Safwangba: A Youtuber with Big Dreams

An amazing life coloured by games and gaming – that was the impression we got when we interviewed Muhamad Safwan bin Ahmad Amran, or Safwangba as he is known online. Safwan does content creation on Youtube, specifically gaming content including walkthrough videos of games, where he dives into the game and comes up with opinions on how the storyline of the game goes. With over 4.8k subscribers, he’s definitely one of the more popular gaming Youtubers we’ve seen to-date. The difference he has from other content creators, however, is that he does not curse and makes long videos and series – and he declares that this will most likely not change anytime soon.

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“This is my life now, doing videos every day until I die.” – Safwangba. Such dedication!

 

Naturally, we checked with Safwan on what got him started. Just like everyone else, he began very young.

“I started gaming at the age of 8, which is around the year 1999,” he said. “I found a Pendulum (Bandai Virtual Pet) Version 2 lying on the ground near my school. After I got that Pendulum (Editor’s note: “in the most illegal way possible” according to him, but we forgive him as he was a kid lol) I spent my days and nights playing that Pendulum. I fell in love with the game and bought myself a second-hand Pendulum Version 5. From there, Digimon became my passion. When the Original and D-3 Digivice came out, I bought all of them.”

We were a little surprised at how he had the money to purchase this at such a young age, but Safwan quickly clarified. “The answer is my father. He is very supportive on what I am doing, He knows I loves playing games, so for every good result I got for my exams during my primary and secondary school, he will bring me to the gaming store and let me choose one game or thing that I want. My family is not that rich so usually my father will limit the maximum price to RM100, which is quite a lot for that time.”

What amazing support! That said, however, Safwan noted that his gaming journey also had dark and trying times – what he calls the “Dark Past of Safwangba Arc”. He tells us this story:

“Around that time, PS1 was just released in Malaysia. I didn’t have the chance to buy a PS1 because I had no money, so the only way to play it was to go to the cyber cafe, illegally.” The first time he stepped into a cyber cafe, however, he felt afraid because there were too many adults there! However, he ended up wasting all his school money there until one day, he was caught going to the cyber cafe by his mother. “Later that night, I got scolded by my father and of course a few marks here and there. He got very upset with me and took all my Digivice, Pendulum and D-3 and locked it in the drawer,” he relates.

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The day Safwangba obtained his first gaming PC!

 

Afterwards, his interest in gaming declined and he focused more on his studies. Occasionally, he hosted some mini games in school including a version of a pen and paper RPG, as well as a Pokemon Trading Card Game competition in his residential area, despite using only fake cards because they did not have the money to buy real ones.

Fast forward a few years later, the release of the Game Boy Color got him hooked. When his senior brought one to school, he longed to play it, but they kept refusing. “The only thing that I can do is imagine how the gameplay will look like, by judging from the sound that comes out from the console,” he said sadly. When they finally allowed him to play one day, however, they charged him RM2 per Game Over (i.e. each time he died), which – of course – had him paying a lot as he was new to the game and died very quickly.

Finally, in secondary school, Safwan obtained his first Game Boy Advance and coined the name “safwangba”, with the “gba” being an abbreviation of Game Boy Advance! However, he ended up doing very badly on his SPM, and admitted to “messing up so much” during his secondary school years. Even so, he got accepted into UiTM Arau, Perlis, and began “The Safwangba Youtube Arc”.

“I played Minecraft every day. Then, I got an idea to do a Youtube video. By using a Compaq CQ40 Laptop with external monitor, my first video was recorded and uploaded in year 2 of my university studies. The title was “Mari Bermain MineCraft Episode 1: Barang2 Utama” (or Let’s Play MineCraft Episode 1: Important Things).”

From then on, Safwan didn’t look back.

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Safwan says he’s glad to have people around him that love gaming. From left to right: James, Safwan and Atoi

 

Safwan cites two people who were key influences in his Youtube life – his friend and ex-roommate James, who always gave him suggestions on how to improve, and Justin from Australia, who consoles him and listens to him when he has problems. “I’m glad I have these people surrounding me to drive me forward,” he says with a smile. “My family has also started to understand what I’m doing as well even though Youtube is not my primary source of income.”

For everyone else in Malaysia, Safwan believes the main problem for gamers is twofold. The first is the ‘war between console and PC’. He explains: “This has been going for many years, not only in Malaysia but in other part of the world. Gamers tend to defend their platform and refuse to cooperate with one other. (For example), we often see posts like [PS4 vs XBOX ONE vs PC] in the gaming community Facebook groups in Malaysia. The only way to counter this is to give more information on all of the gaming platforms that exist. A good platform will be a site like Fundeavour, to give more exposure to these types of gamers.”

The second problem according to him is the inability of gamers, especially the younger generation, to buy original games. “As we know, the price of original games is quite high nowadays due to the exchange rate. Gamers cannot afford to buy new games each time they are released, so they have to ‘pirate’ the game,” he notes, suggesting that releasing some information on where they can get these games for sale might help the gamer to buy the game instead. “As a community, we can share the latest deals, discounts and giveaways on the game so they can enjoy the game together.”

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Safwangba demonstrating the Armaggeddon AK-990i’s features in a video created for Fundeavour recently

 

 “The dream is to become the no.1 Youtube gaming content creator in Malaysia without any bad words or bad influence,” Safwan smiles, stating that gaming might be a potential career path for him as he loves doing it a lot. “That’s the only dream I have for now, nothing more. It might be impossible but as long as there’s hope, anything is possible.”

He pauses, giving the next question a little bit more thought.

“In the future, I don’t want to change my current personality. I might be a gamer that helps others to become motivated, happy and free from all their problems. I want to share my experience with everyone so that they can use it as material to get them going,” he adds.

All the best, Safwangba!

 


Want more? Follow Safwangba on social media here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/safwangbayoutube

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/safwangba

Fundeavour: https://fundeavour.com/safwangba/

This feature was written as part of a partnership with Fundeavour, a site that helps aspiring gamers around the world to get a head start on beginning their journey as content creators, streamers and eSports players. Want to be featured and share your stories with over 20,000 readers? Check out more info here or sign up with Fundeavour.com!

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