By Nathan Lederman
BU News Service
With the federal election on Nov. 3, drawing closer U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted a live stream Tuesday night on Twitch, playing the popular game Among Us to help encourage people to vote.
The stream, which lasted around three and a half hours, saw the congresswoman play 10 sessions of the game alongside popular Twitch streamers HasanAbi and Pokimane, as well as fellow U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar and her daughter Isra.
During the stream, Cortez put a spotlight on Iwillvote.com and encouraged viewers to register and make voting plans for themselves to ensure that they are able to vote as soon as possible.
“It’s so important that each and every one of us turn out to vote,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “If you can’t vote, ask your family, ask your parents, ask your cousins. Ask everyone you know that can vote what their voting plan is.”
On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about Among Us and suggested she would want to play on Twitch. In a little over 24 hours, the congresswoman had streaming equipment shipped and delivered to her apartment to prepare for her first-ever Twitch stream and had some of the platform’s well-known streamers, such as HasanAbi and Pokimane, reaching out to play.
Ocasio-Cortez’s first Twitch stream saw about 300,000 people watching at any given time over the course of the congresswoman’s 10 game sessions, and reached up to 400,000 viewers at one point.
Among Us, an online multiplayer game which initially released in June 2018, has seen a major resurgence in recent weeks propelled by Twitch streamers picking up the game. The premise sees up to 10 players on a map together with secretly assigned roles.
While most are assigned to be crewmates and given miscellaneous tasks to complete throughout the map, some are given imposter roles and are tasked with eliminating all other players from the game. Periodically, either by request or once a body is found, a voting session will ensue in which players try to convince each other who they believe the imposters are so they can be voted off the map and stopped from killing the majority of the crew.
At the start of the stream Ocasio-Cortez said that she hoped she wouldn’t be assigned imposter right off the bat. However, the congresswoman was given the role of imposter during her first game of the night.
“I really, really, really hope that I don’t get imposter first,” Cortez said. “Knowing my luck, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen, but we’ll see.”
While she did not end up winning her first game, a fellow player commented how it had felt like an honor to be killed by the congresswoman.
Throughout the night Cortez not only stressed her wish for viewers to vote Donald Trump out of office, but also addressed what she perceives as a need to vote in progressive candidates to pressure the Democratic party.
“Democrats need to step it up too, and we need to make sure that we’re fighting for a living wage, health care as a human right, [and] robust climate action in the form of a green New Deal,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The congresswoman encouraged viewers to vote for the Biden-Harris presidential ticket and for New Yorkers to vote for the Democratic ticket on the Working Families Party line to be able to help support progressive candidates.
By the end of the night Ocasio-Cortez said that she had played longer than anticipated due to having “a blast,” and thanked viewers for their positivity throughout the night.
“I’m so thrilled, you know, watching you all in chat was so amazing, the positivity was really great. So I’m hoping I can do this again soon,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Have an awesome night, make your plan to vote, and let’s go take back our democracy.”