Gamers from across the country were invited to the White House yesterday to partake in an event revolving around healthcare and the Affordable Care Act. Twitch streamers, government officials and pro gamers all took part in this ground breaking “game-a-thon” that lasted for the better part of the entire afternoon on Monday, December 12th. Hosted by Twitch personality Anna Prosser Robinson, guests played games, shared personal experiences and even had a healthcare.gov demo stream live on twitch.tv/getcovered.
The first event was for Trials Fusion, where variety streamers Imcoty, AnneMunition, ActaBunniFooFoo and ThatChickParker played the extreme (and odd) stunt driving game while discussing their particular streams and life experiences.
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith (@uscto) took the stage after some streamers played an awkward game of Operation. She spoke on various gamer-relevant issues including jobs in computers/technology and how far they’ve come. It was particularly exciting to her that a Twitch event was taking place at the White House, which should say something about the importance of streaming and social media today. Her latest tweet kept that momentum going, advertising a Q&A for young people trying to get into coding and business.
Streamers weren’t the only ones playing games during the GetCovered gaming marathon. Eports team NRG took their pads to the White House for a rather long session of Rocket League; a soccer-esque competitive game featuring cars that flip and spin as they try to score goals against the opposition. I didn’t particularly enjoy this part of the stream, unfortunately. It dragged on a little too long, and the audio was a total mess. That, on top of the fact that the commentator didn’t bring much to the table, made for a tedious session of an otherwise fun spectator game.
Event coordinators saved the best for last (no bias here…nope…) as FGC veterans Mike Ross, Justin Wong, Darryl Lewis (Snake Eyez) and Ryan Gutierrez (Gootecks) took to the stage for some Street Fighter V action. There were an embarrassing amount of inside jokes going on during the matches between Wong and Lewis, which I got a kick out of. If you took a shot for every joke about Karin being rich and having plenty of healthcare, chances are you were feeling pretty good by the end of the showcase. It was really awesome for esports and the FGC to have such distinguished members of the community attend the White House event, and I’m sure they brought a lot of positive attention to the scene (I mean, they were easily the best dressed of the afternoon, and played the best game).
Hopefully this will be the first of many gaming events to be hosted by the White House. With esports and streaming becoming massive industries, it would only make sense for the powers that be to work with the gaming community on a regular basis. This demographic is a large one, and it’s becoming increasingly more powerful and important. Treating it with respect will go a long way for our government, and GetCovered was an incredible step in the right direction.