The perverse beauty of streaming the democratic national convention on twitch

Sometime around the moment Barack Obama won Iowa, a little cartoon light bulb lit up above the heads of some 10,000 or so campaign managers and associated staff nationwide. The light bulb was duly followed by a thought bubble containing the words “young people also vote, sometimes.” Since then, every political campaign, Super PAC, and fair & balanced cable news network has been racking its lumbering, collective brain in search of ways to mobilize young voters in support of one candidate or another. So far the only surefire technique is “have your candidate be Barack Obama or Bernie Sanders,” but that…


Does Esports Even Need Network TV?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Broadcasting esports on TV is the latest craze, but the internet-born phenomenon may have already hit its stride live-streaming. Four decades after the first videogame competition, esports finally hit primetime television on May 27 with TBS’s ELeague. Interest in esports is skyrocketing around the world, but the question remains whether the excitement of videogame matchups, which thrill millions of fans via livestreaming on internet sites like Twitch and YouTube, will succeed on a cable television network. “Everybody is waiting with baited breath to see how ELeague is received,” said Matt Hill, senior vice president…


Twitch streamer plays Counter-Strike with lipstick controller

Frequently placing second among Twitch’s most streamed games, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2012) has become an institution among the website’s community. At any given moment, there are hundreds of streamers playing the title, all vying for attention as they each try to figure out the most entertaining way to shoot a terrorist. In this space, style is as important as skill, which is what makes Chloe Desmoineaux’s Lipstrike so clever. In Lipstrike, Desmoineaux streams normal matches of Counter-Strike, but rather than using a traditional keyboard and mouse to control her character, she has instead modified a normal lipstick container to serve as her…


Evo 2015’s comebacks, or the growing significance of the crowd in eSports

The latest Evolution Championship Series (Evo) had plenty of action and drama to fill the weekend. Intense fights were had, hugs were given, tears were shed, and some shirts even came off. One of the highlights of the event, though, was a particularly daring comeback during a Killer Instinct match between players Sleep NS and UA | My God. About 15 seconds into the video, Sleep’s fighter Kan-Ra is down to a pixel of health, up against My God’s Sabrewulf, with a full bar. Sleep manages to boldly shave down some of My God’s HP before they both settle into…


Okay, fine: this robot is better at videogames than any of us

This year’s Awesome Games Done Quick charity event started on Sunday, and one team has already used a bot to put Twitch into Pokémon Red, and Super Mario Bros. into Super Mario World. Usually, a Tool-Assisted Speedrun can only be accomplished with an emulator—the button-presses have to be frame-perfect, and at 30 or 60 frames a second, that’s way too fast for regular humans. The TASBot—mounted on an R.O.B. unit, of course—is a modified Super Nintendo controller designed for accomplishing Tool-Assisted Speedruns in the real world. The bot is attached to a computer, and inputs a list of pre-written button-presses…