News & Politics

AOC Broke Gamer Internet by Streaming on Twitch Last Night. But She’s Not the Only Political Gamer Out There.

Other politicians have created islands on Animal Crossing, played Candy Crush, and raced in Mario Kart.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photograph by Evy Mages

Last night, while non-gamers were snoozing (*slowly raises hand*), Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez live streamed herself on Twitch playing the online game Among Us (Congresswoman Ilhan Omar jumped in for a bit, too).

The gaming session was a way to connect with young constituents and get out the vote, yes, but it was also perhaps just a way for AOC to show up and pwn some n00bs. (Do people still say that?) The congresswoman has streamed on Twitch before and made a foray into the Nintendo game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but last night’s event was significantly successful: Over 400,000 people tuned in, making it one of Twitch’s most-viewed streams of all time.

 

While AOC broke gamer internet last night by chatting about healthcare with players via the space-themed game, she’s by no means the first politician to make a foray into the gaming field. We rounded up other figures who have been covered switching from the political battlefield to a virtual one:

Joe Biden

As part of his 2020 campaign, Biden’s team has created an island for the candidate on Animal Crossing. Called “Biden HQ,” the island is supposed to encourage gamers to volunteer with phone banking and to vote. And, yes, there is a Biden avatar that walks around and shouts “no malarkey!”

Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, and Donald Trump

Each of these politicians have used Twitch for campaign outreach (not together—but can you imagine?). Only Trump’s account, though, was suspended briefly for “hateful conduct.”

Jared Polis

The Colorado governor has been described as an avid League of Legends player, a game in which creatures in a fantasy world battle each other using magic, a description which could also pertain to Capitol Hill.

Doug Collins

The Georgia congressman played sports games like MLB the Show and Madden with his kids while they were growing up, but recently he’s more of a Candy Crush guy.

Suzan DelBene

Okay, so it seems the Washington congresswoman has only gamed a few times, and one of those times she got “creamed” in Mario Kart by a bunch of elementary-and-middle school-aged girls. Still counts!

Darrell Issa and Scott Peters

Former California congressman Issa and current California congressman Peters faced off at Comic-Con in 2017 to play Mario Kart. We couldn’t find any info on who was best at dodging banana skins, sadly.

Ted Cruz

“I don’t have a console, mostly as a time management tool,” the US Senator from Texas told the Daily Beast in 2017,  “because if I had one, I would use it far too much.”

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.

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