Think Dark Souls is a challenge? Had it up to here with Flappy Bird? Try playing the same Pokemon file with 70,000+ people at the same time!
On twitch.tv, a site where gamers can stream themselves playing live, there’s a channel streaming a very special game of Pokemon Red. The viewers type messages into the chat window on the site, then a bot translates recognized commands into key-presses that control the player. Sounds simple enough, right? Well when you factor in an average lag of 20–40 seconds, an ever increasing number of players, and an abundance of trolls, you start to understand why this game is causing so many migraines, yet it’s inexplicably addictive even to spectators. Simple tasks like attempting to heal your party at a Pokemon center can result in catastrophes like releasing your starter Pokemon (Charmeleon you will be missed), and battles that should be a walk in the park become a train wreck that you can neither prevent or look away from. Absolute chaos.
It has been 4 days since the stream went live, and in that time it has given birth to various memes referencing significant events in game such as the item Helix Fossil being worshiped as a deity of sorts due to being selected in battle an innumerable amount of times (despite it being unusable), and Pidgeot his prophet as the strongest Pokemon in the party.
All in all though it has been an interesting social experiment seeing if that many people can work together to achieve a common goal under such impossible circumstances. Few thought it was possible for them to reach as far as they have (which at the time of writing this was Team Rocket’s hideout) but the Pokemon Trainer collective have defied all odds at every turn and now stand a decent chance of actually completing the game…eventually.
Running time is 4 days 19 hours 12 minutes 40 seconds and counting, with over 6 million total views and 70,000+ people currently tuned in.
Who knows, this could even be the start of a new gaming craze. Today, RPGs. Tomorrow? Two separate streams with viewers playing each other at Street Fighter.