Why it matters: AOC reached the third-highest Twitch streaming viewership record yesterday in an attempt to "get out the vote" ahead of the election in two weeks. The younger generation in the U.S. has notoriously low voter turnout, and Ocasio-Cortez aimed to lower that deficit by reaching out on their home turf.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the Representative of New York's 14th congressional district, is infamous for her "social media game." Many politicians lack to know-how or instinct the gather a following on Instagram or Twitter, while she has found much success connecting with America's younger generation.
AOC broke records yesterday in an Among Us stream, gathering 439,000 viewers at its peak - in her Twitch debut, no less. This was the third-highest viewership for an individual gamer, following Drake who has the most concurrent views with 600,000, playing Fortnight.
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
For those new to the game, Among Us is a game of deduction where players work together to repair a spaceship while one, the imposter, must kill their comrades without being caught.
While some viewers found this to be a simple play for the young vote, the stream received a resoundingly positive response on social media. Politicians reaching out to their constituents through media that relates to people on the ground is nothing new.
Right?! Finally having representation for people under the age of dinosaur - We might actually be able to turn it around.— Corey Allen (@CoreyAllen22) October 21, 2020
For the majority of the stream, Ocasio-Cortez was learning the rules, having fun with other streamers, and freaking out when given the role of "Imposter."
She used the time wisely, though, asking one UK gamer what he thought of the single-payer healthcare system, as well as taking jabs at Mike Pence and the Trump administration.
A trope from the older generation remains that a good politician is one "you can have a beer with." Perhaps what AOC displayed last night is that youth in America want one that will build the Death Star in Minecraft with you, or who can hold their own in Overwatch. It's doubtful that this is the last Twitch stream we see from a politician in the near future, but we'll see if they can bolster crowds like Ocasio-Cortez.