Twitch Plays Pokemon

As some of you may have heard, a recent feed has been receiving a lot of attention on the popular streaming site called Twitch Plays Pokemon ( The basic setup of the stream is as follows. A program is playing through a game of Pokemon Red, however the program does not make the choices regarding the character’s movements, the users do. A bot reads the chat messages sent on twitch’s chat feature (ignoring those which do not correspond to button presses) and randomly selects one to execute. At time of writing, the feed has been streaming for 5 days, 6 hours, 48 minutes, and 16 seconds, has received 8.5 million views (with 47,000 watching currently) and the 5 day old subreddit ( has 32,000 subscribers. Thus far, the “players” have managed to collect 4 of the 8 gym badges in the game and have spent the past approximately 12 hours unable to escape a single building. Comical and amusing as it is, Twitch Plays Pokemon is an interesting experiment in the possibilities of online gaming, as well as an interesting study of the way large groups on the internet form around a particularly unique event. The community which has formed, the media which have been produced (from memes to comics to angry text posts to gleeful text posts and more) and the general popularity that this concept has received (as well as how fast it has received it) is quite astonishing.

By shackler2013

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