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June 12, 2021
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is running an  Among Us  stream to drive voter turnout

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is running an Among Us stream to drive voter turnout

October 20, 2020 | By Bryant Francis

Among Us' furious ascent in popularity is now intersecting with the American November Election. New York House

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has announced a special stream taking place tonight where she and a number of popular streamers will play the paranoia-fueling space game in an effort to encourage voting.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez (herself a self-proclaimed League of Legends fan) floated the idea of this stream yesterday, gathering attention from streamers like Pokimane and Hasanabi. Today she confirmed that the pair would be among a host of streamers would be joining her during the event.

Voter turnout in the United States has long benefited from celebrities willing to dip their toes in the waters of politics, but has rarely intersected with the world of video games before.

Ocasio-Cortez's ascension to the house, and the popularity of modern YouTube streamers, mark a cultural shift on the impact of games and how they can interest voters.

The representative's game of choice also speaks to a sea change in how players are spending their time in online games. The popularity of Among Us continues to defy conventions about what it means to be a massively successful multiplayer game, and shows that players are interested in games that involve more social design than high-stakes combat.

This also isn't the first time video games have played a role in the 2020 election. The Biden-Harris campaign has rolled out a custom-made Animal Crossing island that players can visit, and multiple game-adjacent platforms like Discord, Twitch, and more are working to connect Americans to voting resources.

Multiple presidential candidates this year, including Bernie Sanders, Donald J. Trump, and Joe Biden, have also established a presence on Twitch.

The Among Us GOTV stream will start on October 20th at 9PM EST. You can watch it here.

Disclosure: When Representative Ocasio-Cortez put a call out on Twittter for folks to join her stream, I did reply with an offer to represent Gamasutra.

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