Forget Ninja, your new favourite Twitch streamer is *checks notes* U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Well… that’s not something I saw coming, but sure.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound as if we can expect to see Sanders streaming Alien Isolation in his pants while he snacks on Doritos and Mountain Dew every Monday – instead, Recode reports that he’ll be using Twitch as a platform (alongside Facebook and YouTube), to stream live videos in which Sanders and his team will discuss his presidential campaign, and other current issues.
Josh Miller-Lewis, who runs the digital communications arm of Sanders’ campaign, told Recode:
We’re moving toward doing a lot more live content on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook, tapping into an audience where there’s not a lot of political content already.
I don’t know about the idea that there isn’t already political content out there on Facebook and YouTube. Certainly, an argument could made that political content based in actual objective fact doesn’t really thrive on either platform, but there are certainly plenty of “political” debates on my Facebook timeline, which is always a joy.
The idea is that Sander’s new platforms will provide commentary before and after each round of the Democratic candidate debates, while regular live shows are also planned when the debates are done. It’s certainly an interesting idea, though it remains to be seen if it will engage a hitherto-untapped vein of voters.
If Bernie really wants to pull in the voters, I think it’s obvious what he needs to do; stream games on Twitch. He can still provide commentary and updates on his presidential campaign, but if he does that while he’s playing Fortnite duos with DrLupo, he’ll engage an awful lot more people.
Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about the wasted potential of a Bernie Sanders Twitch account where he doesn’t play games. Imagine him showing us his stance on education and the economy via a 24 hour stream of Sim City, or demonstrating how he’d handle a demonic invasion of Earth by playing DOOM. I am very much into both of these ideas, and you should be too.
Then again, that would probably really upset the usual gang of gamers who like to put their fingers in their ears and scream about how politics don’t belong in games. Actually, let’s definitely hope Bernie does it then.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.