Hello everybody, I’m Zainabb and welcome to Get Your Game On! This week we have wholesome and not-so-wholesome Twitch streams, among other gaming news. Meanwhile, I have been trying to spend most of my downtime this spooky season watching spooky films, with middling success on actual spookiness, but it’s cosy and comforting nonetheless. Stay safe, stay comfy, and remember that massive lines to vote are a sign of (racist) voter suppression.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Streams Among Us, And Other Among Us News

On Tuesday 20th October, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez streamed Among Us to 435,000 viewers on Twitch, aiming to encourage people to vote in the upcoming US presidential elections. The politician was joined by fellow US House Representative Ilhan Omar and several popular streamers.

While Twitch viewers reached a peak of 435,000, thousands of others tuned into the stream via YouTube and Facebook, making it one of the most popular Twitch streams of all time. While Ocasio-Cortez regularly plays other games online, this was her first foray into the wildly popular deception-based game Among Us.

The stream showcases the innovative ways that younger politicians of colour are trying to reach young people and encourage their engagement with progressive politics. These politicians understand the popularity of video games because they are gamers themselves and, as Rob Fahey points out, their livestreams are helping to reject the long-held perception of video games as immoral and violent.

It’s refreshing to see politicians using Twitch in a genuine and positive way, particularly in the wake of the U.S. Army using Twitch as a channel for recruitment and propaganda. Ocasio-Cortez’s stream is also in stark contrast to a recent stream by Sacha Baron Cohen as his film character Borat to promote the release of upcoming sequel Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

The promotional stream featured Baron Cohen and popular streamer DrLupo mostly engaging in several skits rather than playing video games. The decision to make a Borat sequel has come under fire, given the character’s detrimental representation of Kazakh people, with the first film’s humour frequently punching down.

Finally, Among Us recently experienced a major hack by gamer and Trump supporter Eris Loris, who stated that he wanted to troll players. The hack spammed users’ text chat with links to Loris’ social media channels and ended with an encouragement to vote for Trump in the 2020 elections.

Among Us developers InnerSloth have since released an update to prevent similar hacks in future.

In Other News…

GameStop’s online store recently experienced a glitch that listed almost every product, including consoles, as free. The glitch was fixed after a couple of minutes and orders placed during this time have been cancelled.

The first Uncharted set photos have been released, featuring Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake. The Uncharted movie adaptation has featured several setbacks, including losing a spate of attached directors, but is now finally shooting, following COVID-19 safety protocols.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 faced more development complications as senior narrative designer Cara Ellison left developer Hardsuit Labs this week. The departure follows after the company fired lead writer Brian Mitsoda and creative director Ka’ai Cluney back in August, suggesting turmoil at the developer that has not yet been resolved.

Creative Director of Stadia’s Montreal Studio, Alex Hutchinson, tweeted that streamers “should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream.” Hutchinson was immediately criticised for a fundamental misunderstanding of who gets paid and how in the gaming and streaming communities.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will feature cross-platform progression, allowing users to use the same character and save files across different consoles and gaming platforms. The feature comes with Ubisoft’s revamped gaming interface, Ubisoft Connect, which launches on October 29th. Ubisoft’s cross-platform progression will be available to use with a handful of other games as well as selected future titles.

Dragonlance authors Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis are suing Wizards of the Coast for breach of contract after the Dungeons & Dragons publisher refused to approve further drafts of a new trilogy of novels by the authors. Hickman and Weis point out that the decision was made after Wizards of the Coast was criticised earlier in the year for racism and sexism in various unrelated publications and within the company.