Andy “Nitro Rifle” Cortez | Kinda Funny and making a career out of streaming

Andy “Nitro Rifle” Cortez chats to us about streaming, podcasting, hosting, his favourite game, and more…


Since joining the cast of Kinda Funny back in 2017, Andy Cortez’ irreverent brand of comedy and outlandish sense of humour in shows like KF/AF, The Kinda Funny Podcast, and In Review have been a staple of the troupe. Five years on, we spoke to the man himself to learn more about his personal gaming preferences, as well as what it’s like to make a career out of streaming, podcasting, and hosting:

What would you say is your favourite game of all time, and why?

Mass Effect 2 sort of began a new phase in gaming for me. It reignited my passion for the hobby. Not only do I love big space adventures, but forming bonds and friendships with crewmates was so much cooler than I ever could have imagined. Knowing that some characters may not show up in the game if I killed them in the first Mass Effect blew my mind. The fact that 2 used the first game’s save data to bring that information along was so next-level for me. As much as I loved the original Mass Effect, I rushed through it to get to the sequel, and I wasn’t really able to digest the nuanced storytelling and themes about humanity until I replayed it more recently.

Is there a type of game you prefer streaming over others? If so, why?

I love playing multiplayer shooter games because you can turn your brain off and just have fun with friends. Most people got healthy or learned how to garden or cook during the pandemic. I learned how to play PC shooters on keyboard/mouse, and it’s always fun challenging myself to get better. As much as I love streaming single-player games, my brain isn’t always prepared to absorb the story, solve puzzles, and take down bosses while also trying to entertain and make people laugh. I end up not hearing certain lines of dialogue or missing the most obvious hints or items. Damn ADHD.

Andy recently faced his fear of the Souls-like genre and completed Bloodborne all the way through.

Has there ever been a time where you feel like you needed to take a break from gaming/streaming?

I’ve never felt the need to take an extended, purposeful break from streaming. Since we’re usually on camera performing and talking during the day at Kinda Funny, I don’t mind taking the night off if I’m feeling too tired. I’m so thankful we have a community that understands [if] I’m not always up for it. Sometimes I’ll take unintended breaks from streaming if I’m playing a game for review and can’t stream it due to embar-go limitations.

For you, what’s the appeal of streaming? What do you get out of it?

Streaming is my part-time job, and I try my best to treat it as such. Having the extra revenue stream is so helpful when living in San Francisco. I also love streaming because I sort of look at it as a catalogue for my gaming history. Near the beginning of the pandemic, I started a YouTube channel because I noticed there was a demand from the audience that wished they could watch my playthrough of Bloodborne. It’s one of my biggest gaming regrets. Bloodborne became an immediate top-five game of all-time for me, and I wish there was a way I could see myself react to certain moments again. Almost like looking through a photo album and thinking about where you were in your life during that time.

Watch Andy regularly stream on Twitch.

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