In the doldrums of February there arose a phenomenon that few could look away from. Twitch Plays PokÃ©mon not only become a fascinating experiment centered on the chaos of gameplay by committee, it generated dozens of copycats.
However, after Twitch beat PokÃ©mon Red few stuck around to see the channel move on to more generations of Game Freak's hugely popular title. But move on they did, and now Twitch hasn't just beat one PokÃ©mon game, they beat all PokÃ©mon!
This week, the Twitch Plays PokÃ©mon channel finally beat PokÃ©mon X, the most recent release in the pocket monster-collecting series. That feat was in and of itself impressive, especially given the complex nature of later PokÃ©mon titles, but it also signaled an end to Twitch Plays PokÃ©mon's quest: the channel had beat every generation of PokÃ©mon, from Red all the way through X.
Obviously the channel didn't play every PokÃ©mon title in existence — they skipped spinoffs like PokÃ©mon Stadium and PokÃ©mon Snap — but they did hit all the major milestones. And the timing couldn't have been better either, as PokÃ©mon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are just months away from releasing. However, the channel's owner has yet to reveal whether he will incorporate one of those upcoming games into the schedule, although we strongly suspect he will. For now, viewers can pop over to the Twitch channel to watch the masses play PokÃ©mon Stadium.
Initially conceived as a fun experiment, Twitch Plays PokÃ©mon eventually evolved (get it?) into something surprisingly complex. At the beginning, viewers were simply typing strings of commands and watching the Trainer wander around aimlessly, but eventually the channel found order in all of the chaos. New systems like an Anarchy and Democracy feature helped weed out some of the incessant Helix Fossil touching and PokÃ©mon releasing, but this was still a sight to behold. And behold gamers did, sometimes in groups of up to 75,000.
So, while we don't know what the future holds for Twitch Plays PokÃ©mon, like Flappy Bird, the unending Simulators, and motion controls the fad was fun while it lasted. Now it's time to make way for the next unexpected video game phenomenon.
How much of Twitch Plays PokÃ©mon did you follow? Do you hope that the channel returns to tackle Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire?
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina