Has the hardcore gaming platform turned to softcore porn?
Twitch users are outraged over a new trend on the gaming-centric streaming platform, in which female streamers sit half-naked in hot tubs while chatting with viewers.
“What in the actual f–k happened to Twitch…?!” tweeted one detractor of the controversial phenomenon. The practice exploded in popularity following the 2018 debut of the “Just Chatting” feature, which permitted Twitch users to speak directly with audiences, Insider reported.
Dubbed “hot tub meta,” the trend entails scantily clad women earning cash by sitting in hot tubs while playing video games or even just responding to messages in real time, the Sun reported. Some opportunistic streamers even invite users to digitally alter their bikinis as if creating a character on “Skyrim.”
Meanwhile, Twitcher Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa has amassed 500,000 followers since March by charging viewers $50 to write their names on her body during her hot tub sessions.
“Hot tub meta” has likely helped “Just Chatting” become Twitch’s most-viewed category, eclipsing “let’s play” tutorials of “League of Legends” and “Grand Theft Auto V,” according to Insider.
“I think it’s pretty universal that people like seeing pretty ladies in bikinis,” said Spoopy Kitt, an anonymous streamer who has 60,000 followers on the Amazon-owned platform. Spoopy, who regularly talks to viewers while riding on an inflatable lobster, added that “hot tubs have become the new and effective way streamers are using to ‘win the game.’”
Unfortunately, many Twitch users are none too thrilled with the titillating pastime, which they feel cheapens the platform’s brand.
“Twitch needs to accept the fact that they are nothing more than a glorified softcore website, pornhub 2.0,” fumed one disillusioned user on the “Livestreamfails” Reddit page.
Another compared the trend to explicit webcam site chaturbate minus the naked girl.
Some critics accused “hot tub meta” practitioners of enforcing misogyny on the platform, in which 65% of users are male, according to a 2019 report by consumer data tracker Statista. Others say the sexual content’s inappropriate as users can obtain a Twitch account at 13, Insider reported.
Bikini streamers were quick to defend the practice.
“Why are you so angry? It works for a reason. It’s free for you,” Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, the internet’s most-watched female streamer, said in a recent video.
She added, “I don’t get what the issue is. If no one is hurting anyone, then what’s the issue?”
Indeed, despite the complaints, “hot tub meta” is likely here to stay as Twitch increasingly strives to broaden its appeal with new categories ranging from walking outside to painting.
Nonetheless, these PG-rated webcam artists have to be careful about what they post. Per their community guidelines, Twitch allows swimwear provided that it “completely covers the genitals” and that women “cover their nipples.” Meanwhile, clips focusing on breasts, buttocks or the pelvic region can result in a ban.
Hopefully, the stringent rules will prevent this lecherous Twitch addict from injuring his “joystick” yet again.