Twitch Streaming Provides Entertainment, Bonding

While many new hobbies and passions have been found during the pandemic, 1 that truly increased in popularity is watching live streams. Streamers are people who live broadcast themselves doing an activity, like playing video games or telling stories, to viewers on a platform. The biggest live streaming platform currently is Twitch.

One feature of Twitch is a live commenting section called chat that allows viewers to communicate with others and with the creator in real time.

Sophomore Bettina Curletto has been streaming on Twitch since the beginning of the pandemic. “When I 1st started streaming when the pandemic hit, I was surprised how hard it was to talk to yourself for hours on end [during streams]. Luckily I was able to get my friends in chat and focus on the game [that was being played on stream],” said Curletto.

Sophomore Lara Heber discovered Twitch through her favorite YouTube creators and has been watching Twitch streamers since the summer of 2020. “I like the platform because it gives you an opportunity to interact with your favorite content creators live, as well as with other people who also enjoy their content. Almost all of the chats are overwhelmingly positive and supportive.”

Heber enjoys the different kinds of Twitch community bonding. “I often see people come out as LGBTQ+ in chat and receive overwhelming support from other viewers as well as from the streamers themselves, but I also see people making connections in smaller streams with each other. In larger streams, with 300,000 viewers instead of 100, it’s nice to be part of a larger community, where you’re able to chat without feeling anxious or self conscious about who’s talking since everyone is,” said Heber,

The platform has allowed students to find social outlets, whether as a streamer or as a viewer. “It’s become a community as more people join and find common interests with others,” said Heber.

Curletto said, “Since it is live, it gives room for interaction with chat and is able to help people who are normally at home all day have connection with other people, even if it is just online.”