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AOC, Congress’ resident gamer, planning Twitch stream to get out the vote

Josh Marcus
·2-min read
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Getty Images)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Getty Images)

It’s a 2020, pandemic version of the fireside chat: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday she was putting together some rounds of Among Us, a popular multiplayer video game, to stream on Twitch as a way to get out the vote.

Twitch, a videogame live-streaming platform, allows users to broadcast or watch people playing video games and chat with each other.

Washington Post games correspondent Gene Park tweeted that the idea shows Ms Ocasio-Cortez understands the deep political engagement potential on a site like Twitch, which is expected to top 40 million US viewers next year.

Among Us, released in 2018, is an online multiplayer game where players are dropped onto a spaceship, and those assigned to be “crew members” must race to finish tasks before “imposters” kill them. The game became a breakout hit during quarantine.

It’s not the first time AOC, a known gamer, has used Twitch for politics. She was a guest on a Twitch stream in 2019 to raise money for supporting gender diverse and transgender children.

Other politicians have used video games as a way to connect with young people as well, such as Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders using Twitch, or the Biden campaign building a virtual island in the game Animal Crossing, which players can visit and learn more about the candidate and get voting information.

These experiments with gaming are the latest in a long line of politicians using new mediums of communication to interact with the public. President Trump is routinely dominates Twitter and Facebook with his latest posts. The Obama campaign pioneered using social media to reach voters. John F Kennedy used his telegenic presence on TV to help defeat Richard Nixon in 1960, including during the first televised presidential debate, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his famous fireside chats broadcast over radio.

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