in Video Games

Dress… Appropriately? Twitch.tv Change of Policies Targets Women

Twitch has come out with a somewhat surprising change to their terms and conditions. Most of these changes are needed without further argument. A ban on hate speech, harassment, sexism and homophobia fall under the extremely necessary “To rid of” category. Twitch.tv is supposed to be a site dedicated to interaction and enjoyment between video game streamers and their viewers. Harming someone’s mental or emotional state doesn’t quite fall under the enjoyment section. But Twitch.tv now deems clothing to be a hindrance to their streaming platform. As of yesterday, October 28th, Twitch has made a bold statement on the dress code of their streamers. On their rules of conduct, Twitch has stated:

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 reasoning behind this change of policy? To help keep streaming “about the game”. Twitch is now officially policing streamers’ wardrobes and going against it will “most likely get you suspended”. But streamers, especially women, are not okay with this new change or how Twitch decided to word the announcement.

Not only is the first line cringe-worthy, but it doesn’t take a genius to note the four categories labeled as sexually suggestive clothing all point to women, while only one could be applied to men. Some could argue the ban on swimsuits apply to men, but then Twitch goes on to give bikinis as their example. The policy change by Twitch is short but is open to ambiguous questioning. Male streamers showing their chest can be suspended, but if women show cleavage, are they up for deletion as well? How much cleavage could be deemed “too sexually explicit” by Twitch? What viewers deem as suggestive may be different than Twitch’s but that won’t stop reports from flying in.

One person who already receives a ton of backlash for her streaming performances is Kaceytron. Kacey streams League of Legend games while wearing what could be seen (because Twitch’s wording on the manner is up in the air) as suggestive content. She has made a few tweets in reference to the Twitch rules, although jokingly as is her persona. She wears tank tops during her streams that show cleavage. In my opinion, breasts and cleavage are a natural part of a woman’s body and life. You’re going to see it. But does that make it explicit and warrant account suspension?

Another user feeling targeted by Twitch’s rules is Nicole Slaw better known as KneeColeslaw. She has made fun of the new policy by naming her Twitch streams Professionally Suggestive and Extremely Twitch Appropriate Stream. Not as joking as Kaceytron, she has also tweeted a photo comparison of how a person is labelled based on their clothing here (warning: features explicit name calling). As well, people are already making fake articles about certain streamers being “banned” for their “content” such as Meg Turney, a Rooster Teeth employee. Turney tweeted to dispel the rumors about being banned from Twitch based on her content here. Seems like there are viewers who dislike certain streamers and are attempting to have them suspended based around this new policy. It also seems women are the ones being targeted.

If this change is merely to help keep Twitch content focused on the game then more policies should be introduced. Many streamers may play their game in the background but often talk about a variety of other subjects such as their family, friends and personal dramas. Some streamers are more accurately deemed as entertainers of a comedic variety and concentrate on telling stories or jokes while playing games. Shouldn’t this not be allowed too? I mean, during these types of streams video games are not the prime focus. Storytelling can be just as, if not more so distracting than articles of clothing or lack thereof.

Another complaint I have is how the policy is written. Perhaps Twitch employees are making an attempt at humor. But in my opinion it comes off unprofessional and sloppy. The first line of “sexy nerds” rubs me the wrong way. I mean, if you search “sexy nerds” in Google images, over 90% of the photos found are women in sexy gaming cosplays. But this is a very important rule they are now enforcing. Accounts, monthly subscriptions, and donations can all be lost if a stream is suspended. For some, Twitch is a source of income. To lose something so important deserves more than a joke about parties, t-shirts and a hashtag.

  • Dissapointed In SOME females

    About time. Cleavage from women is about getting viewers, not playing the game.

  • edh

    It’s sad how women are chastised for things like this because of the fact that they are mostly viewed as sexual objects by men.

    • mowens9512

      Men should be chastised for objectifying women, I agree, but should we not chastise the women who sell themselves sexually while playing games live? There is wrong in both sides after all.

  • mowens9512

    Okay so I’m confused about this article. Is she saying that because Twitch seems to be targeting women who dress provocatively while playing video games like they’re discriminating against them and their right to make money? You can’t stream and make money on Twitch as a woman unless you dress sexy? I mean I follow a few female streamers who are funny and have great personality and don’t even have a camera to show off their goods and they seem to do quite well. Am I missing something here? Is it wrong to try to keep things are clean as possible? If not then why not just lobby for Twitch to allow people to openly stream Playroom again and do all the freaky things they were doing before that got that banned? I understand that this is pretty much directed at women for the most part but let’s be sensible and fair, especially now that they’re owned by Amazon who probably wants them to clean up a lot of things (this doesn’t mention how they encourage you not to drink excessively during streams as well mention Twitch throw a jab at dudes who want to show their “six packs ): if you are on a gaming live stream site, don’t all you have to do is be entertaining (and sometimes good) while gaming to grow and be successful?

  • Sushi ki

    when I watch sexy females on twitch playing games .. not all, but some… give me the impression that they never spent any time playing these games for their enjoyment before deciding to stream themselves playing said games on twitch. I know why. it’s a smart route to take, but it hurts my heart.

  • hahah you really used kacytron? she’s the biggest whore of twitch! When you stream a game, it’s about THE GAME! not your boobs. if your boobs are the only reason people are watching your stream, that isn’t a good thing.

  • Quincy

    Most girls on twitch are just uselss cam whores who can do nothing but showing their tits in the camera. Hopefully twitch will totally ban them

  • Orchid Swan

    Who cares if women show cleavage or wear a bikini? If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

  • The point is, they get followers because they are attractive, AND showing cleavage/skin.. it’s a strategy and business method.. However, most of them are horrible at the games they stream. They are just taking advatange of an opportunity to make money, just like a lot of Cosplay females.

  • —–

    I hate this shit so much, and they act like their not showing of their tits, for fuck sakes point the camera at your face, not your tits for views and donations, FFS some girls even have “boyfriend applications”, there only getting views because they are basically showing off their tits, its supposed to be a gaming community, not a jerk off site

  • Josh Singleton

    If it is ok for women to show lots of boobs and cleavage like they always do on twitch, then men should be able to stream with a camera facing their dick only wearing a condom! There are to many women using their tits on twitch to attract viewers rather than being professional. I know plenty of women with a very large rack that never show any part of their boobs. These women do it by choice for attention and that is it. being hot in their room is not an excuse. They can turn on a fan or use their AC if it is that hot.