Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys has come out swinging against suggestions diehard Twitch “stans” — ultra-loyal supporters and fans — are bad for streaming culture, instead claiming they’ve mainly been a positive force online.
With the gaming world producing more and more new-age internet celebrities over the past few years, stans (“zealous fans”) have become a hot topic on Twitch, YouTube, and many online forums and channels.
Many claim “stans” have no place online, especially when they’re quick to retaliate against criticism, and often negatively impact other creators in a bid to defend their own favorites. This has often been the case with high-profile fandoms like BTS Army, Dreams’ Minecraft fans, and more.
There are some that want to see them snubbed entirely.
According to Pokimane, however, stans should not be shunned from streaming culture but instead praised for how they’ve “positively” shaped the budding scene.
Pokimane waded into the ongoing conversation this week, sharing her thoughts on diehard streaming fans — self-appointed “stans” — on November 22.
“People have a lot of opinions on stans,” the Twitch streamer said, “but it’s undeniable they’ve made the gaming sphere more inclusive for women, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color, and I’m very grateful for that.”
The 25-year-old conceded that less “obsessive” fans had also played a major role, but explained that the true loyalists were the main driving force. “I agree all new-age fans have helped a lot, but in my opinion, the particular dedicated and younger fanbase have been majorly influential.”
people have a lot of opinions on stans, but it’s undeniable that they’ve made the gaming & internet sphere more inclusive for women, lgbtq+ people, and POC.
and i’m v v v grateful for that 🥲
— pokimane (@pokimanelol) November 22, 2021
The Twitch star’s stance on “stans” and their role in the streaming sphere that is ever-building doesn’t mean she thinks the darkest corners of those same fandoms should be celebrated though, she added.
Those fans, Anys said, have no place on Twitch or elsewhere.
“Plenty of fans refer to themselves as stans but don’t exhibit obsessive or unhealthy behavior,” she said. “Those that do need to understand it’s not okay.”
While Pokimane is all for “stans” in the streaming scene, she’s been less eager to see parasocial relationship relations spring up in her Twitch chat recently.
Just last week, the Moroccan-Canadian star called viewers who repetitively ask her questions about her private life “weird and obsessive,” and threatened to ban any viewers who did similarly. At one stage, Anys even roasted a fan she’d had to suspend multiple times.
“It’s weird and obnoxious,” she said. “Please stop trying to psychoanalyze or micro-manage my relationships with others. I live my private life off-stream.”