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“Twitch Plays Pokemon” 25,000 People Controlling The Same Game

A huge interactive Pokemon project has been taking place over Twitch thanks to one anonymous Australian programmer. At the time of writing this there are more than 27,000 people watching and over 2.5 million views for the channel Twitch Plays Pokemon.

Twitch Plays Pokemon

Update 17/02/14:The Twitch Plays Pokemon channel has taken off, now with over 50,000 people watching and 3.8 Million Views.

Update 19/02/14: Getting close to 9 Million Views

Pokemon Red for Game Boy is being controlled by those who comment in the chat channel. Powered by JavaScript and Python, the Game Boy emulator scans the chat for specific commands and inputs them into Pokemon.

The commands are, “a, b, start select, up, down, left or right”. The chat races by in a blur and there is slow mode in place so that each individual can only input one message every minute or so.

Twitch Plays Pokemon
Those caves are the worst.

According to the channel “Twitch Plays Pokemon” is a social experiment, though what the creator is hoping to find is unsure at this point.

Due to its turn based nature, Pokemon Red doesn’t rely on any fast reactions from the player(s) so Twitch having a delay of 20 ~ 40 seconds isn’t a huge issue. The other reason Pokemon works with this technique is that even with dying in a battle, the character is just sent back to the PokeCenter.

The current party of Pokemon

  • Lvl 31 Charmeleon “ABBBBBBK (“
  • Lvl 12 Rattata    “JLVWNNOOOO”
  • Lvl 13 Rattata
  • Lvl 15 Drowzee
  • Lvl 16 Farfetched “DUX”
  • Lvl 32 Pidgeotto
Twitch Plays Pokemon
They did throw away the Nugget though.

Over the last 3 days this massive collective has been able to beat Misty and LT Surge to make their way to the “Rock Tunnel” that requires Flash to navigate. 3 Gym badges in almost 3 and a half days isn’t too shabby.

A Google Document has been put together for Twitch Plays Pokemon outlining some highlights and even current goals of the collective players.

The creator of Twitch Plays Pokemon has commented that they’ll, “let it continue to run 24/7.” and that they would, “like to see the Elite Four beaten but I have my doubt about it being possible without much better coordination.”

Watch live video from TwitchPlaysPokemon on

After the popularity of Twitch Plays Pokemon, similar channels have sprung up such as “Twitch plays Pokemon Blue” and “Twitch plays Pokemon Crystal”.

Source: Polygon

What other games do you think could be played collectively in this way and why? Let us know in the comments below.

Daniel Ryan
Daniel Ryan
Daniel 'Sheriff Dan' Ryan is a long time Dungeon Master who has worked in Esports, Marketing, and writes about Gaming when the sun goes down.



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