Twitch Streamers Protest Amazon Prime Day By Going Offline

Amazon workers around the world are striking July 15 and 16 – the dates of the company’s Prime Day promotion – to protest poor working conditions, and some Twitch streamers are logging off in solidarity. Twitch is owned by Amazon, along with companies such as Audible, Comixology, IMDb, and Whole Foods, and protestors are calling on people to boycott all of them during the sales event.

The protests were sparked by the allegedly unfair working conditions at Amazon’s warehouses, which have been widely reported. Workers have complained that they’re made to work long hours in hot, sometimes dangerous conditions without breaks for low pay. One undercover journalist reported that workers sometimes urinated in bottles at their work stations because they weren’t able to take bathroom breaks. Workers in Minnesota, where one of the largest U.S. strikes is being held, have argued that Muslim workers are given unfair workloads while fasting during Ramadan and say that Prime Day’s expanded one-day shipping options this year put more pressure on already overworked employees. In addition to working conditions, employees are protesting Amazon’s ties with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. A 2018 report found that Amazon technology powers some of the key technology behind ICE, including facial recognition software.

Related: Why Terry Crews Prefers Caffeine Streaming To Twitch

None of that is directly tied to Twitch, but streamers joining the boycott say that using any of Amazon’s services in spite of the strike is tantamount to crossing a picket line. The boycott is primarily being organized through Twitter, using the hashtags #AmazonStrike, #PrimeDayStrike, and #NoTwitchScabs. Streamers large and small are joining in, both canceling their regular streams for Monday and Tuesday and urging others to do the same. Waypoint’s Patrick Klepek and Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta are among the more well-known streamers publicly supporting the boycott, which also calls on users not to watch any streams for the next two days.

Of course, only a small part of Twitch’s streaming population is participating in the boycott. Twitch is hosting a special stream called Twitch Sells Out to promote Prime Day with dozens of streamers taking part, not to mention the thousands of other users who don’t know about the strike at all or are choosing not to support it. In a Reddit thread about the boycott, some users raised questions about streamers whose livelihoods could be affected by taking two days off, while others mocked or criticized the idea, saying that it won’t matter to Amazon in the long run.

As streamer ThePedanticRomantic points out, though, the boycott isn’t meant to bring down Amazon, but to show workers that people are listening to their grievances and organize like-minded people. Jeff Bezos may not care if some streamers take the day off, but the protestors likely will.

Next: Bernie Sanders Will Be The First Presidential Candidate Twitch Streamer

Source: Patrick Klepek/Twitter, Gary Whitta/Twitter, Reddit

2019-07-15 01:07:23

Bryan Lawver

Nintendo & Twitch Team Up To Bring Switch Online To Prime Members

Twitch Prime and Nintendo are partnering up to offer Twitch Prime members up to a full year of Nintendo Switch Online’s services, including access to the platform’s collection of classic NES games with added online play. Twitch Prime has been aggressively expanding its offerings over the past year, adding a focus on its lineup of free game offerings alongside skins and other add-ons for popular multiplayer titles.

Twitch Prime offered members over 70 free PC games during 2018, as well as in-game loot in 20 popular games including Overwatch. Twitch Prime is a popular service that offers more than just video game access, thanks to a partnership with Amazon that also offers free-day delivery of items and access to Prime Video, Amazon’s streaming platform that features many exclusive and popular television series. Twitch Prime plays a major role in supporting the streaming industry as well, as the subscription offers users one free sub they can use each month to support their favorite content creator.

Related: Xbox & Nintendo Are Working On “Big Things” Together – But What?

Starting yesterday, Twitch Prime members can now claim three months of Nintendo Switch Online by visiting this link. After 60 days, members can go back to the link and claim another nine months of Nintendo Switch Online, which amounts to the full year being advertised by the partnership. Twitch Prime members have until September 24, 2019 to claim their three months, and January 22, 2020 to claim the additional nine that will extend the service. The only catch is that interested parties will need to link a credit card or PayPal information to their Nintendo account to access the service through the partnership. Screen Rant confirmed this through Nintendo PR, who released this statement:

You’ll be required to link your Twitch and Nintendo accounts. After that, for users age 18+ in certain countries, register a credit card or link a PayPal account on the Nintendo website. Finally, you’ll be able to redeem your Nintendo Switch Online membership on your Nintendo Switch.

It’s nothing out of the ordinary for deals that offer free access to subscriptions, as having payment information saved to an account means it’s easier for consumers to resub should they be on the fence about continuing their time with the service past the free trial period. Those Prime members with a Nintendo Switch Online account won’t be left out of the offer, as they’ll be able to claim an additional twelve months onto whatever time they already had remaining on their subscription.

On the surface, this move makes a lot of sense. Nintendo has often struggled to attract people to its online services after ignoring them for so long, only developing a serviceable platform over the last few years thanks to the Nintendo Switch. For Twitch Prime, it’s just another addition to an already long list of incentives for people to consider the subscription service. Honestly, Nintendo Switch Online isn’t a big get for something already as alluring as Twitch Prime, but for Nintendo, the partnership could mean the world as the company continues to try to develop its online presence.

More: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Appearance On Twitch Is Even Bigger Than You Think

2019-03-29 10:03:14

Cody Gravelle

Twitch’s Squad Stream Gives Creators More Reason To Collaborate

Twitch unveiled a new Squad Stream feature yesterday that will give its content creators a new way to collaborate with each other, with a particular emphasis being placed on supporting smaller streamers. Twitch has been steadily rolling out updates with the intent to make content creators’ lives a little easier, with Squad Stream being the latest and most robust update.

Twitch Squad Stream couldn’t come at a better time for the community, which has been bolstered by two genres that thrive on the ability to share screens without cannibalizing viewership. Battle royale games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are driving forces for viewership and, previously, popular creators giving attention to smaller streamers was difficult since it was tough to do on both channels, which typically meant the more popular figure remained the focal point of the experience. Grand Theft Auto V roleplay has also become a major factor in Twitch, and it has quickly become a popular collaborative title for famous streaming personalities.

Related: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Appearance On Twitch Is Even Bigger Than You Think

Twitch Squad Stream will make the lives of streamers looking to capitalize on any of the above a lot easier. The feature will let up to four Twitch streamers go live simultaneously in one window, which will both make it easier for viewers to watch whatever is happening from four different perspectives while also giving better methods to content creators who want to both host and showcase smaller streams. Squad Stream is a natural extension of the already existing discoverability features that are baked in to Twitch, like raiding and hosting. Hubert Thieblot, Twitch’s vice president, released a statement about the feature:

Creators can join forces right from the dashboard, stream content they wouldn’t normally stream, and grow their communities all at the same time. Viewers get more angles on the action, a way to support more of their favorite streamers with ease, and a chance to chat with several great communities at once—or join a new one.”

The feature is being advertised by Twitch as useful beyond just the mainstream sectionsthink League of Legendsand the battle royale genre it seems tailor-made for. Apparently,  Twitch envisions Twitch Squad Stream as something that can work with tabletop streams of Dungeons & Dragons and speedrunning sessions, the latter of which has become much more popular in the wake of the GamesDoneQuick charity streams that occur twice yearly.

While the notion that Twitch Squad Stream will support smaller creators better is a nice one, it remains to be seen whether that will actually be the case. The feature is currently only available to Partners, though, who represent the platform’s top-tier creators. Twitch Affiliates will follow, but Squad Streams might become yet another tool for the already entrenched Twitch streamers to maintain their viewership while also collaborating with other massive streams instead. Naturally, we’d like to see more creators given chances, but that’s not always how the business works. We’ll see how it plays out but for now, cautious optimism about a feature that could represent a major shift in how we view streaming seems to be the community’s initial response.

More: Fortnite Streamer Charged With Assault Was Allowed to Twitch Stream Again

Source: Twitch Blog

2019-03-28 08:03:13

Cody Gravelle

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Appearance On Twitch Is Even Bigger Than You Think

Donkey Kong 64 Header

United States Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked the gaming world when she appeared on a Twitch stream this past weekend. The politician unexpectedly called in to Harry “Hbomberguy” Brewis’ “Donkey Kong Nightmare Stream,” a marathon that was raising money for Mermaids, a UK-based gender-dysphoria charity. Her appearance may have just changed the way many view Twitch forever.

Brewis came up with the stream as a way to support Mermaids after the charity had been criticized by TV writer Graham Linehan, best known for The IT Crowd, a British comedy show that portrayed stereotypically nerdy computer technicians. Brewis believed it was unfair for Linehan to use his massive audience to, as he put it, “make sure some children won’t have access to helpful resources.” To combat that, Brewis came up with the marathon stream, which was ostensibly just about raising money while watching someone beat Donkey Kong 64, a game that Brewis had never finished as a child.

Related: Donkey Kong Country Games Ranked, From Worst to Best

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called in, however, the tone of the charity stream shifted slightly. Ocasio-Cortez called in and immediately made it clear she wasn’t necessarily there to watch the video game, stating that she had never owned an N64 before also suggesting it was probably the best console ever made. What she then proceeded to do was deliver a message regarding the discrimination that affects trans people, calling for increased conversation and visibility for trans rights.

On the surface, it looked like a politician with a background in video games seizing an opportunity for exposure, but the medium Ocasio-Cortez chose was important. As discussed in Ars Technica, the Congresswoman’s appearance on a Twitch stream launched the streaming service into previously unexplored territory. It marks the first politician to really acknowledge the power and reach that exists on the Twitch platform. Ocasio-Cortez calling in also shows that Twitch has evolved well beyond its video game roots and into something much more complicated.

The element that’s most striking about Brewis’ stream is that, while Ocasio-Cortez was on, the game-playing was an afterthought. What happened instead was people congregating in one online space and discussing a very real issue. While many of the people present were likely fans of the content Brewis produces regularly, that number swelled and most likely included a number of people who would never ordinarily try to find a stream of someone playing Donkey Kong 64. The game’s presence helped create a backdrop for an intense discussion that makes some uncomfortable or feel unsafe. That’s a big step for a platform like Twitch, and it’s possible that could be explored more in the future.

It also made one of the most important Congresswomen in recent memory more accessible for a moment. That’s something that can’t be understated, especially with the gaming community still divided on its stance on politics within games – even though the existence of those politics is about as indisputable as things get.

Ultimately, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appearing on Twitch might end up being forgotten as she focuses on bigger political issues and continues her growing legend within that discourse. What she’s called attention to, though, is that Twitch is much more than a gaming streaming service now. That’s a huge deal heading into a year that will see the platform become more ubiquitous than ever as more and more people migrate to it as a source of entertainment, comfort, and, apparently, community discussion and kinship.

More: Twitch Hit With Layoffs as Part Of ‘Aggressive Growth Strategy’

Source: Ars Technica

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2019-01-21 01:01:14

Dr DisRespect Stops Twitch Stream When Gunfire Strikes His House

Popular Twitch streamer Dr DisRespect abruptly ended his Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 stream today after someone fired shots at his home from a moving vehicle. He was beta-ing the franchise’s first battle royale mode, Blackout.

Guy Beahm is the man behind the mulleted, abrasive streaming personality whose over-the-top entertainment antics have made him one of the most popular figures on the platform. Styled as more of a WWE type figure rather than a straightforward professional gamer, the self-titled “Face of Twitch” has over two million followers and attracted over 300,000 concurrent viewers when he made a return to streaming in February of 2018 after a two-month break. He originally took the time off to work on his marriage after he publicly admitted to cheating on his wife. The two reportedly resolved their issues and remained together raising their young daughter.

Related: The ‘Face of Twitch’ Cries Meeting Fan During Stream

As reported by Kotaku, it was this family home that got hit by gunshots fired from a moving vehicle during Beahm’s anticipated Call of Duty Black Ops: 4 stream earlier in the day. According to reports he abruptly got up from the Twitch stream and returned without his trademark costume to announce that his home had been shot at and an upstairs window had been broken. He also claimed that the incident was the second in as many days and that the house had been shot at from a moving vehicle the previous day as well.

I’ve got to end the broadcast right now, someone shot at our house. Broke the f-cking upstairs window. This is the second shot, someone shot yesterday, at our f-cking house and someone shot again right now, connected with the house, upstairs.

While there’s no information about what could’ve motivated the shooting, if there were in fact back-to-back events yesterday and today, it seems unlikely this wasn’t some kind of targeted event. Online personalities have always invited trolling and stalking like every celebrity figure, but the aggression inherent in firing into someone’s home feels reminiscent of swatting incidents that have taken place over the past decade and a half. This incident also comes hot on the heels of the mass shooting at a Madden 19 tournament in Florida. The suspected shooter David Katz opened fire at the tournament after losing a game and shot and killed two fellow players, 22-year-old Elijah “Truboy” Clayton and Taylor “SpotMePlzz” Robertson, 28, before turning the gun on himself.

Aside from the gun violence that’s become almost second nature to American life, both events speak to an increasingly antagonistic relationship celebrities have with their audiences. Given the increased access streaming and social media platforms offer to fans and the oftentimes toxic communities that can spring up around that access, it’s tragic, but perhaps not surprising Beahm and his family find themselves literally under fire.

More: Black Ops 4: Blackout Private Beta Codes GIVEAWAY

Source: Kotaku

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2018-09-11 02:09:20 – Alexandra August

Twitch Will Stream Every Pokemon Episode & Movie Starting Next Week

Twitch announces that, starting next week, they are going to stream every single episode of Pokemon, as well as all of the movies. The Pokemon anime series first aired way back in 1997; over 1,000 episodes, as well as 16 movies and a hugely successful video game franchise, have been released since Ash overslept on the day he was supposed to collect his very first Pokemon.

Pokemon has enjoyed success across several platforms ever since Satoshi Tajiri came up with the idea for the franchise’s first two video games – Pokemon Blue and Pokemon Red. Now, 23 years since the first game was released, Twitch has decided to pay their respects to the franchise by streaming every Pokemon episode and movie as part of what they are calling their “biggest marathon yet.”

Related: Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us Getting Theatrical Release

On their official blog, Twitch revealed that the marathon will start airing over at twitchpresents/ at 10am PT on August 27. They’re planning on running the first 19 seasons of the show, as well as all 16 movies. The marathon will be accessible to people all over the world, as it will be streamed in six different languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese.

To make things even more interesting, Twitch has decided to add an interesting and unique feature to the marathon, which they have called, “Twitch Presents: Pokemon Badge Collector”. This feature invites the viewer to partake in a competition, in which the objective is to catch as many on-screen Pokemon as possible. In order to stand a chance, viewers will have to tune in to as much of the marathon as possible, as there will definitely be some dedicated fans out there trying their luck at becoming a Pokemon Master. Twitch has also announced that there may be a few rare Pokemon up for grabs, too – but they should be pretty easy to catch, if you know what you’re doing.

Each week will feature a run of episodes airing from Monday to Thursday, which will run again each Friday and Saturday for anybody who missed out. Every Sunday, Twitch will stream one of the 16 movies at 10am PT. Twitch plans to run this marathon for a gargantuan 10 months, which Pokemon fans all over the world will be delighted to hear. Also, don’t forget that the developers of Pokemon: GO! are working on an animated Netflix series, and that the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie is set to release in 2019.

If you’re interested in watching the marathon, or partaking in the Pokemon Badge Collector tournament, tune in from August 27 at 10am PT, and prepare for 10 months of Pokemania!

More: You Won’t Believe How Much Money Pokémon GO Has Made

Source: Twitch

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