To help spur voters to the polls, most politicians conduct in-person canvassing or send mass emails. But Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken a novel approach: She asked her nine million Twitter followers to watch her play a video game.
“Anyone want to play Among Us with me on Twitch to get out the vote?” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, tweeted on Monday afternoon, referring to the popular livestreaming platform. She added that she had never played it “but it looks like a lot of fun.”
Among Us is a cartoony game in which players try to stay alive on an alien spaceship. In a nutshell: Players who are designated as “crewmates” must run around completing a set of tasks while trying to root out and avoid getting killed by other players who are acting as “impostors.”
The game was created in 2018 and has soared to popularity during the pandemic. Major streamers, YouTube stars and TikTok influencers now play it for millions of fans.
On Tuesday night, more than 300,000 users went online to watch Ms. Ocasio-Cortez play Among Us with a handful of popular streamers. It was another illustration of how Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has a degree of internet literacy that was not seen in Congress before she entered politics.
As Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s pink “aoc” avatar bounced around the spaceship, a video beneath the action showed the headphone-clad congresswoman smiling as she played — and occasionally gasping when her avatar ran into trouble.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez talked a little about politics — including health care and transgender rights — and the presidential election. She said that she planned to vote in person, rather than by mail, because she wanted her vote counted on Election Day.
“I’m so excited by this upcoming election,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez added a few minutes later. “We can overwhelm the polls, and we can get things back on track.”
For the most part, though, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was absorbed in the game itself, and the spaceship where her avatar was competing. At one point she observed that some of its features seemed anachronistic.
“What kind of futuristic spaceship still runs a combustion engine?” she asked. “I mean, really?”