'Twitch Plays Pokemon Crystal': A Battle of Anarchy and Democracy—No Longer About the Game?

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By Gel Galang | March 6, 2014 2:55 PM EST

Every trend runs its course, but with "Twitch Plays Pokemon" reaching a kind of standstill with the implementation of a new Democracy vs. Anarchy debate, how long will this gaming trend unite players?

So far, "Twitch Plays Pokemon Gen 2" version is just on its fourth day of play, but there now seems to be a divide in the reception of the "Pokemon Crystal" run of the game. The "Twitch Plays Pokemon" community members over at Reddit are voicing different opinions on where the new democracy mode is taking the "Pokemon Crystal" generation—and for some, it seems like far from how Gen 1 went.

Let's review. The new anarchy and democracy mode for "Twitch Plays Pokemon Crystal" now goes something like this: anarchy mode allows chat commands to be executed ASAP, while democracy mode chooses the most popular input during a 30-s voting period.

Unlike in the first gen, "Twitch Plays Pokemon" now employs an hourly Democracy mode, which, for some, is the killer of this new run.

Discussions are rampant about anarchists vs. democrats, and the call to bring back what some call the beauty in the chaos of last generation. One Redditor herro9n put it in a pretty good picture: active participation in the game has somehow lessened compared to Gen 1.

"As it stands, the only thing that matters is once an hour when democracy kicks in and democrats will fight to control and anarchists will fight to regain anarchy. Once it is back to anarchy, there is not much interest from any side until the next hour."

From Working Together to Working Against Each Other?

It seems that the focus of the players is no longer monopolised by the game, as it is slowly transferring onto the divide between anarchy and democracy.

Others are of the opinion that the game and the jokes and memes that came with it may have run their course. Redditor baeg says, "The increased apathy about TPP isn't because of Feraligator or because of people repeating jokes. People are more apathetic because the joke has run its course."

Though the Redditor does end on a positive note of choosing your preference, whether to check out of the game to avoid sinking deeper into apathy or finding fun in the new environment and rules.

Others think that democracy has become the easy way out to navigate through challenges and that whiling the time away for an hour to wait for Democracy to kick in and get the dangerous things done without hiccups is becoming the practice.

"I do have to say, having democracy every hour really kills it. ... Before we didn't have a choice. And then where it was based on vote we only used it when it was wholly necessary. Now people aren't willing to work for their achievements, they just want results now and use democracy every time they can't do one little thing," said Redditor madhoagie.

A Steady Run—That Can Still Be Fun?

There will obviously be a divide among "Twitch Plays Pokemon" gamers. There are those who firmly believe that despite the chaos and the high likelihood of troll-ability of anarchy, it can breed magical moments, both beautiful and tearful. But there are also those who believe that Democracy can be enjoyable and that there can be magic in the mundane as players get the job done.

Admittedly, the game is still at a young stage. Three days into playing the game is far too early to judge whether this run will not have even a fraction of the chaotic fun that "Twitch Plays Pokemon Gen 1" had. According to the Live Updates, there are only five badges under AJ's belt, only two Pokemons released in the wild and a handful of gyms more to go to.

As long as the "Twitch Plays Pokemon" community remains, at the core, players focused on the game, there's a high likelihood that a different kind of magic can happen, one that is unique to "Twitch Plays Pokemon Crystal" run.

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