Twitch streamer Ludwig Ahgren has been live since March 14th, and today marked the fourth continuous day of his broadcast. The reason? Every time someone subscribes to his channel, it adds 10 seconds to the amount of time he plans to remain live. In other words: Ahgren is running an uncapped subathon because he’ll stay up as long as viewers keep subscribing.
Since he’s one of the most popular streamers on Twitch — with 1.8 million followers as of this writing — it means Ahgren’s going to be live for at least a couple more days. (As of this writing, he’s got another 57 hours to go.) Yesterday, when he went to sleep for the night in his red racecar bed, he even managed to become the top streamer on Twitch.
This isn’t actually against Twitch’s TOS. A Twitch spokesperson emailed The Verge a statement, clarifying that they, too, have been watching the stream pretty closely and maintaining that Ahgren isn’t violating any of their rules. “Our Community Guidelines do not prohibit sleeping on stream, however we expect streamers to take proper precautions to ensure their stream and chat are being monitored and attended to,” wrote a spokesperson.
While he’s been awake, Ahgren’s been streaming games with friends; while he’s asleep, his mods have been running videos chosen by the community. As Nathan Grayson wrote in Kotaku: “It’s basically a big, bleary-eyed slumber party where everyone’s just vibing.” (While subathons are a thing in the Twitch community, they rarely go longer than, say, 30-something hours.)
Twitch is a wonderfully immediate place online. You can see and interact with the people on your screen in real time, which feels like a kind of intimacy. Ahgren’s stream is well on its way to becoming an event in Twitch’s history, akin to Twitch Plays Pokémon and any of its other site-wide memes. It’s incredible to me that as big as it is, Twitch still has its own distinct culture and its own set of stars who seem to do stunts like this just because they seem cool.
But historicizing can wait. Right now, Ahgren’s live, and it’s wonderful.