12,000 people play a single Pokemon game at the same time on Twitch

In what can only be described as the best thing to happen to Valentine’s Day, about 12,000 people are participating in a collective game of Pokemon Red/Blue on the live game-streaming service Twitch, all by simply typing in directions in the comment box in a messy frenzy. Not every single one of the viewers is mashing in commands of course, but because anyone with a Twitch account can comment on a public stream, any viewer is a potential player in this wacky experiment.

Twitch Plays Pokemon looks like an average Twitch game stream at first. In fact, it is a game in itself, as viewers are able to control the hero of Pokemon Red and Blue by inputting commands in the streaming platform’s chat window. As of this writing, the stream is nearing ten thousand viewers after close to two days of play, many of which are wildly typing “a,” b,” “up,” “down” and other instructions, sending the obedient Pokemon master into frenzied directions. We’ve embedded the stream after the break. As much as it sounds like players would never be able to accomplish much in this fashion, viewers were able to push on past the second gym leader of the game, Misty. Our math may be shaky at best, but we figure that with the diligence of the stream’s viewers, we’ll have collected all the Pokemon in a month. We shudder to think of what will happen with the beloved, singular Master Ball in the game, however.

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