When AOC said she wanted to stream on Twitch she was immediately invited by one of Twitch’s biggest names to come to play with her and other Twitch stars in a game of “Among Us.” What proceeded to happen was an interesting event that garnered far more viewers than other streamers likely anticipated.
It all started when AOC asked if anyone wanted to play the popular game “Among Us,” a game where players must complete a series of tasks while an “imposter” attempts to kill them while staying stealthy about it so players never guess who the imposter is.
Here’s some gameplay with AOC playing as the imposter as seen from the perspective of one of the streamers. As you can see, AOC murders one of the players and attempts to convince the others that she’s not the imposter through deception.
— maia (@mxmtoon) October 21, 2020
Popular Twitch streamer Imane Anys, more popularly known by her Twitch alias “Pokimane,” quickly replied saying it’d be an honor to play with her.
it’d be an honor 😭🙏🏻
— pokimane (@pokimanelol) October 19, 2020
From there, other popular streamers joined in including Seán William McLoughlin (Jacksepticeye), Charlie White (moistcr1tikal), Jeremy Wang (Disguised Toast), Benjamin Lupo (Dr. Lupo), and Hasan Piker (HasanAbi).
At one point Rep. Ilhan Omar also joined in the game as did her daughter.
When you’re winning: pic.twitter.com/Fu7CMyCQDA
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 21, 2020
For some of the streamers, the object wasn’t to be political, it was to get out the vote. Before the stream began, Lupo made it clear on his channel that he wasn’t there to pick a side and that everyone can decide for themselves who they want to vote for. He only asked that everyone remain civil.
White seemed somewhat reluctant to allow politics to creep into his channel, allowing his chatroom to decide if they should play in the group or not. He noted that if things began to get too political he reserved the right to pull out and play something else.
The stream was mostly gameplay with even the Democrats only injecting politics here and there, however AOC made it clear from the very beginning that it was about voting blue.
When AOC had her political moments, they were forced. She would inject comments about the spaceship they were playing on was running on fossil fuels.
“I still can’t get over that this ship runs on fossil fuels,” the New York Democrat said. “Candles on a ship that runs on a combustion engine? Now that is sus.”
In between breaks, AOC would begin giving spiels about healthcare.
“Imagine showing up to the doctor and saying you need help and getting it without having to take out your credit card,” she said. “One of the reasons it’s so politically difficult in the US to advocate for something like that is because people don’t even believe it’s possible.”
For the most part, the one streamer to get overtly political was Piker who said that it’s important to get out and vote so that people like the FCC’s Ajit Pai don’t come into power and kill things like “Net Neutrality.”
It was a sentiment that AOC agreed with wholeheartedly. Most of the streamers seemed unwilling to share their own thoughts on this, likely as a way to protect their politically neutral brand. Piker is the nephew of The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur, is one of those who is completely willing to share his political sentiments. At one point he openly said that America deserved 9/11. He was taken down by Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw during his interview on the Joe Rogan Experience.
Interestingly, at one point, Ocasio-Cortez explained how she planned on voting and she chose to do so in-person, not in the mail-in way Democrats have been touting is safe and reliable. AOC explained that she wanted her vote counted that day in New York.
Before this is written off it should be understood that this was a widely viewed event. AOC herself had over 400,000 people watching her stream at one point. Combined with the other major Twitch streamers who had large viewers pools of their own, it’s likely that the event was viewed by around 1 million.
That’s nearly 1 million people who saw two Democrats speak to them in their territory and participate in things they enjoy.
While many on the right feel the need to dismiss communities such as the Twitch community, or subcultures such as the gaming community, it’s not a winning strategy. Gaming is one of the largest sub-cultures in America and it’s a battlefield the right should show up to if it wants to help fight to reclaim the culture and garner voters.