December 5, 2022

Raven Tribune

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TwitchCon had a foam pit show.  Two of those present said they were injured when they jumped.

TwitchCon had a foam pit show. Two of those present said they were injured when they jumped.

San Diego — At least two TwitchCon attendees said they were seriously injured after participating in an interactive exhibit featuring a shallow pit of foam cubes strewn over bare concrete.

The show was part of the weekend-long event of the live video platform, which this year took place at the San Diego Convention Center.

The exhibition, run by Lenovo and Intel, invited attendees to “battle” each other by standing on one of two platforms suspended above a foam pit.

Participants, who were asked to sign concessions, could win by keeping their opponents off their platforms with impractical foamy noodles. The platforms were about two feet high, and the hole was about a foot deep.

Many in the Twitch community expressed anger with the show, which they said they felt was unsafe. It was one of the few issues attendees said they faced with the conference on social media.

When a Twitch spokesperson was asked for comment, he referred NBC News to Lenovo’s PR team. The spokesperson did not address other criticisms of the agreement made by some of the attendees.

Lenovo and Intel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

News of “The Hole” injuries started circulating on social media after Adriana Chechik tweeted on Sunday that she broke her back in two places when she jumped from an exhibition stand into foam cubes.

“Well, I broke my back in two places and am having surgery to put in a meter rod for support today. Send your support. When it rains, I definitely feel the rain now,” Sheshik said. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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On Saturday, Şişek celebrated the win by jumping from her podium straight into the hole. The foam cubes apparently did little to cushion her fall, and in multiple videos circulating on social media, Sheshik was seen landing straight on her back and rolling in pain.

Streamer LochVaness said she was also injured when she participated in the show on Saturday. She posted a picture of her in a wheelchair after the accident, and reassured followers that she was fine.

On Sunday, LochVaness, who wanted to be referred to as her TikTok user out of concern for her privacy, told NBC News that it was “very painful but OK.”

She said she decided to jump off the podium after winning her tour on Saturday.

“Once I jumped up and my foot hit the bottom and my ankle rolled, then my kneecap was on the side,” she said. “I couldn’t move… I almost passed out if one of the staff wasn’t calming me.”

All of these injuries could have been avoided if the floor under all the foam had not been pure concrete.

– Streamer LochVaness, in the hole gallery

She said medical responders were able to put her knee back in place. After she went to the hospital Sunday morning, the doctors confirmed that she had no broken bones. However, she said, she would need to see a sports medicine specialist for “more help” with her knee. She also said she needs to have an MRI to assess if she will need surgery.

Despite reported infections, the gallery remained open Sunday morning. The staff invited passersby to experience the exhibition – after signing waivers – but attendees seemed wary. Curious attendees flocked to the hole and took pictures, but they refused to participate.

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A Lenovo employee confirmed that the gallery closed at noon PST.

By Sunday, the last day of the conference, the hashtag will be published # Hahaha I started trending.

Some have raised concerns about crowded halls and long lines. Twitter user fentysimp He said on Twitter That two people fainted behind her as they waited in line for events.

Others said they felt the conference was not accessible to attendees with disabilities. The agreement had initially said that masks and proof of vaccination would not be required, but it Reversed in August It is under fire from those who want stricter sanitary measures.

Another Twitter user said event security did not respond appropriately when an apparently intoxicated attendee harassed him during a TwitchCon party the following Saturday night.

“I just want to be clear, I’m nervous when I tweet this and I never want to sound ungrateful because I’m here on twitchcon. I just felt like people should be aware of this, especially if I’m at the party,” Twitter user dtkqluvbot Saturday books.

Some of the attendees Twitch has also been criticized for mistaking the streamers on official shows – a single panel sketch offended creator Aimsey, who is not binary.

LochVaness, who spent Sunday snowing her leg instead of attending the conference, said she hopes future TwitchCon events go more smoothly.

“Be very careful and protect yourself,” she said when asked what she wanted other attendees to know. “And for the staff who set this up to make sure they set this up right next year so no more injuries would happen. All of these injuries would have been avoided if the floor under all the foam wasn’t pure concrete.”

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For her, a future TwitchCons presence is unlikely.

“It wasn’t safe and I won’t be going to another conference in a long time,” she added.