news\ Feb 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Twitch Plays Pokemon experiences democracy, fights back with anarchy, and entertains thousands

Twitch Plays Pokemon

Want a lesson in democracy, anarchy, and trolling? You might want to check out the Twitch Plays Pokemon, a stream that has caught the attention of thousands of gamers who are simultaneously controlling the lead character in Pokemon Red/Blue.

It's a fascinating phenomenon that sees thousands of players work in unison, or complete disarray, to complete the game. When it was first made live, viewers would type a command into the chat and the system would perform the action of the command it could process first. However, because of the growing popularity of the stream,its creator has implemented a new system to establish some sort of order -- or democracy, rather. Now there's a voting system in place where a viewer's command essentially acts as a vote. The action with the most support is the one that is performed.

The new system is designed to bring order to all of the chaos, but not everyone is on board with the switch, as evident by the growing number of "START" trolls. For those people, there's another voting system that allows users to push a meter to either "anarchy" or "democracy." The former choice will restore the game to its previous format where chaos rules all.

Though extremely frustrating, it's also hilarious to watch; though I'm not heavily invested in trying to complete the game. Twitch has been keeping a close eye on this phenomenon, noting that the stream has crossed more than 75,000 concurrent viewers. The site maintains that the total number of unique members who have participated in the stream is more than quadruple that amount.

We're already five and a half days in and Twitch Play Pokemon shows no signs of slowing. But can gamers really unite to complete the game in its entirety? 

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