What does it mean to be authentic on Twitch? Who is real and who is fake on a platform on which everyone is a brand, but also a cornerstone of this brand is the appearance of down-to-earthness? This is the implicit question of the week on Twitch, all thanks to Imane “Pokimane” Anys.
At the beginning of the week, the superstar streamer released a room tour video in which, as expected, she guides viewers through her PC gaming setup and room. The video is very much the Anys brand: whimsical but polished to a flawless shine. The part of her room that appears during streams is decorated with all kinds of gaming and Twitch-related memorabilia, most of which adhere to a soft, purple color scheme. After that, her floors are immaculate, her bed is made, and her closets are organized. Even your cat’s scratching post looks brand new, which – as any cat owner in the world will tell you – is not a condition they will stay in for long.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s just a great facade. Anys moves around the room with light-hearted, self-deprecating humor and openly says why she’s doing this now.
“I try not to present too much, just for safety reasons – until I move,” says Anys in the video of the room tour. “And then I’ll do my room inspection. I’m moving in three days. Really, really excited. A little bit nervous.”
It’s a streaming fame and fortune truth that big names rarely acknowledge: some people go out of their way to dox and swat famous streamers. These types of threats force many to revise how they live their whole life. Coincidentally, this topic was recently discussed in heartbreaking details from the biggest streamer who parodied Anys’ room tour: the current Twitch king Félix “xQc” Lengyel.
Lengyel, who recently moved for “daily” police beatings, panned his webcam in his current (temporary) room during a stream on July 5thRevealing a dual-monitor PC setup surrounded by half-eaten food, partially consumed beverages, and rubbish littered both on a desk and on the floor. This was intended as a clear antithesis to Anys’ impeccably arranged room, the left Lengyel clearly unimpressed.
The viewers in the chat were equally amused and disgusted by Lengyel’s temporary accommodation. On RedditHis commentators criticized him for wreaking havoc while technically guesting someone else (he currently lives with Chance “Sodapoppin” Morris and other streamers), while others pointed out that he is a millionaire. One user basically got it all in a nutshell.
“Good God, this guy’s net worth is in the eight digits and he’s living like a college student getting a grocery grant from his mother,” one Redditor wrote. “The man just wants to shit and play video games. I respect it. “
Lengyel is not alone in this regard. Asmongold, Twitch’s premiere World of Warcraft (and now Final Fantasy XIV) Streamers too has a good reputation for leaving empty grocery bags on his desk, even though he’s wealthier than 99.9% of the channels on Twitch. While some find it hard not to make fun of rich streamers recreating the “boys really live this way” meme, others feel compassionate. For example after a game day rust, Fellow streamer and current roommate of Lengyel Nick Polom posted his own room tour yesterday on twitter.
“I know we give xQc and a lot of players like Asmon a lot of shit for having desks that are kind of dirty, but yesterday me and [fellow streamer] Malena, we played rust For 12 hours, ”he said. “We seldom play games. Take a look at the consequences. “
Polom went on to reveal two desks littered with scraps of food, cans, and wrappers. “This is only a day that games are played 12 hours a day,” he said. “Imagine if we played more often.”
This led to a spate of similar reactions from other streamers.
“That’s me after two hours” said Actress, musician and streamer Sasha Gray.
Some people take care of their rooms better than others. This can be a product of time, mental health, or a number of other problems. But on Twitch it also means – if only with a wink – a form of authenticity. If you’re a constant gamer, it is thought that you won’t always have the time or energy to clean up yourself. Some, like Lengyel, almost seem proud of it – or at least in the form of game-oriented authenticity it represents. The public also sees this distinction; much of Lengyel’s appeal lies in the fact that he’s basically the antithesis of more elaborate productions like Anys, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, and other top streamers that have followed Twitch’s rise into the mainstream. It’s nervous and chaotic – a throwback to Twitch’s early (almost) anything.
But in the end everything is performative, because every moment someone spends on Twitch is a performance. No one is their full, true self during a live stream, no matter how much they pretend otherwise. Being primitive and neat is branding, but on a platform that values perceived authenticity above most other qualities, it’s a messy edgelord too. Lengyel is no more or less “real” than Anys, an unwavering, ubiquitous brandbut also a real person who so far has not been afraid to bring up sensitive topics like misogyny, you Relationship with fans, and her own past as a nervous teenager. Their brands are just different, voluntary in some ways, out of necessity in others. Women, for example, are conditioned to be clean from childhood and are judged tougher by society when they are not. If you’re a man – especially one in your twenties – you’re basically expected to be at least a bit of a slacker. But that’s just a small example.
These approaches to appearance and aesthetics open up different possibilities. Anys can connect with any major mainstream brand imaginable without being viewed as a fake or a sell-out by their audience because it fits their polished image. Lengyel can also register deals questionable gambling companies and not lose the trust of his audience because they see him as a mixture of chaotic nervousness and harmless innocence. These statements are not value judgments; They are just examples of how two very different streamers have adapted their brands to make one system work for them. Looks matter on Twitch, and even a pile of junk on the floor can help you move forward if you know how to use it.