The election is around the corner. On Tuesday, US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hoped to use video games to inspire people to vote — and it probably worked. The New York Democrat also known as AOC streamed Among Us, one of the most popular online games, on Twitch alongside streamers Pokimane and Hasanabi.
The stream peaked at 439,000 views, making it the third-highest-viewed single stream in Twitch history. The all-time record is Ninja’s, when he. Viewership ranged from 300,000 to 400,000 for most of the stream.
It began at around 8:40 p.m. ET, before the advertised 9 p.m. kickoff. Ocasio-Cortez took that time to encourage viewers to vote and, if possible, to do so before Election Day on Nov. 3. As the games started, Ocasio-Cortez, Pokimane and Hasanabi were joined by US Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat and member of The Squad.
By the time Ocasio-Cortez logged off, she’d been streaming for three-and-a-half hours.
Among Us is a social deduction game, basically an online version of the party game Mafia. Set on a spaceship, one or two players are “imposters” attempting to sabotage a team of crewmates trying to do their tasks and figure out who the imposters are. In 2020, it’s soared in popularity to become one of the most played games on online streaming site Twitch. Right now more people are watching Among Us on Twitch than any other game, including perennial favorite Fortnite.
Outside of repeated appeals to vote, the stream was light on politics. Ocasio-Cortez joked at the beginning that it’s OK for people to call her AOC — except for Vice President Mike Pence. Later, she had British streamers explain the joys of the NHS, the UK’s publicly funded health care system. But most of the video game stream was just that — a video game stream.
The Twitch exploit all started Monday with a tweet from Ocasio-Cortez.
“Anyone want to play Among Us with me on Twitch to get out the vote?” the congresswoman asked on Twitter. She hasn’t played the game before, she added.
After asking who she should stream with, hordes of popular streamers raised their hands in response.
Ocasio-Cortez launched her Twitch channel and, in a single day, garnered 289,000 followers. By the end of her stream she had amassed 422,000. She already surged past other high-profile politicians, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump, who are already established on the platform. Sanders has 158,000 followers and Trump has 143,000.
Considering Ocasio-Cortez has publicly declared her(she has a and has dropped in on ) it’s surprising that she’s taken this long to launch a Twitch channel. This could be the first of many streams and could inspire more politicians to jump onboard. Omar has already followed suit and launched her own channel.