TwitchCon 2018 sells out in San Jose, tens of thousands expected daily

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TwitchCon 2018 is taking over downtown San Jose in a three-day event at the McEnery Convention Center. (KGO-TV)

TwitchCon 2018 is taking over downtown San Jose in a three-day event at the McEnery Convention Center.

The San Francisco-based livestream platform attracted so many people on Friday that coordinators chose to extend operating hours from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A TwitchCon spokesperson confirms people with Friday-only passes are also being allowed to return on Saturday. Registration will open up an hour earlier at 7 a.m. on Saturday as well.

The convention is proof of the internet's power.

For those who are unfamiliar, Twitch allows users to create engaging content which is all live-streamed online.

The popularity of the platform was easy to see on Friday afternoon. Tens of thousands of people spent several hours in line, waiting for a chance to connect with the online Twitch community.

"It's really branched out into like IRL streams and music streams," said Dayne Erickson who lives in Denver, Colorado. "I know DJ streamers. I know chefs that are streaming."

However, at the root of Twitch are online gamers, like user "I am Kae Jae."

She says the IRL, or "in real life" aspect of TwitchCon shows it's possible to impact a community from behind a computer.

"It's just two different worlds," she said. "But it's like, once this kind of convention comes in, it's like worlds collide. You meet amazing people and stuff like that."

Amazon's analytics website Alexa shows Twitch.tv is the 14th most visited site in the U.S., attracting more than 15 million people daily.

The three-day TwitchCon event sold out in San Jose. Spokesperson Chase Colasonno said Twitch expects tens of thousands to visit each day.

"There's no restriction and no hierarchy of who is meant to be a streamer and who's not meant to be a streamer. I think that's a really great part of it, too," Erickson said.

However, visitors on Friday told ABC7 News that hasn't aways been the case.

Long-time gamer Donyell Anthony said the gaming industry used to be dominated by men.

Now she says more women are taking their talents to Twitch and she's recognizing her participation is powerful.

"The only thing that I love more than anything is that now the games are diversifying," Anthony said. "So I'm starting to see people in games who look like me, who wear their hair like me, and that is just totally amazing. It matters."
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