"If you campaign, you will be banned." Brazilian Alexandre Borba, one of the biggest gaming streamers globally known as Gaules, gave this ultimatum in a livestream at the end of last month. Anyone who spoke positively of Jair Bolsonaro would be banned from the broadcast.
The message was intended to his legion of fans, whom he calls a tribe. "Now, asking a person who doesn't have the slightest empathy to not be at the head of a nation... Man, I think that's what we're looking for every day." It was very different in 2018, when the streamer declared support for the then-congressman.
Jair Bolsonaro, by the way, is not embracing video gamers anymore like he used to at the beginning of his term. Not because he's hospitalized nor because of social distancing measures — after all, it was always virtual hugs, via Twitter.
Today, the president is seeing a growing dearth of supporters within the gaming community, particularly among its influencers.
Two years ago, the scenario was different. "Good afternoon, dear President, send a hug to the gamers of Brazil," asked a tweeter in 2019. Three minutes later, the wish was granted —"To the gamers of Brazil, a big hug!" posted Jair's official account Bolsonaro, followed by a thumbs up.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon