If your life is in danger, call the police at 110

Gaming to Raise Awareness about Mental Health

Alex Fraioli Streaming Pic

How one retro gamer used his Twitch channel to support TELL

“I love to sail… oh my god King Merman!” Sea monsters appear on the screen and are quickly defeated by Alex Fraioli on Dragon Quest III. Alex is streaming his video game adventure on Twitch, a live streaming platform where users can stream content and interact with their audience. Alex’s lively commentary and friendly banter with his audience makes watching this classic RPG stream fun and entertaining. 

In addition to being a successful twitch streamer and video game enthusiast, Alex is the owner of the video game bar CRITICAL HIT in Nagoya. “The Twitch channel began as a way to showcase some of my bar’s regulars playing popular games, and when the pandemic hit, I leaned into streaming to pass the time and make some more income,” says Alex. The channel has gained a great following and tight knit audience of those who enjoy classic video games with their own inside jokes. Streaming also allows for a different type of interaction, “As someone with social anxiety, I can become paralyzed in social settings. Communicating with my audience via text means that I can slow down, breathe, and take my time to reply.”

Alex’s passion for retro video games is shared with a strong community here in Japan. “The power of nostalgia differs from person to person, but it is universal,” he says. “This shared cultural experience can even overcome the language barrier; I’ve seen a Japanese person and a non-Japanese person gush about a specific game together despite barely understanding one another.”

In addition to running CRITICAL HIT and his live streaming, Alex is also a voice actor and podcaster. He started his podcast No More Whoppers in 2012 with a close friend. “We both needed an avenue for creativity, and this was the only place in which we could openly talk about our sensitive issues. It was this outlet, combined with the opening of the bar in 2014, that helped me regain my voice and feel more comfortable speaking and being spontaneous.”

 For a week in February, Alex did a livestream Fundraiser for TELL and raised ¥200,000 to support mental health in the community. He talks about his own struggle with anxiety and alcohol dependency.  Living in a foreign country can add an extra layer of stress in daily life, and can at times feel isolating and overwhelming. Alex found himself using alcohol as a crutch to cope with stress and anxiety, and talks about getting sober in 2019. “I would not have done this without my mom,” he says. “She found a therapist for me, and found the local AA chapter as well (shout-out to moms!).” Through his recovery journey, Alex also noticed that it can be very easy for people to discount their own mental health experiences for fear of sticking out, and that there were only a few resources available for the international community.

“TELL was recommended to me by a friend in Osaka with personal experience. I want more people in my position to know about the organization. I’ve seen other streamers raise money for charities, and I thought I would try to lend a hand with the only skills I have.” 

Referring to his own recovery journey, Alex says, “If someone close to you expresses concern about your behavior or an addiction, take them seriously. At the end of the day, nobody can help you but you.”

Alex streams on his Twitch channel regularly. You can check him out here, and maybe get in on some of the inside jokes and learn a thing or two about Fruity Pebbles. According to Alex, “they are the only records we have of early humans and should be preserved for future gener-ROCK-tians.”


If you are struggling, you don’t have to be alone. The TELL lifeline is here to listen. Contact us on phone at 03-5774-0992 or on chat at tell.jp/lifeline. 

Alcoholics Anonymous Tokyo (includes online meetings): https://www.aatokyo.org/

More Info about Alex:

CRITICAL HIT video game bar in Nagoya: https://www.pitohui.org/?page_id=37

Twitch @hoodedpithoui: https://www.twitch.tv/hoodedpitohui

No More Whoppers Podcast: Spotify; Apple Podcast 

To learn more about how to live stream for TELL, check here, or contact our development team at development@telljp.com