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What It’s Like to Play One Pokemon Game with 13,000 People

15
Feb
2014

Thats essentially whats happening over at Twitch right now, where just under 13k users are watching and attempting to play an entire Pokemon Red/Blue game by typing directions into a chat window. The channel owner set up a system so that chatting the word of one of the games eight buttons — a, b, start, select, and each of the four directions — tells the games character to make that corresponding move. That creator used a combination of JavaScript and Python code, combined with an online Game Boy emulator, to program the crowd-sourced controls, according to an interview with Polygon. Of course, with that many users simultaneously telling the character what to do, gameplay is more like a chaos-filled pit of despair. You can see in the screenshot at right the number of people giving directions at any time, and those moves flow by constantly, as you can see below in a live stream of the game. That overload of directions made any basic tasks incredibly difficult.

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