Right now, the biggest story on Twitch revolves around gaming. It came to a head over the weekend when former Team Liquid member ItsSliker admitted to scamming over $200,000 from his subscribers to fund his gambling addiction. Since then, things have only gotten worse, but it’s worth remembering how we got here. In July 2021, I reported on gaming streams when Adin Ross claimed to make $2 million a month from them, and flagged them as a much bigger problem than the hot tub and pet that were talking about Twitch around the same time. A year later, in July 2022, I wrote about them again as gaming streams went from ominous segments popular by a handful of streamers to truly meta. Gambling was the new trend. While the hot tub and fart metas were mostly innocuous (though not above criticism), game streams where creators suffer cuts and have captive, parasocial audiences have clear potential for harm. huge. It’s a relief that people are finally talking about it, but it’s also saying that this is the time when everyone is on deck.


Immediately after the ItsSilker story broke, streamers xQc, Ludwig, and Mizkif banded together to refund ItsSilker subscribers. ItsSilker had sold his fans, as well as other streamers, on the idea that he was suffering from various financial difficulties, but most of that money went to fuel his game. their money is great – that xQc is leading the charge is extremely ironic.

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xQc was the streamer who took the game from “a stream that people do sometimes” to “this is the current meta”, and while he didn’t directly rip off fans, he does help tighten the association between Twitch and gaming. It may not be borrowing money from its fans like ItsSilker did, but when most gambling sponsorship deals include a deal where the streamer gets a part of the losses of his fans that are paid directly to him by online casinos, it feels a bit like he is stealing. with additional steps. In May, xQc claimed that his fans lost $119 million gambling, which he called “not too bad” because the money “always comes back one way or another.” He also hinted that he had a gambling addiction himself, but was fine because he was wealthy, so he had no intention of quitting, getting help, or quitting. enter into sponsorship agreements. Ludwig, being more consistent, also spoke out against xQc’s reliance on streams at the time.

Pokimane, Devin Nash, and Mizkif also said they will be suspending their Twitch programs for a week to protest the game’s meta not being regulated (or allowed at all), which is a) awesome! and b) incredibly hypocritical. Earlier this year, many smaller independent streamers banded together for #ADayOffTwitch in response to hate raids, where streamers (often with smaller and minority audiences) were targeted by bots and trolls who spammed without stop hate messages. No larger streamers participated in this event – ​​in fact, when asked directly about it, Asmongold said there was no point in doing so when it was only small streamers involved. Now that this issue is affecting Twitch millionaires and leading to bad press for high-profile streamers, the stars are swinging.

Of course, being hypocritical is the name of the game. xQc called hot tub streams “trash” because they didn’t feature games, but gambling streams are similar in that respect, not to mention good more harmful. When I interviewed Neeko last week, she mentioned that she felt streamers often get involved in politics because of a trend rather than a belief system. Protesting the game so enthusiastically all of a sudden, after ignoring it or even actively participating for so long, feels like the train is on.

There’s also the fact that, like everything on Twitch, it’s already hijacked by jams, personal dramas, and recipes. TrainwrecksTV, disputing Mizkif’s reaction to game streams, claims it knows Mizkif “orchestrated the cover-ups [of sexual assault] for his friends’, which I hate to reduce to ‘personal drama’ when it’s actually a serious crime, but why does Trainswrecks only speak now, and why does it use it? he as part of a dispute over gambling instead of taking Ice_Poseidon also got involved, sharing DMs of Mizkif using both “faggot” and the n-word, neither of which was disputed at the time and which, again, feels more serious than ammunition in a gambling debate.

It’s good that game streams are finally being called – after writing them for over a year, it’s a relief to know that others think they’re a heinous part of the platform and end up by hurting fans, streamers and the entire platform. But it kinda feels like this issue conveniently happened to have it all planned out, and it’s not great to think that issues on Twitch will go unchecked until circumstances align perfectly for call them to become good press.

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