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Twitch Community Catches the TwitchPlaysPokemon Fever

Feb 17 2014 - By Jason Maestas

By now you probably know about this simplistically awesome phenomenon: Twitch chatters controlling the outcome of a game of Pokémon Red/Blue. It reached the eyes and instant admiration of Twitch staff Thursday evening, and after a quick Friday morning blast, this intriguing test of the infinite monkey theorem has shot into the stratosphere of most watched and most interactive on Twitch. While the stream has crossed more than 75,000 concurrent spectators, the total number of unique Twitch members who have participated via chat is more than quadruple that amount.

This marvel has captured the attention of the press (CNET, Polygon, Complex Gaming, among others), as well as the gaming community at large who have contributed a subreddit, fan art (chronicled by Kotaku), progress tracking via Google doc, and a Twitter feed. With a number of clones and one-offs already popping up, this is definitely a “thing”.

Possibly the greatest byproduct of this experiment is that this could be the biggest “WE” moment in the history of gaming. Thousands of people working in chaotic unison — some not so much, you “START” trolls know who you are — driving a single protagonist through a game. We’ll definitely have to get Guinness on the phone.

There are so many questions, but let’s start with: Can we finish the game? How long will it take? How many viewers will there be for the finale? Can we use the term “HYPE” for that and then never again? If/When we do finish it, do we pour out into the streets and hold ourselves a victory parade? Will Twitch [chat] ever be the same? Where can I buy the t-shirt?

We’ll be watching all of the ups and downs, as well as the A’s and B’s (#rimshot). Can WE do it? YES WE CAN!

PS: Sorry for the box art. We’ve uploaded an image, but there is a bug preventing it from being displayed.

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