For those who hate it when video games “get all political,” they’ve got two problems: firstly, they’re idiots, and secondly, it’s about to get much harder to avoid now that politicians are getting involved.
Last night democratic US Representative and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (often abbreviated to AOC) took to Twitch for the first time to play Among Us, the social stealth gaming fad, to an audience that peaked at 430,000 people. That makes it the third most popular stream in all of Twitch’s history, and helps cement AOC’s reputation as the politician of the current generation.
Among Us, for those who aren’t aware, is a multiplayer online game about being little bean-headed astronauts running around a spaceship trying to get it running. Only problem is, a couple of you are secret traitors out to murder and sabotage everything you see. The traitors have to pick everybody off before the players work out who’s evil and throw them out the airlock. Presumably it’s not wholly dissimilar to a visit to the White House, except in Among Us, evil is a minority.
It’s not a surprise move by AOC – the stream was announced in advance, and she’s well known for being a gamer in her spare time, famous for her love of League of Legends. And the response has been largely positive, which may raise the question: will politicians start flocking online to promote their Lets Play channels?
God, let’s hope not. AOC’s stream is perfectly charming, because A) it’s a real and provable passion of hers, and B) that passion is evident in her performance on screen. Yes, on some level this is probably a political move to appeal to a young audience, but it clearly derives from a hobby she cares about and understands, so why not merge the two thing? Play to your strengths and all that.
But watching flocks of old men blearily trying to bluff their way through Fortnite while clearly not caring about it in the least? Or stumbling through a copy of Animal Crossing that’s totally their own saved island, and wasn’t just handed to them by an intern moments before? No thank you. On so many levels, no thank you.