Last night Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, challenged US Democrat Ocasio-Cortez to a streamed game of Among Us. AOC agreed, and it’s on, tonight at 4 pm PT/7 pm ET. USA vs. Canada. Pick a side.
Over the last few decades, numerous events have sparked talk that pro wrestlers in the United States might finally unionize. In 1986, Jesse “The Body” Ventura tried and failed to start a wrestlers’ union before WrestleMania 2. More recently, the financial hit wrestlers took from the 2014 launch of the WWE Network streaming service got people buzzing about workers’ rights. So did last year’s grounding of a charter plane in Saudi Arabia due to what some wrestlers feared was a hostage situation stemming from a spat between WWE and the royal family. But, of all things, what might now get…
When many of us were kids, popping open a pack of Pokémon cards and flipping to a holographic Charizard meant bragging rights or a hypothetical hundred dollars if we chose to sell it on eBay (or, in my case, if an eBay-addicted aunt could pry the card from my cold, dead hands). But now those old cards and boxes are hard to come by, caked in dust, and in a few specific cases, worth thousands. On Twitch, obtaining them has become a popular pastime.
It’s been a long month for Twitch streamers, who’ve spent the past 30 days weathering an ongoing DMCA storm with few signs of reprieve. Today, CD Projekt Red announced that it’s added a new mode to Cyberpunk 2077 with this show-stopping dilemma in mind.
The latter portion of Twitch’s 2020 has been characterized by two seismic shifts: a big push to make money off ads and deals, and creator-unfriendly capitulation to the music industry. The company’s latest announcement, a deal with music label Monstercat that allows streamers to purchase affiliate status instead of earning it, combines both.
Its location, size, and Pokimane pizza lines have varied, but since 2015, Twitch has hosted some form of convention every year. 2020 is not like other years, to put it mildly. Of all activities people could choose to perform in our pandemic-stricken nation right now, conventions might actually be the most out of the question. So over the weekend, Twitch put on GlitchCon, an entirely digital convention. However, this celebration of Twitch streamers and culture felt, at times, as though it was taking place in another world—one where Twitch is what it (and advertisers) want it to be, and not…
Twitch’s past three weeks have been bleak, to say the least. Late last month, the company abruptly purged thousands of streamers’ videos and advised them to delete all remaining clips in advance of a massive music industry DMCA crackdown—one it had known about for months, but failed to adequately warn streamers about until it developed rudimentary tools to aid them in deleting their entire histories. Today, Twitch published a lengthy apology letter, but it did little to quell fury that’s once again at a boiling point due to copyright claims and muted VODs stemming from in-game sound effects and clips…
Giving money to streamers can be weird. It makes sense when a streamer is a scrappy up-and-comer for whom even a few coins in the cup can make a difference, but we live in an era in which big streamers are millionaires with exclusive contracts and brand deals. While popular streamers have expressed awareness of this power differential in the past, Imane “Pokimane” Anys is doing something about it.
Tuning into Byron “Reckful” Bernstein’s recent daily Twitch streams, you wouldn’t immediately suspect something’s amiss. He’s front and center, playing World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, League of Legends, or any number of other games. Fans frequently make playful remarks, use emotes, and laugh at or with him. But the illusion doesn’t last long, nor is it meant to. “Rest in peace, Reckful,” reads each day’s stream title. Chat messages shuffle by like mourners paying respects at a funeral. “Why did he have to die?” asks one. Nobody answers. They’ve all been asking the same question for months.
For perhaps as long as Twitch has existed, there has been a myth: On exceedingly rare occasions, if the stars align perfectly, the ever-popular “Kappa” chat emote will turn gold. Some have suggested that a single Twitch user receives golden Kappa abilities every 24 hours. Others believe you have to fulfill highly specific prerequisites in order to unlock it. Yesterday, out of the blue, Twitch gave it to everybody. Twitch streamers and viewers, in turn, did not give a shit, because they were too busy recovering from the DMCApocalypse.
The saga of the United States military’s attempts to recruit young people by streaming on Twitch is full of twists and turns. Over the summer, the Army and Navy’s Twitch channels were flooded with messages about America’s copious war crimes, questions that almost always resulted in bans. But since these bans arguably straddled the line of free speech violations, the Navy is asking its streamers to adopt a different tactic when viewers bring up the military’s past atrocities: act like complete fucking babies about it.
It began on Monday with a simple question: “Anyone want to play Among Us with me on Twitch to get out the vote?” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked on Twitter, and nearly every even vaguely left-leaning streamer on Twitch answered. Mere hours later, AOC had a verified Twitch channel with hundreds of thousands of followers. Tuesday night, she streamed with some of Twitch’s biggest stars, resulting in a raucous audience that topped out at around 439,000 concurrent viewers on her channel alone.
It’s finally happening: Twitch is cracking down in a big way on the use of copyrighted music in streams. Today, hundreds of streamers received emails from the company stating that videos or clips in their back catalogues had run afoul of copyright rules, resulting in deletion. This, it seems, is just the beginning.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be streaming Among Us live on Twitch tonight at 9pm, alongside HasanAbi and Pokimane, on her new channel.
It’s not uncommon for horror games to take off on Twitch. Usually they’re flashes in the pan: The janky P.T.-alike du jour grabs eyeballs for a few days and then quickly descends back into the poorly-lit pits of obscurity. Phasmophobia is different. Sure, it’s inspired by P.T., and yes, it’s janky as all get out, but it’s been a major player on Twitch for the better part of a month, and over the weekend, it became one of the five most-played games on all of Steam.
A YouTuber named Big Secret recently uploaded a video to his channel chronicling his adventures in building and using a contraption that sprays him with fake blood every time he gets hit in Dark Souls 3. I’m both fascinated and repulsed.
In a new report by GamesIndustry.biz, current and former Twitch employees recount issues of racism, sexism, and assault at the company that they say were never properly dealt with and often even enabled by a white bro tech startup culture.
Fact: No chat user in the history of Twitch has ever believed they were justly banned. But generally speaking, a streamer or moderator did, in fact, ban them for a reason. Despite this, Twitch has introduced a new feature that allows viewers to appeal their bans and get a new lease on their life of hurling obscenities or slurs in chat. Streamers are, predictably, not exactly enamored with the feature.
Earlier this month, Twitch temporarily suspended a channel called Patriots’ Soapbox. The channel is not enormous, generally pulling 20-50 concurrent viewers over the course of its 24/7 talk show-style streams, sometimes spiking into the 100 range. But Patriots’ Soapbox is notorious: Some credit the organization behind it, which has bases of operation on many different platforms including YouTube and Discord, with having helped start the now-infamous QAnon conspiracy movement, while others acknowledge that it has at least been a key part of QAnon’s evolution and popularization. Twitch’s structure has so far kept Patriots’ Soapbox small, but there are other, potentially…
With two new physical gaming consoles less than a month and a half away from release, Amazon announces Luna, a new paid game streaming service aimed at allowing subscribers to play PC games remotely on computers, phones, and tablets. It’s sort of like Stadia with a slightly better controller.