Image source: Maybe? Ugh. Thanks, internet for never sourcing anything!
My fellow followers of Lord Helix, believers in the Dome, and everyone else in the over 60,000 participants of Twitch Plays Pokemon, today, the 16th day at the 7th hour and the 45th minute, a monument in history was achieved. Thousands and thousands of people have come together to play and beat Pokemon in what may be the most interesting social experiment I have ever seen.
Now I’m sure your thinking, “James, TPP was fun and all but is it really that big of a deal? I mean they were bound to beat it at some point!” I suppose on cursory inspection there’s not much to the idea that given enough time, a bunch of random button presses might eventually lead to successful results, despite the fact that the game played like the following graphic most of the time:
The thing is, TPP was not all that random. When it started 16 days ago it took the internet by storm and it became the internet’s goal to beat it by any means necessary, so they started organizing. Voice chats were started all over the internet in multiple languages to talk about strategies. Shifts were set up based on different countries and time zones so that there would be no periods of downtime. Paperwork was started to document the progress. So-called TPP Historians began recording the game’s key moments, uploading these to the net for all who missed them. The players and audience were even polled to help make decisions on where red would go next or what they would do to grind. People of different races, creeds, religions, ideals, languages, genders – everyone came together to beat this game.
What might be even more interesting than the over 60,000 people that came together to play the game is the natural divide in mentalities it created. When the game started it had a basic concept; when users input commands into the chat they were carried out by the player in the game. Around the second day, the creator of the experiment implemented a new system called Democracy, where after every second the command entered the most over that period of time would be implemented. This caused a riot from those that preferred the old system, so it was replaced with a balancing mechanic were people voted for which system would rule, the original Anarchy or the new Democracy. The battle between Anarchy and Democracy lead to events like Bloody Sunday or the Start 9 riots. Still, despite this great divide everyone still had to come together to beat the game.
People coming together to complete a goal despite their differences and despite the odds is one of the best things about humanity, and Twitch Plays Pokemon is one of the most interesting examples I have seen of this in a long time. The creativity and dedication that comes with that is just another amazing bonus. So I encourage you to follow the link below and read the document of their progress, look at all the art, and of course read the lore. I can guarantee you will be as fascinated as I am.