:1990 births Category:21st-century Korean women Category:American YouTubers Category:American people of Korean descent Category:Female YouTubers Category:Gaming YouTubers Category:Let's Players Category:Living people Category:Twitch (service) streamers Category:Video game commentators Category:Women video bloggers Category:YouTube vloggers Category:Rancho Bernardo High School alumni Category:Palomar College alumni Category:Ringling College of Art and Design alumni
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