Since Twitch’s announcement of changes in their policies including some entirely necessary ones on harassment, homophobia, and sexism, there has been an uproar from the female community in regards to the revisions made on specific dress codes while streaming. For those of you tapped into the gaming community, you may have noticed a surge in Twitch streams that involve more revealing attire than the occasional shirtless dude raging at the screen. While some users are indeed utilizing their assets to draw in more viewers, Twitch’s presentation of their policy on attire seemed unprofessional and unfair towards its users because it is effectively saying you must wear clothing to properly enjoy a video game. The policy states…
Nerds are sexy, and you’re all magnificent, beautiful creatures, but let’s try and keep this about the games, shall we?
Wearing no clothing or sexually suggestive clothing — including lingerie, swimsuits, pasties, and undergarments — will most likely get you suspended, as well as any full nude torsos, which applies to both male and female broadcasters. You may have a great six-pack, but that’s better shared on the beach during a 2-on-2 volleyball game blasting “Playing with the Boys.”
If it’s unbearably hot where you are, and you happen to have your shirt off (gents) or a bikini top (ladies), then just crop the webcam to your face. If your lighting is hot, get fluorescent bulbs to reduce the heat. Xbox One Kinect doesn’t zoom? Move it closer to you, or turn it off. There is always a workaround.*
We sell t-shirts, and those are always acceptable. #Kappa
Twitch’s rationale for the change in policies is that their community is all about gaming and should be kept that way. NEVER in the history of video games has a player needed to take off their shirt because things are getting super HOT AND FRUSTRATING nor has there ever been glorious fan service paid to video game consumers, so therefore clearly we must protect all the 13-year-old kids using stream..RIGHT?!
While it is their service and they have the right to monitor who uses Twitch, should it extend into the each person’s individual domain? This also brings in the question, what is considered sexually suggestive clothing and what is not? Does a girl wearing a wife beater that naturally shows off some cleavage (BECAUSE THEY HAVE BOOBS) quantify as someone who should be harassed as presenting herself as sexually explicit? This policy is not only to be applied to streams but also to the user’s personal profile picture as some well-known users have addressed via Twitter.
Now I ask you this, readers…do you think that this is sexist or do you think it is something necessary in maintaining some sort of “order” within the gaming community?
Personally..I feel this policy is unfair all across the board, but is targeting females because none of these rules really comes from a female’s perspective (for some women, it is almost impossible to hide their chests and why should they have to?!). If someone is comfortable streaming in garments they deem suitable..why the hell not? Should every person be penalized because some may be jealous of another person’s viewer numbers? We can walk around topless in NYC but god forbid someone play video games in something that does not cover them from the chin down! Seriously though….there have been situations in which I have used my shirt as a napkin and have lost pants because they get in the way when you really need to pee but you are in queue for only five more seconds.
If you are interested in perusing Twitch’s rules of conduct for yourself, you can find it here.