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A New Twitch Trend: Remote Crane Games

Move over auto chess. Forget those Korean supermodels (no wait actually please come back). The new Twitch trend could be remote crane games. You may know that crane games are huge in Japan, offering everything from anime plushies to cookware sets. What you may not know is that you can play these games from miles away using your phone or tablet.

An app called Toreba has been around for some time now. You can get it for both iOS and Android. Once you download it and create an account, you can use your phone to remote control a crane arm in Japan. The boxes aren't as packed as the crane games you see out West. Rather than being an assortment of random prizes all thrown together, you're given a list of options and can choose exactly what you want to go for. Then you're taken to a live feed of the machine where you can hijack the arm.

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Twitch streamer LIRIK was having a "Just Chatting" stream recently when he hopped over to Toreba. He won a sushi set, but didn't seem interested in the anime-themed prizes. When he happened upon a mini kitchen appliance, he decided to try his luck. That is, until a stranger beat him to it.

You can probably already see the potential for this to become a thing in the livestreaming world. The stranger made it look easy to get that prize. It probably inspired LIRIK, and many others, to give it a shot. Of course, playing these games doesn't come free. You have to spend digital currency to take control of the crane, which is bought with real-world money. Watching people fail a lot, then succeed once, then fail a bunch more times, all while losing money, is the kind of thing Twitch was built on.

Toreba has existed for years, and a quick search reveals several Youtubers trying to cash in on the idea back in 2018. It didn't really catch on then, but all it takes is someone with LIRIK's following to change that. On the bright side, you do actually get to keep the prizes you win. Toreba offers to send you a free package once per week. So maybe it's worth trying if you really love anime figurines, Pokémon plushies, and the occasional hot pot. Just watch how much you spend. That yen really adds up.

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