Twitch plays Pokemon: an online phenomenon

Posted on 25 February 2014
By Ashleigh Panther
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Twitch is a site where gamers can stream their plays for users to watch and to comment on their progress.

Now, an anonymous gamer has come up with the idea of allowing infinite users to play Pokemon Red together by typing commands into the chat room which will then flow through the emulator running through the site and into the game.

The game has been running for eight and a half days and is available to play 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are currently 38,000 people attempting to play the game at one time, with over 3 million people watching the hilarity.

Because of the large amount of users, you can only imagine the frustration that comes with trying to perform a simple task and with a 20 second delay between the users typing in their commands and being put in order through the emulator, the process of completing tasks successfully as a team can be hard.

In the game, there are ledges that are one way, in that a user can jump over the ledge, but cannot jump back over, meaning that if they accidently jump over the ledge, they will be back at square one.

The users encounter such a ledge that was next to a wall. In order to get past the ledge and move on to the next section of the game, the users simply had to walk twelve paces east then up.

But, because of the large amount of people trying to get involved, this took the users seven hours.

Other problems that the users have encountered include trying to name a captured Pokemon, leaving some with names such as ‘X(araggbaj”.

The game was originally on ‘anarchy mode,’ something that the users themselves gave to the game. However, there were some parts of the game that required a certain precision in order to press forward, and this was near enough impossible with the way that the users entered commands.

So, the creator made a change to ‘Democracy mode’ which meant that the users could vote on what command would be next. This didn’t go down well and the creator was forced to create a toggle in the game so the game could switch between anarchy and democracy mode.

With only three badges to go until the users reach the Elite Four, in just over a week, the team are already more than halfway through the game and are doing well.

The creator explained in an interview that he wasn’t expecting such a positive response with as much as 150,000 people trying to play at one time.

And has received a lot of requests to carry on with the Pokemon games and says that he will, but isn’t sure which Pokemon game he is going to go with next.

You can join in the game or simply watch the other players try to complete the game at