Twitch: Attention grabbing and chain slave labor
How streamers and their viewers on Twitch perpetuate the worst aspects of neoliberal work and how everyone will lose out in the end.
After the article on hypocrisy that I noticed on Twitch, I continue my analysis, this time, on the concept that this generates and how this “job” perpetuates the most beautiful dreams of fiercest neoliberalism. I still listened for hours to streamers recounting their journeys.
To soak up this new world, which seems new, but in the end, there is just makeup to hide a slavery that does not speak its name. There are people on Twitch who make very good living and can even buy themselves a house, start a business, and do things they couldn’t have done otherwise.
However, what all streamers have in common, regardless of the field, is that they say never be absent. There are people who have not taken a vacation for 5 years or more. And some never leave. And like I said in my first post, you have people streaming all the time. Even while on vacation, they can’t help but perform live.
In the article, I explained this obsession with not being under the cameras and receiving applause. And while that’s true, the other main reason is that it’s the only way to make a living. There are a limited number of viewers on Twitch and the majority of streams, precisely because they come from the same background, share the same viewers.
So if you are away, even for a single day, another streamer may steal your viewers. Stats are crucial to success and the slightest absence means a loss of 20-30% of subscribers and donations. And that brings us back to the tally at the factory or in the mines that were in the 1930s.
You had to work 7 days a week or else you would be made redundant or not earn enough money. As a result, these streamers, without realizing it, endure the same pace of work as convicts. And the fact that Twitch is owned by Amazon explains this trend.
The way of working at Amazon is very hard and it is designed to never let people take a break. You have to keep going task after task, in order to exhaust the brain and avoid thinking about the iniquitous system that befalls the streamers. As streamers make their living on donations and subscriptions and the slightest mistake can get the channel banned, then streamers are not only very docile, but also very smooth.
The surveillance on Twitch is fiercer than on Youtube or Facebook. There are hundreds of Twitch moderators who watch channels and can ban them if they see a compromising photo or word. We are not allowed to say nothing. And it’s exactly the same as monitoring the boss and / or supervisor in factories back in the day. The slightest trifle is sanctioned immediately.
And in the critique of neoliberalism, it’s quite interesting to see that this constant monitoring, is not to improve the atmosphere of the platform, no, it is to encourage other streamers to stand still and to be as docile as possible. This docility and cowardice transforms these people, who believe themselves to be rebels and who give the impression of doing a new job, into real sheep or yes-yes people.
With such a pace of work, it’s no wonder that the streamers have dried up after a few years. Because in order to maintain attention, you have to constantly entertain. You have to keep playing new games and becoming more and more a whore to have a few crumbs. But in the end, the creativity runs out and the streamer loses all of his subscribers and therefore his pittance, after a few years.
We are clearly in this neoliberal trend which consists in squeezing workers like a lemon and throwing them away like vulgar pad.
The other side of Twitch is outright consumer society propaganda. The worst techniques for getting people to consume and to give money are disguised as emoticons, games and other mindless stupidities. Thousands of dollars circulate in the streams, often in black.
And for brands, it’s a real gold mine. They’ve found a platform where they can print their logo and their stupid messages, for hours on end, and that has to have an impact on consumers. The laughable thing is that these same viewers are laughing about TV and people spending hours watching CNN or Kardashian, when they’re doing the exact same thing with close to zero turnout. Because asymmetry is the law on Twitch, streamers seem to listen to their community, but to them, those are just stats.
A slave labor, no break possible, streamers who constantly rip off their viewers and they nod their heads giving them all their money. It’s sad and pathetic at the same time, but if we take the reading grid of the class reflex, then it’s not very surprising. The majority of streamers come from the middle or bourgeois class and it is normal that they exploit the proles as usual.
The arrival of politicians and TV on Twitch confirms this analysis, as these politicians know they are dealing with their voters, the ones who will always vote for the worst scrapes believing that their pensions will always be protected.