Seven months into the pandemic, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is officially on Twitch.
The New York representative played the online game “Among Us” on the live streaming platform with Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar and several famous streamers Tuesday night as a way to encourage voting.
“Vote early,” Ocasio-Cortez said between rounds. “Make sure you register to vote ... I’m so excited for this upcoming election. We can come together, and we can overcome the polls, get things back on track.”
Underneath the video stream, she linked to the voter registration site iwillvote.com.
“Among Us,” a wildly popular multiplayer game where groups deduce who is the “imposter” between them, skyrocketed to fame in recent months amid the pandemic. AOC’s “Among Us” debut marks the politician’s latest effort to meet young people where they are and spread her message.
More than 400,000 users joined the three-hour-long stream where Ocasio-Cortez battled Imane “Pokimane” Anys, Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker, Valkyrae, and YouTuber Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Yang, among others. Omar’s daughter, Isra Hirsi, even joined in on the fun.
In several rounds of the multiplayer game, “crewmates” meandered around an alien spaceship while fleeing the “imposter” trying to kill them.
An “Among Us” novice, Ocasio-Cortez navigated the rooms as a pink character in a plant hat and then a white character with a snorkel. She assumed the role of imposter in her first game and slashed other players in the medbay and storage room.
“I can’t believe I have to kill people in this,” she said.
In true AOC fashion, she repeatedly questioned the ship’s design and energy source (which is not Green New Deal-friendly).
“I still can’t get over that this ship runs on fossil fuels,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Candles on a ship that runs on a combustion engine? Now that is sus.”
She used breaks in play to critique the US health care system and drug prices.
“Imagine showing up to the doctor and saying you need help and getting it without having to take out your credit card,” she said. “One of the reasons it’s so politically difficult in the US to advocate for something like that is because people don’t even believe it’s possible.”
Tuesday’s stream is far from Ocasio-Cortez’s first social media venture. Constituents often engage with her candid Q&As on Instagram Live and her story (@aoc). But her Twitch stream performed especially well with more than 430,000 viewers at its peak — close to the platform’s all-time record. (Ninja’s 2018 Fortnite stream with rappers Drake and Travis Scott tops the watch list at over 600,000 concurrent viewers.)
“Watching AOC” also trended on Twitter Tuesday night.
Ocasio-Cortez expressed interest in Twitch in a tweet Monday afternoon, garnering responses from throngs of big-name streamers. Two hundred thousand Twitch users joined the stream before it even began around 9 p.m.
AOC’s Twitch appearance follows in the footsteps of other prominent politicians like President Donald Trump’s campaign and Bernie Sanders, who started broadcasting during the first Democratic debate. The Biden campaign recently upped its video game engagement as well with a new “Animal Crossing” island.
Ocasio-Cortez ended the night by asking viewers to “participate in this election and save our democracy."
Watching AOC stream among us is giving me the serotonin I needed for the day— SonicFox (@SonicFox) October 21, 2020