Back in June, Vermont senator and candidate for president Bernie Sanders became the first politician to join Twitch, the live-streaming service largely used by gamers. Moving forward, Sanders and his campaign plan to continue using Twitch to spread his message. Recently, members of the Bernie Sanders campaign spoke about how important Twitch is to the success of his campaign, and also said that Sanders is a "gamer" because he "stands in solidarity" with game developers and video game players.
This comment was made by the Midwest Press Secretary for the Sanders campaign, Bill Neidhart. Neidhart spoke to The Verge about how Twitch is "incredibly valuable" to the Sanders campaign because it offers instant feedback in a way that's not really possible on social media platforms. "What does it mean to be a gamer? Bernie stands in solidarity with those who are developing games and players. Does that make him a gamer? I'd say so."
Josh Miller-Lewis, Director of Digital Communications for the Sanders campaign clarified that Sanders is not literally a gamer. "He's a gamer in the same way that he's a millenial," Miller-Lewis said, referencing Sanders' documented popularity with millenials, and his support for values and policies that seem to appeal to the younger generation of voters.
In regards to game developers, the Sanders campaign is referencing how Bernie pushed for the video game industry to unionize. Reports of crunch culture and toxic work environments have become more common over the past few years, as have mass layoffs despite companies making record profits. "The system has been rigged in favor of large corporations," Miller-Lewis said. "And the people who are actually doing the work aren't really getting a share of the profits."
Twitch isn't the only way that the Bernie Sanders campaign is attempting to get the support of gamers and the gaming community in general. After the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, President Donald Trump blamed video games and the Internet. Sanders was quick to defend video games and the Internet against Trump's comments, showing clear support for the industry.
Whether or not these efforts will translate into Sanders winning the Democratic nomination to actually run against Trump in 2020 remains to be seen, but Bernie fans can expect to see him continue to use Twitch in the future.
Source: The Verge
Image Source: Gage Skidmore