Live streaming convention “TwitchCon” creates friendships and lasting connections, as well as controversy


TwitchCon attendees mill around the convention’s entrance hall on Oct. 7, 2022. This year’s TwitchCon in the United States took place in San Diego, CA. Photo credit: Teagan Davidge

By Teagan Davidge

The live streaming platform Twitch held TwitchCon in the United States for the first time in two years due to a hiatus resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Oct. 7 to Oct. 9, the San Diego Convention Center hosted the widely anticipated event, offering a variety of gaming related panels and competitions for the community’s enjoyment.

TwitchCon was created in 2015 as a place to bring influencers and their fans closer together, as well as to promote up and coming games and encourage more people to join the platform.

This celebration of community was supported by six key sponsors this year, hoping to catch the attention of gamers around the world: Capital One, Intel, Lenovo Legion, Gonna Need Milk, Prime Video and Wendy’s. Each of these companies had a large area reserved in the convention’s Expo Hall to showcase their products.

Hannah Rose, a Minecraft streamer with over a million Twitch followers, streams five days a week on Twitch and is a member of the ever popular server, “Dream SMP”. This survival multiplayer server is well known for its improvisational — yet complex — storylines and elaborate character backgrounds, and features beloved creators like TommyInnit, GeorgeNotFound and Wilbur Soot.

Rose partnered with Capital One for a meet and greet at their Mobile Café on Oct. 8. Earlier that day, she participated in the “Twitch Rivals: Minecraft MOBA” event and earned her team second place.

“[Twitch Rivals] was fun,” Rose commented. “[My team] lost, but it was a lot of fun. I had a good time and I think we did really well.”

Many attendees got the chance to meet their favorite creators through meet and greets and by running into them around the convention. One of the biggest creators to make an appearance at TwitchCon this year was Dream, a popular Minecraft YouTuber with over 30 million subscribers and the founder of the “Dream SMP” server.

TwitchCon 2022 marked Dream’s first public appearance as a content creator after being “faceless” since his first video in 2019.

Fans of Dream SMP creators are known to be particularly dedicated, and this created a safety hazard outside of the NomNom Theater on Friday, Oct. 7. Thousands of young people gathered outside the entrance of the theater, hoping to make it inside the panel room, which had a 450 person capacity. Some members of the fanbase had been waiting in line for over six hours before the doors opened.

Mary, a 54-year-old Twitch user, stood along the left wall facing the door to the “Dream & Friends: The Ultimate SMP Reunion” panel. Mary was joined by her daughter Katie, both looking positively peeved.

“People got here at 9 a.m. and they aren’t even getting in,” Mary said. “This was set up so poorly, I mean, honestly. Who designed this?”

Others close in proximity echoed similar sentiments.

Lines were a common theme with this convention, with rooms set up for performances often being too small to hold all the attendees wanting to watch. Even activities in the expo hall attracted a crowd too large at times. However, for some members of the Twitch community, the experience was worth the wait.

19-year-old Twitch user Isabella was pleased with the events the convention offered and elated about the many opportunities at the convention to make new, lasting connections.

“I came [to TwitchCon] with a bunch of people that I met on Twitch, so I have really enjoyed hanging out with them for the first time in person,” Isabella commented. “I love my online friends and I have met new friends too!”

Moorpark College freshman David Aguilera, a biology major, attended TwitchCon for the gaming side of things rather than the streaming or socialization aspects.

“I came here not really knowing a lot about Twitch,” Aguilera said. “I actually had to make an account to buy my ticket because I didn’t have one.”

One of Twitch’s policies for the recent convention required all ticket holders to have a registered Twitch account, which is free to create on the site. Despite never having watched a stream, Aguilera recognized a few content creators.

“I saw a couple famous people,” Aguilera said. “But, I don’t really know their names. I got to play a bunch of games I haven’t played before and that’s what I really care about. I think I would come back next year.”

To learn more about Twitch as a platform, click here. To browse the livestreams available on the site, click here.

**Mary and Isabella declined to provide their last names for this story in order to maintain their privacy.