AOC plays “Among Us” in Twitch livestream

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“AOC” on her Twitch stream

In a voter outreach event on the evening of Oct. 20, U.S. Congress members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar played the newly revived video game “Among Us” on a Twitch livestream.

With close to half a million concurrent viewers, the event was a huge success. In the days following the stream, meme accounts across other social media platforms continued to share clips from the hours the two women spent playing.

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic U.S. representative from New York’s 14th congressional district, played for a total of three and a half hours. At the time of this article being written, the video uploaded to Twitch has reached 5.3 millions views.

Known for their unconventional ways of approaching politics, Ocasio-Cortez and Omar used the newfound popularity of the game to connect with young voters. The women know that traditional ways do not reach young people. 

The game works in a way where there is one “imposter” and the other “crewmates” have to work together to complete tasks, report deaths and vote out the imposter before everyone is killed. 

I’m voting early,” said Ocasio-Cortez when she and other crewmates discussed who the imposter was after a body was reported. This statement stayed true as to why she was streaming. 

“You guys can call me AOC. Mike Pence can’t call me AOC,” responded Ocasio-Cortez when another gamer asked if it was okay to refer to her by that name.

“Among Us” was released in 2018, but has recently started to gain a lot of attraction from young people. This is not the first time we are seeing a game take over social media. In March, people took a liking to the Nintendo Game “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”.

On Oct. 16, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign team created an island in “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” called “Biden’s HQ,” which features Biden-Harris yard signs, the Democratic nominee’s avatar and a polling center. The island is home to many parks, a replica of the White House and a campaign field office. 

With so many politicians embracing live streaming, it has become the latest medium of choice to connect with younger audiences. Given this focus, politicians are just one more type of influencer and they have to master these forms of communication to connect with future voters,” Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements told The Washington Post

Fellow democratic representative Omar, who serves Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, took to twitter to show off her impressive gaming setup for the livestream event with Ocasio-Cortez.

Many gamers commented on the post to express their jealousy, but Omar’s deputy communications director, Isi Baehr-Breen, confirmed the hardware belongs to him in a separate tweet promoting the event. 

My life will never get better than watching @IlhanMN win a video game while gaming on my PC,” tweeted Baehr-Breen. 

The success of the gaming event was clear and it showed the importance of connecting with young voters. According to The Guardian, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden had both held streaming events on Twitch in the past with each event only garnering 6,000 and 17,000, respectively.