If you watch the livestream video hosted by TikTok creator Pinkydoll, it won’t be long before you hear her say, “The ice cream is so good.”
She will say those words over and over, her tongue will hang out and she will make noises as she pretends to lick the cone.
Every time she utters this catchphrase, she gets paid. This is his job.
Pinkydoll, whose real name is Fedha Sinon, became a social media celebrity this month thanks to quirky livestreams in which she mimics video game characters.
In a typical performance, Ms. Sinon, who is 27 and lives in Montreal, looks into the lens of a camera while presenting a set of canned phrases. As she streams, viewers send her digital gifts in the form of cartoon items like roses, dinosaurs and ice cream cones. Each item translates to a cash payment for Ms. Sinon. Gifts float across the screen and Ms. Sinon reacts to each gift in similar cartoon style.
his reaction to the ice cream cone be a memeMany posted pictures of President Biden eating their favorite breakfast, along with the caption, “Ice cream so good.”
Ms. Sinon speaks in a singing voice that can be described as “Sexy Baby.” Sometimes she pops the corn kernels one by one using a hot hair flat iron. The effect is mesmerizing, nestled deep within the uncanny valley.
Ms. Sinon is known as an online NPC streamer. NPC stands for “non-player character”, a video game character that comes pre-programmed and usually cannot be manipulated by the person in control. Thus, the phrases and actions of NPCs are often formulaic and repetitive. Ms. Sinon brings these mechanical characters to life.
When he found himself playing the main character of the internet screen recording Some of his streams went viral on Twitter last week. producer and rapper timbaland seems to be a fan lately reposting a video on Ms. Sinon’s own personal TikTok account, when he noticed that she was breaking character during the livestream. PopCrave, a pop culture news account on Twitter, reported that Timbaland was ranked top viewer of Pinkydoll streams, based on gifts sent and time spent watching. (A representative for Timbaland did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
What Ms. Sinon is doing is considered by some to be erotic material. For some viewers, it is somewhat erotic to be able to control his every word and gesture by sending him this or that gift. To other viewers, he is absolutely fascinating to watch.
Think of NPC Streaming as an extension of cosplay — a hobby in which fans dress up as their favorite characters from books, television shows and movies — said Carly Kokurek, professor of game design and experimental media at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
“Often people consume media and then think of different ways to dress, act like or imitate that character,” Ms Kokurek, 41, said. “I don’t think it’s unprecedented or unrelated to the ways people are engaging with media, especially sports,” he said.
Ms Sinon, who previously worked as a stripper and owned a cleaning business, said she started livestreaming on TikTok at the beginning of the year as a way to earn money.
“I was just being pretty,” she said in a phone interview. “I remember someone saying, ‘Oh my god, you look like an NPC. And then they started sending me money like crazy.'”
While watching others play the video game “Grand Theft Auto,” she said she focused on certain characters to get ideas for her TikTok work.
“I was like, ‘I’m going to try to do it like them,'” she said. Still, he added, he’s “not really sure” what an NPC is.
Her TikTok account has since grown to over 400,000 followers. Thousands of people regularly watch his livestreams.
That said, it’s fun, getting responses for each gift. She said, “I could sit here the whole day, but I cannot do that because I have a son and I also get food.”
Ms. Sinon said she earns between $2,000 and $3,000 per stream. All his social media accounts, including Instagram and fan onlyShe puts the number at $7,000 a day.
Other creators capitalizing on this digital genre include Cherry Crush, who lives in Ohio and has over a million subscribers youtubeAnd Satoyu727An NPC creator in Japan with over two million TikTok followers.
Cherry Crush said in a direct-message interview for it, “It’s very stimulating, because it’s fast and very repetitive, so people sit around watching the next reaction and see if I break character or get too many.” I’ll somehow mess with the gifts.” Article. (She won’t give her real name, which she doesn’t reveal online, saying, “I have some stalkers.”)
Cherry Crush stated that she does not consider her livestreams to be sexual content. She added, “I don’t make my show sexually motivated at all.” “I always thought it was just funny and amusing.”
Media scholar Ms. Kokurek said viewers can view content online in ways creators may not have considered.
He added, “There’s something about how people consume media and how things become disjointed and sexualized, whether that was the intention of the creator or not.” “It doesn’t mean that no one would consume it in a sensual way, but it could mean that the manufacturer wasn’t trying to do so.”
However, Ms Sinon said she was not bothered by the variety of responses.
He said, “I don’t really care what people say about me.” “If they want to think I am this or that, I have no problem with that.”
“At the end of the day,” she said, “I’m winning.”