Twitch plays Pokémon: the largest massively multiplayer Pokémon game is beautiful chaos
An online multiplayer stream of the classic game has attracted more than 5 million views and turned the relatively easy title into a chaotic challenge
An online multiplayer version of the original Pokémon game has sparked an online frenzy as tens of thousands of players have joined, all attempting to control a single character at the same time.
The game was launched on the streaming service Twitch, with its creator hacking together a computer script that turned the website's comment system into a controller for the 1996 Game Boy title.
Commenters simply type in one of the game's eight commands to control the main character (up, down, left, right, A, B, start, or select) but the stream's popularity has proved its undoing, with massive numbers of gamers (reportedly as many as 50,000) attempting to play at once.
This has turned the relatively easy title into a chaotic challenge, and attracted more than five million viewers over its four-day run. One commenter on Reddit compared it to "watching a car crash in ultra-slow motion” but with thousands of people in the vehicle, all shouting advice and trying to grab the wheel at the same time.
Have a look below to see the action for yourself. The game is on the left, and the stream on the right shows the incoming commands.
The stream was set up by an anonymous Australian programmer who told gaming website Polygon that he just "put it up to see how people would respond”.
When deciding which game would be most appropriate for the unique crowd-controlled mechanism, the creator says that he chose Pokémon for its "turn-based gameplay, forgiving nature and its lack of reaction-based gameplay (which isn't compatible with [the roughly 20 seconds] of Twitch lag).”
The stream has already generated a number of in-jokes as simple tasks are rendered near impossible thanks to the game's un-coordinated horde of players.
A section of the game where the protagonist has to navigate a series of ledges proved particularly difficult as a single badly timed (or maliciously entered) direction sent the player back to the beginning of a maze. Similarly, the second item in the player's bag (a Helix Fossil that has no purpose until much later in the game) has been selected by accident so frequently that users have begun referring to it as a deity.
The game's creator has said that he is going to let it run "24/7" but has little hope of seeing a full play-through "without much better coordination".
Watching the stream casually for a few minutes confirms this somewhat pessimistic outlook (Red, the main character, spends a lot of his time walking into walls and has a fair amount of difficulty getting through doors) but amazingly, the internet's efforts have managed to get them half-way through the game in just four days. It might not be the most meaningful example of collective human endeavour but it's proof that if anything can bind together the internet, it's a game of Pokémon.
You can watch (and participate) at 'Twitch Plays Pokémon'
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6s Plus photos: leaks show Force Touch display, subtly altered size
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus battery capacity will be weaker than predecessors, Apple leaks suggest
Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
Amazon Prime Video launches offline viewing, feature Netflix has said is 'never going to happen'
How to discover who your best friends are on WhatsApp - using a tool within the application
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
£55000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Design and build advanced appli...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...