In a bizarre twist that could only happen in New York City, Keli Anne Sewell (username: makeupxka) stumbled upon not one, but three ‘NPC’ streams happening live on the streets. Her viral TikTok video documenting the surreal encounter has left the internet scratching its collective head.
Over the past several weeks, the NPC (Non-Playable Character) streaming trend has taken TikTok by storm. Originated by TikTok creators Pinkydoll and Natuecoco, this unique form of streaming involves people pretending to be characters who only react to gifts appearing on their screens. Some TikTokers have reportedly earned thousands from this peculiar performance art, which has also attracted high-profile celebrities like Nicki Minaj — albeit to a mixed reception.
What sets Sewell’s discovery apart is that these NPC streamers were taking their act to the public stage. Located within mere steps of each other in the Big Apple, these streamers had boldly taken their virtual personas to the physical world.
Sewell’s TikTok video, which has racked up more than 680,000 views, humorously questions whether we’re living in a simulation. “This guy was going ‘where’s my Tesla bro’ over and over like a MF glitch,” she noted in the video’s caption. “Are we living in a simulation or just New York?” she mused, evidently baffled by the NPC craze.
The video has elicited a range of reactions from viewers, ranging from amusement to utter confusion. While some have praised the audacity of these public NPC streamers, others have declared, “New York is so strange,” or asked, “What is going on?”
Among the comments, one viewer identified a regularly streaming NPC known as ‘Butterfly NPC,’ highlighting that this surreal public streaming event wasn’t as unprecedented as it may seem.
As the NPC trend evolves, one thing is clear: in the city that never sleeps, even the NPCs are stepping out for some fresh air.