About 72 hours ago, more than a half-million people were watching Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez play a video game, Among Us, something a bit like a souped-up, extraterristial game of Clue. The Democratic congresswoman had set up a Twitch stream, recruiting several popular gaming influencers for the occasion, and had a double purpose for the session: a campaign rally for Joe Biden. It was a hit, receiving widespread attention and praise, even drawing some bong-hit thinking about whether AOC had shined a light on the future of politics and community organizing.
Tonight the game is under attack from an apparent pro-Trump hacker going by the identity of Eris Loris, seemingly drawing this nom de guerre from a Greek goddess of discord and strife. InnerSloth, the company behind Among Us, confirmed that hack in a tweet on Thursday and sent another message over Twitter that indicated it was continuing early Friday evening.
The hacker bombarded Among Us’ players with messages through the game’s chat function. Many users then took to Twitter to complain about the situation they found themselves in and post screenshots of the messages Eris Loris had sent.
The hack’s exact goals aren’t clear right now. The Trump spam is clearly meant to tweak and prod at the game’s young audience, a demographic that, theoritically, would be far more likely to support Biden and was clearly interested in seeing AOC play the game on Tuesday. Beyond the goosing, the Eris Loris messages did contain links to a Discord channel, a website and a YouTube channel. Across those platforms, the hacker had set up videos and text that seem half gibberish, half like references to video game cheat methods.
Among Us has been a surprise hit of 2020, and AOC’s digital rally on Twitch draw even more attention to it. It was the most downloaded game in the third quarter, drawing 100 million installs, nearly a third more than the next most popular title, My Talking Tom and Friends. The multi-player game, meanwhile, has led to record-high levels of downloads for six-year-old Discord, the chat app and social media platform favored by gamers.
While Among Us’ popularity may be new, what drew AOC there is not: Politicians are in a constant search for what will help them better connect with young people and push them to vote. Before AOC found Among Us, she tweeted in May about playing the Nintendo game Animal Crossing: New Horizons and found people to play with her off Twitter. The Biden campaign earlier this month set up its own official presence in the game, where it has a virtual campaign headquarters overseen by a digital avatar of the former vice president, aviatar sunglasses and all.
Source: Forbes – Business