Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has a Twitch channel, which seemingly launched today in advance of a planned rollout of live content. Just to reiterate: a 2020 Democratic candidate has a Twitch presence.
According to Vox's Recode, the Twitch channel is planning a series of "Bernie TV" live videos where Sanders and his staff will discuss the news and provide campaign updates. They're also planning a pre- and post-debate show for this Thursday's Democratic debates, which will feature 20 presidential hopefuls. The channel has no videos as of yet, though it is following one account: the Washington Post Twitch channel.
I've been bracing myself for what a 2020 race was going to look like, but of all the candidates to embrace online streaming and especially a gaming-oriented platform, I did not expect one to be Sanders. There's slim precedent for lawmakers getting involved in live-streams, though; fellow candidate Andrew Yang has had a Twitch channel for a while, and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosts live stream Q+A's and once called into a Donkey Kong 64 fundraising stream raising money for Mermaids, which supports transgender young folks.
The video game industry made $43 billion in revenue last year. The workers responsible for that profit deserve to collectively bargain as part of a union. I'm glad to see unions like @IATSE and the broader @GameWorkers movement organizing such workers. https://t.co/Ia5gMG2v0w- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 18, 2019
It seems like this Twitch channel will skew more towards formal content than any actual video game streaming. It makes sense that in 2019 and 2020, reaching the youth voter means reaching out on the platforms they live on, and Twitch is certainly a good place to do so. I cannot deny, however, my hopes that Sanders will at least make an attempt to play and commentate some games. I would love to see his live reactions to a game like Animal Crossing.
Thanks, Gene Park.