Monday, December 2, 2019

"Inside Twitch's Wildest Talk Show"

Cecilia D'Anastasio for Kotaku:
Speaking from inside adjacent squares, a la “The Brady Bunch,” Rajj Patel’s guests appear from across the world, together and live on camera to an average audience of 20,000, who prolifically spam emotes like Omegalul and KEKW, known also as the “Spanish laughing guy.” Looking at his fellow guests from his home monitor, WesBTW, a trollish character with a military-style buzz cut, makes a declaration in lieu of introducing himself: His compatriots are, in his words, “two angry soyboys,” “a handful of whos” and “four wannabe Amouranths who,” he says in cruder terms, aren’t brave enough to show more skin for clout.


It’s hard not to view these shows as exercises in online branding. In a recent Rajjchelorette, Austin tells the handsome politics streamer Hasan Piker that the “woman of your dreams is in this room,” as the cast preens themselves in the corner, or leans casually on their beds. One by one, they get eliminated, and when they are, they must reveal whether they chose in the beginning to go on a date or have their stream hosted by the contestant, which would boost their notoriety. The final woman remaining would get her wish—“love or host.” After four hours, Piker chooses the streamer and ex-pornstar Mia Malkova, who herself chose “love.” He reacts euphorically, and weeks later, live on another Twitch stream, meets Malkova in person at Twitchcon.
A recent episode: