United States’ Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar joined Twitch streamers this Tuesday night to play “Among Us” in an effort to get more people to vote in the 2020 election.
Since “Among Us” is the largest game on Twitch right now and a large component of the game is voting, Ocasio-Cortez thought it was the best choice. The representatives were joined by HasanAbi, Pokimane and a rotating cast of streamers.
HasanAbi, whose real name is Hasan Piker, is the most famous political Twitch streamer and is well known for his work as a political commentator at The Young Turks and his streams where he goes out into the real world to talk to others. He has also been featured on shows like “The Issue Is,” a political debate show.
Pokimane is one of, if not, the largest streamer on Twitch right now. She is known for playing games like League of Legends and is part of the streamer house OfflineTV.
At 3 p.m. on Monday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Anyone want to play Among Us with me on Twitch to get out the vote? (I’ve never played but it looks like a lot of fun).” The comments quickly filled with big-name streamers like Piker, Pokimane and Disguised Toast. Ocasio-Cortez worked with Twitch and Streamlabs to set up the stream in 24 hours.
Ocasio-Cortez topped 429,000 concurrent viewers for her stream at one point in the night. For context, Pokimane has around 76,000 concurrent viewers at the peak of her streams. This was one of the largest events on Twitch since the start of the pandemic and is most likely the largest politics-based stream on Twitch. Her stream became the third most successful individual stream of all time. Across over three hours, Ocasio-Cortez managed to rack up more than 4.5 million views.
Omar joined Ocasio-Cortez for the stream, only announcing it on Twitter right before she joined. Her teenage daughter, Irsa Hirsi, even joined to provide entertaining mother-daughter bonding time for viewers. For most of the night, the streamers avoided any talk about politics, but Piker still occasionally inserted political comments into the conversation and Ocasio-Cortez spoke shortly with HBomberguy about the differences in healthcare in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, where healthcare is free.
Video games have become a platform for politicians to engage the younger voting population, especially in this election. In 2008 Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate to run ads in video games and in the current election, Joe Biden’s campaign has created an “Animal Crossing: New Horizon” island.
They are not the first politicians to use Twitch. While the platform is a video game streaming service, they have seen a lot of success with just chatting and variety streamers. Broxh, a streamer who broadcasts himself carving wood on Twitch, was visited by the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern.
Streaming services, such as Twitch, have become more important than ever in elections. As younger people become a larger part of the voting population, the platforms that they use will become more important to win elections and encourage voting.