Social experiment allows Twitch users to play Pokémon

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Twitch Plays Pokémon becomes a sensation
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  • Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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Twitch Plays Pokémon is a Twitch channel that went live on February 13, 2014, which uses a modded version of Pokémon Red. Using the standard Game Boy button controls, the members of the chat can input commands through the Twitch chatbox. The stream quickly gained viewers, causing it to be one of the most watched streams on Twitch with a peak of around 113,000 viewers.

Because of the user inputs a few Pokémon, including their starter Pokémon, caused gibberish nicknames, as well as caused difficulties traversing different areas. One area, the Rocket Hideout, took a length of time due to the spinners in the hideout. As it took over twenty-four hours to get through it, the programmer of the channel added an "Anarchy" and a "Democracy" mode. In anarchy mode, anything that is inputted goes through and takes effect. In democracy mode, actions are tallied and the action with the highest vote would take effect. It takes a 75% vote from users to switch to democracy mode. The start command has also had a throttle added to it, as many people had been spamming the start button.

Twitch Plays Pokémon has been featured on news outlets such as CNN and The Huffington Post due to its unique aspects and the amount of viewers watching the stream. Followers of the stream have also created a subreddit and a Google document detailing progress, and fan art detailing moments in the stream have also been created.

The stream has been ongoing for a week with four badges obtained.