The internet is real life, but the place where the internet meets real life is still messy as hell. TwitchCon, which was held at San Diego's convention center this year — the same place where the biggest comic con in America happens every year — is the site of one of those collisions, where IRL meets URL. I just got back from the convention floor, which was a riot of people of different ages, abilities, and ethnicities. (The brands were there, too.) It looked, in other words, like Twitch: live, a little dorky, and totally enthusiastic. Historically, TwitchCon has functioned mainly as an excuse for people to see each other and for fans to meet their favorite personalities in person. The vibe is very family reunion: convivial, but also a little awkward. There's a tension between the parasocial relationships that streaming is built on and who those streamers are in person, off-camera. Twitch's partnered streamers have to navigate those choppy waters because connecting with their audience is how they make money. (Although it should be said that most partners have day jobs.) Perhaps fearing the worst, Twitch offered partners the opportunity to take a class on personal safety during the… Read full this story
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