Pokimane’s recent VTuber stream made headlines across various online communities… for the wrong reasons?
It’s true what they say, you truly can’t please everyone.
In particular, some names from the VTuber community were upset when Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys used an animated 3D model of herself in her recent broadcast, claiming she just wants to “cash in” on the growing trend.
The Twitch star recently came back to her streaming activities after taking a month-long break from August, citing “burnout” as the primary reason.
Upon her comeback, thousands of her fans tuned in to watch her play Among Us on September 11 with fellow content creators like Ninja, CouRageJD, and the Offline TV crew.
What seems to be a warm welcome was short-lived though, as criticisms soon poured back in just two days after her return.
The VTuber community, in particular, criticized the streamer’s use of an animated 3D model.
In case you’re unfamiliar, the VTuber community comprises those content creators using a digital avatar generated by computer graphics to represent themselves in various videos and livestreams.
Poki’s move to debut her own version, which she claims she’ll begin using on days when she doesn’t feel like appearing on camera, was then met with public backlash.
Over the years, VTubers managed to build a tight-knit online community without personally revealing their faces. As the VTuber trend gained traction, it was only about time for some content creators to use the idea for themselves.
For instance, Pokimane’s decision to do so drew flak from some members of the VTuber community:
“You’re cashing in on a trend… You are already famous and have shown your face. Why now? We work our hearts out. There are so many small VTubers that deserve recognition! You are hopping on a trend and saturating it more! How dare you!”
Others seem suspicious of the timing,
since the English version of Hololive, an agency of VTubers with 2.6 million subscribers, went live on September 8. Pokimane’s decision to tap into VTuber content was then seen as a ploy to gain more followers and viewers.
“It might seem ridiculous but the way she timed it the day after HololiveEN launched just makes it fully seem like she is just doing it for clout. And that doesn’t sit well with us.”
Pokimane was quick to personally respond to allegations of “clout chasing” after she used a VTuber model for a recent stream, saying that she didn’t want to intentionally hurt a few members of the VTuber community.
The streamer named some of her fellow content creators who had been doing it for years, before she went on to explain her reasons behind such a move in a thread:
“I understand where you’re coming from, and you’re absolutely entitled to that opinion. I don’t want to encroach on the VTuber community, and I mentioned that anyone interested should check the numerous creators that have been doing it for years.”
“In my opinion, this is sort of the future, and I think it’s so cool and a great alternative for anyone that doesn’t want to use a camera for whatever reason. I hope to partake in a respectful manner, and I respect that you or others may not support me. I’ll be listening to people’s feedback and doing my best to be considerate.”
However, some fans and fellow online personalities jumped to her defense and called the criticism “unnecessary gatekeeping”— especially when Pokimane commissioned a special VTuber model of herself, gave full credit to the artist, and overall was super respectful about the community.