The Amazon.com-owned video game streaming site will mark National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, with broadcasts touting real-life civic activity.
Twitch, best known for broadcasting people playing video games, plans to showcase something a little different on Tuesday, Sept. 26: a civics lesson.
A slate of broadcasters on the Amazon.com-owned streaming site plan to host interviews and other appeals for people to register to vote. The event, a partnership with voting technology nonprofit Democracy Works, marks National Voter Registration Day.
The virtual pipes of San Francisco-based Twitch beam videos of everything from competitive “Call of Duty” matches to people eating and offering their commentary on all sort of daily activities.
Its core viewers skew male and young, a cohort that tends to be unplugged from cable bundles and traditional media and, consequently, harder for politicians to reach.
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Piloting Tuesday’s effort is Brian Petrocelli, a marketing manager at Twitch who dates his soft spot for politics to a stint in a YMCA program that simulated all arms of government and civic society. For the last year, he’s led Twitch’s nascent civic engagement group.
That work started during the 2016 election, after a nudge from Twitch’s Seattle parent.
Democratic and Republican organizers approached Amazon, asking if the company would be interested in streaming each party’s national convention proceedings. Amazon referred them to Twitch, which agreed to broadcast both.
Guests scheduled to appear on Tuesday’s voter registration streams include representatives of civics groups, gaming industry veterans (and the industry’s main trade group), and a former White House speechwriter.
“As a person who loves gaming and politics, it’s been amazing to find out I’m not alone,” Petrocelli said. “There are a ton of people who are interested in this space of gaming and politics.”