Twitch has announced that it plans to livestream the upcoming political conventions, giving people who are already fed up with the current election season and depressed by their political choices a whole new forum to confirm their worst fears about the future of America.
Amazon-owned Twitch is, of course, best known for its wildly successful service that lets people stream their video game exploits. But Twitch has been slowly adding other streaming topics, and politics is yet another departure from its core content.
Naturally, the goal is to make the world a better place.
“We see this as a public service,” the company wrote in a blog post. “It’s an opportunity for you to engage in the political process, and with each other, during this election year without leaving your native habitat, using the social and communication tools you know and love.”
Twitch argues that its community of gamers may have their noses buried so far in their gameplay that they tune out politics completely. Given the state of things, I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. But, Twitch thinks they ought to at least tune in for a bit of the dueling circus performances.
Or, as Twitch puts it: “For many of the millions of US voters who call Twitch home, Twitch is a primary source of community and entertainment. Many of you simply don’t watch TV or browse Facebook, for example. So, we’ve worked closely with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions to bring you the full coverage of both events right here on Twitch (Twitch Plays Politics?).”
So how will it improve the discourse?
First, it has new “emotes” that are emojis, except that they are called “emotes.” Viewers can tap one of these bad boys to express their opinions.
Second, and actually more intriguing, is the way Twitch is going to let people personalize the broadcast. And I’m not kidding here when I say it really is intriguing.
With the GOP convention, users can use Host Mode to essentially create a separate broadcast on their own Twitch channel for their own community discussion. Yes, it’s a bit of a silo, but hopefully it cuts down on the purposeful and sadistic trolling one would otherwise expect and allows for actual conversations.
For the Democratic National Convention, Twitch users will be able to also broadcast the stream and offer their own vocal commentary over the feed, rather than listening to some official commentator drone on.
In both cases, it seems like Twitch will give users a way to avoid listening to the stable of babbling cable news network idiots who, whether we’re talking about Fox, MSNBC, or CNN, are all a kind of pox upon humanity.
If Twitch can save me from their banality and muttonheadedness, then I’m in!