Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Questions Surround TwitchCon After Reports Of Spiked Drinks, Hospitalization

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*This is a developing story and may be updated as new details come to light.

Controversy arose Friday night and early Saturday morning when streamers attending TwitchCon, the annual gathering of streamers and fans arranged by the eponymous streaming service, reported the unsafe distribution of alcohol at the con.  Moreover, multiple accounts by attendees tell of druggings at surrounding parties including at least one hospitalization. These reports have stirred up controversy among streamers and fans about how Twitch organizes its cons and keeps its talent, especially partnered talent, accountable.

Partying is a fact of life at conventions. From big industry bashes little community cons, there’s almost always at least one big outing planned for attendees and guests alike. The biggest conventions usually have multiple such events happening, especially in personality-focused cons like PAX. TwitchCon, in particular, has become famous in its five years of existence for the sometimes wild parties that happen around it as streamers and fans cut loose. However, as this partying has become more popular, there have been many who have questioned the mixing of alcohol with conventions (ClexaCon 2019 infamously had a loose distribution of vodka shots). The issue was first by AnneMunition, one of the biggest streamers on the site and one of the few female streamers feature heavily in Twitch’s marketing.

Responses to Anne’s tweet were largely a mix of shock or lack thereof, with streamers like DansGaming, TheJWittz, and Pokket voicing their own concerns about the partner party and Twitch’s handling of the con. A later incident would only underscore the danger Anne pointed out.

Katie, who streams under the name KTLODO, reported Saturday morning that she was roofied by an unknown person while attending a party the previous night, reporting a toxic mix of alcohol and Benzodiazepines in her bloodstream that “made [her] breathing stop for a long period of time.” She clarified that this was not the result of the unsafe practices at the partner party, but noted that the bar she was at was almost entirely filled with TwitchCon attendees.  Despite KT’s emphasis that it is not necessarily Twitch’s fault, a debate has arisen around the company’s enforcement of their policies and their response to this incident. Many have drawn attention to Twitch’s handling of streamers that have made a habit of harassing female streamers.

Katie’s report was not the only incident of spiked drinks at the convention, with the streamer Jazzzy reporting that her drink was spiked at a party hosted by the social app Discord on Thursday, September 26th. A company spokesman had this to say regarding the incident:

“We are horrified by what happened to Jazzzy at our party and are investigating. We always want our partners and guests to be safe at our events. We are in contact with Jazzzy and are working closely with the venue’s staff to gather the facts.”

While there are reports of a third attendee being drugged while at the convention, we could not verify at this point who the other victim might be or where the incident allegedly occurred. The Fandomentals has reached out to TwitchCon, but as of this writing, they have not responded to our request for comment.

Image courtesy of TwitchCon

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