Twitch Plays Pokemon – A crowd sourcing social experiment

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The social experiment of crowd sourcing a game of Pokemon is finally over after 390 hours of continuous game play and 6 attempts at beating the last hurdle: The elite four. The main lesson here is that the internet can accomplish anything with enough spamming of buttons and a mix of democracy and anarchy.

Twitch Plays Pokemon

The way that the coding works is that the system  consumes twitch chat comments that are being generated typed by thousands of participants. Users can type whatever they want into the channel, the software that runs Twitch Plays Pokémon only recognizes a few commands: up, down, left, right, select, start, a and b, which are the only commands in the Gameboy version. You can also type in anarchy which makes it a free for all or democracy which takes the most popular command.

The amount of viewers skyrocketed on Friday as 100,000 nostalgic fans tuned in and joined the chaos. “Experts” speculated that it would take weeks to defeat the last segment of the game but it only took 6 attempts total. It seems like we were a bit lucky with a good mix of Pokemon to tackle each elite trainer.

Twitch has announced that a new game of Pokemon will begin on Sunday, March 2nd. How long do you think it will take this time?

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