Friday, February 21, 2014

Twitch Plays Pokemon

     What do you get when you combine random people from the internet and a 90's video game about little fighting monsters? Well you get Twitch Plays Pokemon. But first what is twitch and maybe even what is Pokemon?
     Twitch/ is a site that streams live video that focuses mostly on e-sports (organized computer game competitions between professional computer gamers) and general video gaming. The website was created in 2011 from was a site that offered different content, but it's most popular was gaming which inspired the spin-off site Twitch gets 35 million unique visitors a month where the adverage viewer watches about an hour and a half a day.
     Pokemon is a role-playing-game made for the Nintendo GameBoy that was created by Satoshi Tajiri and was released in the United States in 1998. The game focuses on a world that is inhabited by creatures known as Pokemon. These animals for the most part resemble animals and objects in the real world. The goal of the game is to capture, raise, and battle with other trainers.
     The Pokemon franchises was and still is extremely popular with kids and people that grew up with the games. Now with the addition of the internet things are getting strange. It wasn't unheard of for people to stream themselves playing Pokemon on, but before it was simply just watching others play or battle. Twtich plays Pokemon now puts the controls into the hands of the viewer and expects them to be able to work together to beat the game.
     The idea is pretty simple: You enter the control you want to see happen in game in the twitch chat box and after some delay to process the request the action will take place in the game. It sounds simple enough, but this series has become extremely popular now. The number of people currently watching as this blog post is being typed at 6:40(EST) on a Friday night their are over 75,000 people watching and imputing commands and there has been over 21 million total unique views on the stream. This makes it extremely complex to complete even the simplest tasks in the game.
     Do to the interesting actions that the character is forced to make the internet has created a story and two rival religions. The random action also cause a lot of tragedy and strangeness. Multiple Pokemon that viewers grew attached to were released into the wild and causing the more popular religion of "The Helix Fossil" to blame the the religion of "The Dome Fossil".
     Among the the chaos and confusion there is an option for order. One of the commands that can be enterd into the twitch chat is "Anarchy" or "Democracy". Anarchy is the preferred method of play in which players post their command and eventually it will be entered into the game. If Democracy wins the tug-of-war style voting then for 20 seconds viewers will input their desired command and the highest voted one wins. By most viewers this is considered to be the easy way out and not as much fun.
     The game so far has been going on for almost 9 days now and the thousands of players are less than half way done. We will have to wait to see if support for this very strange idea will run out before the players can finish the game or if this will result in some new internet fad in which one game is played by thousands at the same time.

                                                             A 90minute Timelapse of Play 

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