At about 1AM PST last night the impossible was made possible. Twitch Plays Pokémon, the protracted experiment that combined the chaos of a Twitch chat with pocket monsters, actually beat Pokémon Red.
While many thought this day would never come, the Twitch Plays Pokémon stream was able to overcome some pretty big obstacles, including the loss of a starter Pokémon and what seemed like an endless loop of touching the helix fossil. Then, when the trainer entered the Team Rocket HQ it appeared that, even though the end was in sight, the stream might never get there.
Yet, against all odds, Twitch Plays Pokémon finally beat Pokémon, proving that what initially seemed like an overnight phenomenon/fad was actually a legitimate communal gaming experience. The full Twitch Plays Pokémon run lasted some 390+ hours and included an Anarchy and Democracy feature (added about 7 days in) that let chatters choose how actually the stream played Pokémon. With democracy active, moves were only completed after a vote, whereas anarchy preserved the original intent of the stream: turning chaos into magic. Chatters could switch between the modes at will, but only with a majority vote.
With those features in place, the stream occasionally moved slowly, but not when it came time for the Elite Four. It only took about 12 tries for the trainer to reign supreme, thanks to a surprisingly prepared roster.
All told, Twitch Plays Pokémon held a consistent 100,000+ viewer count throughout its peak hours and dominated Twitch during the entire playthrough. It was funny to see games like League of Legends and Dota 2 overshadowed by Pokémon Red.
As far as what comes next, that isn’t so clear. The Twitch Plays Pokémon creator has already teased plans to take on a generation 2 Pokémon game, but he has yet to say much more than that. Or maybe the stream should move to a completely new game? We’ve already detailed a few Twitch Plays Pokémon imitators, including Twitch Plays Pokémon playing Tetris, and it will be interesting to see where things go from here. There are obviously a dozen or so Pokémon titles out there just waiting for Twitch to tackle, but this might have been a lightning in a bottle situation.
Whatever the case, the initial Twitch Plays Pokémon was fun while it lasted – a pleasant and surprisingly entrancing experience that was just as entertaining to watch as it was to participate in. There were some highs, like capturing Zapdos and beating the first Gym in record time, and some brutal lows, like releasing many of the trainer’s most loyal pocket monsters and spending 26 hours in Indigo Plateau. But all in all, the journey was one that was fun to follow.
Did you follow Twitch Plays Pokémon? Would you like to see the stream tackle another game? If so, what game: another Pokémon title or something different?