In a surprising move by one of Canada’s top universities, a popular Twitch streamer and professional gamer @rogerstanfordo has recently been hired to teach physics remotely.
Twitch is an American live-streaming website owned by Amazon. As of February 2020, it had 3 million broadcasters monthly and 15 million daily active users, with 1.4 million average concurrent users. Twitch is most known for hosting video game and e-sports competitions, but recently celebrities like T-Pain, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jagmeet Singh have taken to the platform as well.
“No, I don’t know anything about physics really. I mean, I can talk to you about the different physics across the Super Mario franchise, but that’s about it,” said @rogerstanfordo when asked about their new position.
Amidst COVID-19 lockdowns over the last year, universities have needed to get creative with how they deliver course content to students.
“He’s really quite amazing at churning through information while engaging with the chat,” the Dean of Science said about the unconventional appointment. “In fact, we are even trying a new tuition model this coming semester. @rogerstanfordo told us about this really interesting website called Twitch, where students can follow and ‘sub’ to a class for a few dollars a month. Students can still watch the streams without subbing, but if they do sub, they can unlock exclusive little pictures they can type into the chat, as well as the credits for their courses!”
When asked about the interview process, @rogerstanfordo said, “I really didn’t think I’d get the job, it was really just a joke I was doing on stream. —Thanks happyphotocopy for the follow! And don’t forget to subscribe, if you have a Prime account you can use your free monthly subscription to help support the stream– Sorry about that, I’m live right now. Anyway, once I fired up Myst (1993), a bunch of the old dudes on the committee seemed to get really excited.”
“It was really pretty impressive,” said one of the members of the hiring committee. “I didn’t even know you could still play Myst. I used to love that game!”
“I have no concerns about their lack of physics training.” said an associate professor in the physics department about the unconventional hire. “They answered their students’ or subs’ or whatever you call them, and got through their questions and engaged with them at an astonishing rate.”
While the Fall semester was also online, much of the solutions departments had for online teaching like Zoom and Microsoft Teams were only temporary. The Dean explained over email that, “once our free trials started running out, we realized we really needed a better solution LOL. Going to the free Twitch platform will hopefully be a “POGGERS” long-term, sustainable teaching environment for our students. As long as we keep out the trolls KAPPA! Haha, just jk-ing.”
“There is still a lot of work getting the department up to speed on Twitch, but most professors seemed game.” said the Department Chair, at which point he giggled for an unreasonably long time before asking if I’d ever played Leisure Suit Larry (1987). The interview concluded with him asking me to “like, comment and subscribe”.