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Twitch Plays Pokemon Nears 9 Million Views As Democracy Hits

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The new hit livestream “Twitch Plays Pokemon” started running intermittently after approximately 5d 9h of game time. Players had been stuck trying to progress through Team Rocket’s Hideout for the majority of the day when the anonymous force behind this social experiment took the stream down to tinker with some of the back end.

A new democratic system was put in place and the game resumed after a few minutes. The new method tallied up commands from chat with the most requested command within a time window being issued to the emulator. After a couple of false starts with tweaking of the interval, the new method was rejected by players when they banded together to command, “Start9” or “ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ RIOT ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ” in protest.

Twitch Plays Pokemon
Let’s see how they handle change.

During this time the players were unable to navigate RED out of the Pokemon Centre in Celadon City. Whilst mixed purposes and ill intentions cause difficulty progressing, one of the biggest factors is the 20-40 seconds of lag between Chat and the Stream itself. This means when a particular needed command is being issued, it is often coming too late.

Twitch Plays Pokemon Update

There is now an option between Anarchy and Democracy with players able to sway a sliding meter in addition to regular Game Boy Commands.

Twitch Plays Pokemon Democracy
Pretty even so far.

Peaking close to 80,000 concurrent viewers and putting Pokemon Red/Blue above League of Legends as most watched game on Twitch earlier in the day. The new found popularity of the channel led to an increase in ‘Bot’ activity making progression even harder. For now the original free-for-all mode appears to be in place.

There has been speculation that the increased chat activity as the channel became more popular has started having an adverse affect on the rest of the Twitch network.

Fan Art by Vaanrose
Fan Art by Vaanrose

Twitch Plays Pokemon has given rise to all sorts of in-jokes and meta humour surrounding events that have been going on in the game. Many of which can be followed through the publicly maintained Google Document, Twitter and Subreddit.

Twitch Plays Pokemon
Like an Opera, you’ll need a reading guide.

Included in the Google Document are handy scripts you can enter into your browser’s web console to filter out the flurry of commands Game Boy commands in chat.

The Helix Fossil is regarded as some ancient Sage lifted from the heart of Mt Moon with the Dome Fossil being some kind of evil corrupting force. This has come about from the input commands constantly trying to use the Helix Fosil in and out of combat.

Twitch Plays Pokemon
Students getting in on the fun

Some contention came between players when an Eevee was brought into the party and evolved into Flareon using a Fire Stone. Other options included leaving the party slot empty as a space for a future Lapras.

Fan favourites, a Charmeleon named, “ABBBBBK (“ was released followed by the Rattata, “JLVWNNOOOO” moments later meaning they are gone forever. This has led to some viewers calling Flareon a “False Prophet” who must be placed in the PC Box.

Twitch Plays Pokemon
Flareon has been boxed but may return.

The side stories that get created by this hive mind at opposing purposes really ads to the experience of watching RED walk around in circles. Especially when artistic minds get going and start building fan art and memes to help this side story along.

What do you think of Twitch Plays Pokemon? Is it dumber than a bag of PokeDolls or is there some genius below the chaos?

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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