Twitch Plays Pokemon: A Bloody Sunday and 11 Days Later, It's Still Far from the End

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By Johnlee Varghese | February 24, 2014 11:17 PM EST

How do you establish order in complete chaos? That's what Twitch Plays Pokemon seems to be all about. In simple words, it is a gaming stream that lets you play Pokemon with a lot of other people, by typing commands into chat. But how did it turn into an internet sensation?

Twitch screenshot
Twitch Plays Pokemon has become an online sensation in live stream gaming

Developed by an anonymous Australian programmer and launched on 12 February 2014, the stream became unexpectedly popular. Part game, part social experiment and to some extend an art project, Twitch Plays Pokemon is a crowd-sourced attempt at playing a hack of Game Freak's and Nintendo's 1996 role-playing video game Pokemon Red.

Viewers can enter button commands in the chat window - up, down, left, right, A, B, start - in the Twitch channel chat, and the commands will be translated into in-game results. However, with thousands of people entering different commands, the erratic nature of the control scheme has made the game longer and harder to play than it would have been under normal circumstances.

The popularity of the game can be understood from the fact that by 24 February, the stream had reached a total of over 26.4 million views and the craze of Twitch Plays Pokemon is expected to last till the whole game is completed, which may still take a long time.

Most recently, according to the Twitch website, the developers brought in some changes to make the game more beatable.

"Twitch Plays Pokemon now comes in two modes for determining the input to make in the game- anarchy mode and democracy mode. Anarchy mode is the classic mode, where everyone's inputs are applied immediately and to switch from anarchy mode to democracy mode, 80 per cent of the votes must be for democracy mode. Similarly, the democracy mode chooses the most popular input provided during a 20 second voting period and to switch from democracy mode to anarchy mode 50 per cent of the votes must be for anarchy mode," the Twitch website stated.

Since the new additions, players have made major progress, and have reached the Safari Zone, which is touted as the risky zone in the game. The players are well over halfway through the game, and now, with five gym badges to go before they can fight the elite four, and finish the game.

But Safari Zone is also touted as the most difficult part of the game, where calling it an impossible mission is not an over-exaggeration. This means that the game might run another few days before it can reach a plausible end.

The major breakthrough in the game came on Bloody Sunday, when 12 Pokemon were released and now the major goal is to surf to Cinnabar Island. In the last updates, the players have made it to the Cinnabar Island and have even managed to get into the surf.

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(Photo: Twitch screenshot / )
Twitch Plays Pokemon has become an online sensation in live stream gaming
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