Twitch.tv is playing a multiplayer Pokémon game...sort of.
Here's your cool story for the day, folks. Apparently there's a sort of MMORPG version of Pokémon currently being both watched and played by over 8,000 subscribers over on Twitch.tv. The game is the original Pokemon Red/Blue on Game Boy, and is being controlled solely by commentators on the Twitch stream.The channel, fittingly enough, is called Twitch Plays Pokémon.
The channel parses the incredibly flood of Twitch chat comments typed by thousands of viewers, though it only reacts to a handful of commands: up, down, left, right, select, start, a, and b. The result, of course, is understandably chaotic, with the character more often than not spinning around in circles or selecting random items/attacks in combat. It's downright hilarious to watch, actually.
What's even more impressive is that the game is somehow progressing: the players just managed to defeat Misty earlier today.
Although Twitch Plays Pokémon only launched two days ago, it's already managed to amass around 175,000 viewers in total, and it's still growing. The channels creator - an Australian programmer who's choosing to remain anonymous - is understandably a little floored by all the attention.
"I didn't really have any plans for it from the beginning," he explained. "I just wanted to put it up to see how people would respond. I put it together and put it up on a dedicated server all within a few days."
"I'm always thinking of other games that could be adapted to an automated Twitch stream," he continued, "but I don't think Twitch Plays Pokémon's style of input would work with any genre that isn't a JRPG, so I'm thinking of a different input style that would be compatible with a wider range of genres."
"I'm going to let it continue to run 24/7, I'd like to see the Elite Four [trainers] beaten but I have my doubts about it being possible without much better coordination."
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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