Then came the gamers. Imane “Pokimane” Anys replied, “it’d be an honor” with crying and prayer hands emojis. Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo wrote he would “offer myself as tribute.” Fortnite star Ali “Myth” Kabbani proposed to “do wires together.” Esports got in there, too, with FaZe Clan inviting AOC to an Among Us tournament and the Overwatch League team Washington Justice offering to help “rep DC.” Some big names, including Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Turner “Tfue” Tenney, were notably absent.Ocasio-Cortez is far from the first politician to go where the gamers are. Bernie Sanders’ fireside chat on Covid brought over 50,000 viewers to his channel in March. Twitch temporarily banned Donald Trump’s channel, launched late last year, for violating policies against “hateful content.” Joe Biden’s campaign has one, too, with a bafflingly low 2,500 followers.
But other politicians’ Twitch streams are, for the most part, chats, rallies, or if you’re the Biden campaign, lo-fi train footage. Ocasio-Cortez games. And fellow first-term congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who created her own Twitch channel, joined her, her Twitch icon a stoic Gundam. By the time Ocasio-Cortez went live at 9 pm ET Tuesday night, over 260,000 people had hit “Follow” on her Twitch channel. Twenty minutes before she signed on, 50,000 viewers sat in wait, filling her chat with encouragement and emotes.