Adriana Chechik, a Twitch streamer with nearly a million followers, says she broke her back in two places jumping into a ball pit at Twitchcon, one of a number of problems that appeared to plague the streaming site’s marquee conference.
Another steamer, @loch_vaness, says the same ball pit caused her to dislocate her knee.
According to Chechik, someone at Twitchcon left the conference in a brace after jumping into the pit, saying that Lenovo, which ran the pit, kept it open anyway.
According to the Washington Post‘s video games reporter Nathan Grayson, the ball pit was later shut down because people were breaking the rules.
Grayson said the pit was noticeably shallow and that the blocks were not very soft.
Twitchcon is Twitch’s premiere in-person event, where popular users on the streaming site can interact with fans who watch them.
Previous events have drawn over 30,000 people. But apparently this year’s conference, the first since the pandemic, wasn’t only injuring its popular attendees. The conference also faced accusations online that it wasn’t accessible for disabled attendees, a process that left a number of people frustrated.
One Twitter user said the meet-and-greet hall was only accessible by stairs. People waiting in an accessible line for a meet-and-greet said their line was shut down. One person said people in wheelchairs were trampled.
On top of that, a number of people on Twitter alleged that the staffers were rude and unhelpful, even going so far as to misgender hosts and refuse to correct themselves.
A user on Twitter even made a gag T-shirt, saying they survived Twitchcon 2022.
They found the conference to be extremely inaccessible.
“One the first day, me and my friend who was pushing me in my wheelchair, were the first in line for [a] meet and greet. We were in the ADA line, which they let go first. When they allowed us in, they didn’t tell us where the elevator was or how to get to the meet-and-greet room. So as multiple wheelchair users were trying to find the elevator, they released the regular line of people. They all came stampeding through the people from the ADA line and were rushing and pushing past wheelchairs to run up the stairs/escalators.”
“We ended up having to wait an extremely long time for the meet and greet after that because they mixed the disabled people in with the regular line. Unfortunately, I thought it would get better from there but the accessibility only got worse.”
They added that being in a wheelchair at Twitchcon was “exhausting.” and that people were pushing and jumping over them to meet content creators.
“When I was meeting a content creator, Karl Jacobs, in a mob, he had to put his hands in front of people to stop them from pushing at my wheelchair so that I could get out. The security were not doing their jobs … Twitch claims to be accessible but they did not prove that this weekend. Overall, I’m just extremely disappointed.”
Twitch did not respond to a Daily Dot request for comment.
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*First Published: Oct 10, 2022, 10:52 am CDT
David Covucci is the senior politics and technology editor at the Daily Dot, covering the nexus between Washington and Silicon Valley. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]