What 'Twitch Plays Pokémon' Says About Humanity

Despite the chaos of having thousands of people try to control a single Pokémon game, one thing was was certain about the end of the first run of 'Twitch Plays Pokémon'—it was damned inspirational and thought-provoking. Lots of folks were skeptical that finishing the game was even possible.


Lots of comparisons were made. The entire thing was like the US government, it was a microcosm of the internet at large, it represented certain politics, it was a giant social experiment—on and on. PBS Idea Channel delves into the many philosophical ideas we can extrapolate from the entire event and its players, and it's a fascinating watch.

Personally, I'm not as interested in the loftier ideas about the message we can take from TPP—I just love communal passion about media and I especially like Pokémon. But if it gives you hope for humanity or something, sure—great!

What did you take away from Twitch Plays Pokémon?

Does Twitch Plays Pokemon Give You Hope for Humanity? [PBS Idea Channel]



That depends on which version of TPP that you are referring to.

The first round, with Pokemon Red, was actually quite inspirational. It was a novel experience and I am glad that I participated in it. I was actually quite amazed that several THOUSAND people can get together and accomplish something like this. And when I participated in that battle against Blue (in the middle of the freaking night only 2 hours after I got off work), that was just exhilarating.


The novelty has since worn off. I'm sorry, but while keeping up with Pokemon Crystal is interesting, the weirdness of it all is a little....stupid. There are people who are trying to release Feraligator ("Lazorgator") in order to recreate events from the last game (or claim that he is too powerful)....which is asinine. And while players are pushing for anarchy (which is understandable), the lack of democracy is affecting our choices of Pokemon. Just recently, the Red Gyarados was defeated, which is a shame because he could have learned Waterfall and Whirlpool, moves that have been a concern for days now. And Togepi was released because.....I don't know why.

So now I have two different experiences: the first was an inspiring example of what people can do with a singular goal; the second example is a frustrating example of what happens when that goal is lost and pure anarchy reigns.