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What Is NPC Streaming, the New Tiktok Trend?

Currently, these videos are all the rage on the famous video-sharing platform TikTok
Cover Image Source: TikTok | PinkyDoll
Cover Image Source: TikTok | PinkyDoll

If you haven't come across videos on TikTok where TikTokers are acting like playable characters from video games, then we are here to tell you that they are nothing short of mesmerizing. The trend which is called  “NPC streaming” is all 'bout awkwardly repeating pre-programmed phrases and of course the movements. The most recognizable face in this trend is that of Pinkydoll, who is a Montreal-based content creator whose “ice cream so good” clips went viral this week. The phrases are her reactions to her gifts from thousands of viewers, who had sent her digital ice cream cones, roses, doughnuts, and hearts.

The logo of the mobile video sharing and social networking application TikTok | Getty Images | Photo by Chesnot
The logo of the mobile video sharing and social networking application TikTok | Getty Images | Photo by Chesnot

Currently, these videos are all the rage on the famous video-sharing platform TikTok. In a video, one young content creator can be seen sitting in a tub, dressed in a sombrero, greeting viewers in a robotic voice while splashing water in a loop. Mostly creators are seen, reacting to their gifts with phrases like “ice cream so good”, “slay, huh”, and balloon-popping noises that sound satisfying according to users.

The exact reason is unknown but we can all agree that there's something bizarre about seeing very limited movement being repeated over and over again. Another probable reason is that this trend taps into already existing trends like ASMR which is extremely loved on the internet. The viewers also love the engagement factor of it. They enjoy the fact that their gifts and rewards are being accepted in such a fashion and the fact that they are also getting a response. 


There's some talk surrounding this trend that suggests that these videos have sexual undertones and are explicit to some extent. Many have also talked about how the fact that payments are being accepted and offered in exchange for these lets the viewers feel an unhealthy sense of control over the content creators. The fact that the women who made this trend famous also have their own OnlyFans pages is only adding to the controversy.

Christine Tran, a University of Toronto doctoral researcher of internet culture and digital labor says “I think the NPC streamer can be understood as the media granddaughter of sorts to the ‘e-girls’ influencers that populated Twitch and TikTok in the early 2020s,” she says. “These are also self-sexualized creators who built their followings by combining the aesthetics of gamer culture with cam girl influencing.”

On the other hand, some people are using this bizarre trend to make some positive changes. DeRoche did the same thing for two hours straight, to raise money for her child's braces. She later spoke to the Guardian and said, “I have mad respect for people who are doing this for more than two hours a day – because it does take a lot of effort. You are using your brain a lot more than people think you are when you’re doing that type of thing because you have to remember what each thing means and respond to it in the same way every time. That said, it was honestly fun.”


TikTok is part of everyone's lives now and eliminating it is not an easy job. To avoid any mishaps, it's important to have healthy conversations regarding all this with your children and their social media feeds. This is why, every parent needs to take an interest in these apps and learn about them as much as they can. Curiosity and learning can ensure your and your child's digital welfare. A few ways to protect your kids from the negative effects of social media is by setting daily limits and censoring some of the pages.