After just over 16 days of continuous play Twitch has finally defeated the Elite Four and Twitch Plays Pokemon has come to an end…for the next 12 hours anyway.
In case you’ve been living under a rock lately Twitch Plays Pokemon was a “social experiment” devised by a still unknown Australian programmer to see if the Twitch community could collectively complete Pokmon Red by inputting the games controls in the chat system. Things quickly got out of hand and the “democracy” and “anarchy” functions were added to allow players to combat or embrace the chaos.
Seemingly overnight, the stream became insanely popular with Twitch estimating that over 1.16 million people participated in the game (with peak simultaneous participation at around 121,000 players). The stream reached a total of 36 million views during the experiment. An entire subculture sprung up around TPP earning itself an active subReddit, major media attention, a series of imitators, and a slew of memes and injokes within the community.
Since the story has been getting an insane amount of circulation around the web I won’t bore you with every single detail or major game event that took place. What I will tell you is: if you were late to the party it’s not too late. Starting tomorrow Twitch Plays Pokemon will start playing either Gold, Silver, or Crystal from the second generation of Pokemon games.
The debate is still raging on about everything from which version they’ll play to which starter they’ll go with, but it doesn’t seem like the community has interest in slowing down despite all the hype. There’s no telling how long Twitch Plays… will manage to stay relevant, but there’s no question that it will remain one of the biggest gaming stories of the year and I, for one, am interested to see where it goes.