In competitive videogames, "playing the meta" is always the path of least resistance on your way to success. Meta, short for metagame, refers to finding an optimal way to achieve victory.
This term can be applied to content creation, as streamers look for ways to maximize growth, reach, and ultimately, income while giving fans engaging content that can keep them hooked for a long time.
Hot Tub Twitch streams - The new 'meta'?
Kiaraakitty's hot tub stream earned her a ban, but also massive notoriety (Picture: Kiaraakitty)
It's easy to spot a new trend, or meta, developing on a platform like Twitch. Just over the past few months, we saw multiple streamers flock from games like Fall Guys, to Among Us, Rust, and even roleplaying in GTA V.
Keeping one's finger on the pulse of things can be the difference between maintaining an audience and losing it completely. Those blessed with the power of foresight can even become trendsetters, such is the case with streamers doing IRL broadcasts from hot tubs.
How or why is this a thing that's gaining traction on Twitch is something we're not sure of. Perhaps is the risque nature of it, toying with the platform's community guidelines in terms of nudity can have viewers interested, with some waiting unexpected mishaps to happen, like the one that almost saw Kiaraakitty permanently banned following an accidental nip-slip.
The hot tub Twitch stream craze has been reaching niche communities, with Vtubers jumping on the trend as well to bizarre results. Take for instance Firefox_Blue, a mute VRChat streamer (a mute refers to a person who is unwilling or unable to speak in-game) that jumped on this trend as well.
Of course, this type of content has received major criticism, especially from female streamers. QTCinderella was very vocal about it, believing hot tub streamers should be doing that type of content elsewhere.
“I’m all about getting that bread. I am. I’m like ‘yes queen, do the hot tub stream, but please don’t do it on Twitch.’”
It remains to be seen if this will become a part of Twitch culture moving forward, if the platform will do something about it, or if hot tub streams will just naturally die down.