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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses mammoth Twitch debut to demand trans rights in front of 700,000 gamers

Emma Powys Maurice October 21, 2020
Among Us

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez playing 'Among Us' (Twitch/AOC)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made her Twitch debut playing Among Us last night in front of almost 700,000 gamers – and while she had their attention, she gave a huge shoutout for trans rights.

The congresswoman instantly became one of Twitch’s biggest broadcasters after she shared a live stream of herself playing the hit online game to drum up votes.

Some 440,000 people tuned in to watch the stream set up by Ocasio-Cortez, while another 200,000 followed separate broadcasts by Twitch celebrities Pokimane, Jacksepticeye, HasanAbi and Moistcr1tikal, who beamed aboard the alien spaceship along with Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

Midway through the stream they were joined by another familiar face: the gamer Harry Brewis, aka Hbomberguy, whose Donkey Kong livestream raised more than $340,000 for the trans charity Mermaids last year.

“Trans rights!” Ocasio-Cortez yelled into the mic as she saw his name pop up on screen.

The words sent ripples across the internet, giving the broadcast an extra boost and putting it among Twitch’s top 20 biggest streams of all time.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t join Twitch for clout.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s gameplay had a purpose beyond simple, virtual murderous betrayal.

It was an innovative use of a broadcast platform watched by nearly 40 million people in the US each month, and an important opportunity to engage with the 18-30 demographic, who tend to see politicians as older, less tech-savvy and less relatable.

Before starting the stream Ocasio-Cortez urged the predominantly young audience to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

“We are here to vote blue,” she declared. “We have the ability to vote Trump out of office, to vote for a Biden-Kamala ticket. Let’s make sure we change this country.”

As the game went on she raised the issue of voter suppression and encouraged viewers to make voting plans ahead of time.

Biden has tried a similar route to young voters’ hearts, with his campaign launching a “Biden island” on Animal Crossing where players can talk to a digital avatar of the Democratic nominee.

On Biden HQ players can visit the candidate’s field office, where they’re prompted to help the campaign’s textbank and phonebank, as well as a polling station where they’re encouraged to vote in real life.

More: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Among Us, aoc, Democratic campaign, twitch

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