Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, already legendary for using tools like Instagram Stories to reach out to constituents and fans, added another arrow to her communications quiver on Tuesday night by hosting her first Twitch stream. Twitch is a service that lets users broadcast their gaming sessions along with a video chat, and at its peak about 430,000 users tuned in to watch AOC, several prominent streamers, and Rep. Ilhan Omar play Among Us. That’s the third-highest Twitch viewership in the platform’s history—Drake holds the No. 1 slot—and just the latest example of Ocasio-Cortez finding new ways to communicate with voters.
It wasn’t Ocasio-Cortez’s first Twitch appearance—last January she dropped by another user’s Donkey Kong 64 stream to help raise money for a charity that helps transgender children—but it was the first time she hosted her own stream. It started with a tweet she sent yesterday:
Ocasio-Cortez had never played Among Us before, much less streamed it, but with help from Twitch and its user community, she managed to get everything set up in a day. That’s despite the fact that, as she explained on the stream, Best Buy was sold out of most of the equipment she needed. Except for some minor audio issues early on—one user joined the audio chat without using headphones—the event ran smoothly.
Among Us was a smart choice for Ocasio-Cortez to play in her Twitch debut, because it depends on social interaction more than video game reflexes. It’s essentially a sci-fi version of a murder mystery dinner party: A group of players on a spaceship work together to repair the ship while determining which players are human and which are alien impostors. The alien impostors, meanwhile, stalk the ship trying to murder the human players without getting caught. Occasionally, the players convene in a voice chat to decide whom to eject from the air lock on suspicion of being an alien murderer. Ocasio-Cortez was one of the impostors in the very first round, and it took her less than a minute to transform from reluctant murderer to remorseless killer:
Rep. Ilhan Omar joined the stream as well, and posted a picture of the custom gaming PC she was playing on (as well as its specs).
The congresswomen played for nearly three hours, gleefully running around the halls of their spaceship murdering each other while encouraging the audience to make a voting plan at IWillVote.com. The full stream is available on Twitch.