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$7,000 a day for five catchphrases: The TikTokers pretending to be ‘non-playable characters’

By Wilfred Chan

19 Jul 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. The trend of "NPC streaming" has gained popularity on TikTok, with content creators mimicking the repetitive phrases and movements of non-playable characters (NPCs) in video games.

If you haven’t seen them yet, the videos are mesmerizing. A content creator with long, straight hair sits at her kitchen table, rapidly stringing together nonsense catchphrases, over and over with the same cheerful expression and tone. “Yes yes yes. Mmm, ice cream so good. Ooh, you got me feeling like a cowgirl. Gang gang. Mmm, ice cream so good. Yes yes yes.”

The trend is called “NPC streaming” – named after the non-playable characters in video games that awkwardly repeat pre-programmed phrases and movements. Its most recognizable face is Pinkydoll, a Montreal content creator whose “ice cream so good” clips went viral this week. Those phrases are actually her real-time reactions to gifts from her thousands of viewers, who send over digital ice-cream cones, roses, doughnuts and hearts, which pop up as cartoon graphics on the screen. The gifts are worth anywhere from half a cent to a few dollars – but with a big audience it adds up. In a full day of NPC streaming, Pinkydoll says she’s netted more than $7,000.

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