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.
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)
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 19, 2020
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.
Really the only take I have about how @aoc is engaging twitch is that she clearly understands the platform and its appeal. She’s not doing what we do in media: try to force outside product like a “show” or podcast into twitch. Twitch is an engagement platform first, not broadcast
— 👻Gene Park🎃 (@GenePark) October 19, 2020
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.
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.