Catching Pokemon via Google Maps

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Finally. I can catch Pokemon on my phone thanks to Google.

It’s a fun little distraction but more importantly, it’s a sign of the times. If this was 20 years ago, we would have seen Pac-man or Donkey Kong used as April Fool’s Day pranks. Now it’s Pokemon.

Will Angry Birds be the bud of jokes in 2020?

Twitch Plays Pokemon: Crystal Started

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twitch-logoMy ongoing fascination with Twitch Plays Pokemon continue. It took just 16 days but they finally did it: Twitch beat Pokemon Red. Now they’ve moved onto Generation II with Pokemon Crystal.

In that transition, the proprietors of this innovative stream included the feature to force “Democracy” mode once per hour. Democracy mode tallies command inputs over a set period of time and then executes the most popular one. However, Twitch users will be able to vote out of Democracy mode by submitting “Anarchy”.

Some will argue that the purity of the initial idea was lost with the inclusion of the “Democracy” and “Anarchy” system but I think it makes for a more interesting stream. The built in teams forces viewers and “players” to choose sides and call temporary truces for the common good. Nobody wants to be stuck in a simple maze for days — even the most anarchists can attest to that.

So far, progress in Pokemon Crystal has been slow. New features like the EXP bar have made it easy for users to predict when to spam “B” to interrupt Pokemon evolutions. I lucked out today and witnessed the evolution of the “A.J Downey Jr.’s” starting Pokemon thanks to Democracy mode. Now we all await his eventual release from the roster by the haters.

I don’t spend much time watching the stream. In fact, the longest I left the stream running was probably 20 minutes or so and I only did that because I enjoyed the music. I’m content just checking in every few hours to see what’s happening.

The Masses Play Pokemon

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nintendo-logoAt the time of writing, Twitch Plays Pokemon has been running for just over four days. In that time, thousands of people collectively navigated through four gym leaders. But you wouldn’t know that if you spend just a few minutes watching the stream. It’s absolute chaos and it’s a miracle anything is accomplished.

This excerpt from the page explains how this whole thing works:

What is this?
TwitchPlaysPokemon is a social experiment, it is a stream of the Gameboy version of Pokemon Red (151 romhack) running on an emulator. An IRC bot translates buttons said in chat into keypresses (simulated in software, no fancy typist robots).

How do I play?

Say the button you want pushed in chat (a, b, start select, up, down, left, right), please be aware that there is considerable input lag (see below) and will take awhile before your inputs are registered.

Only one button per message is accepted, there’s no combos or holds.

Even with all the chaos, order pierces through and progress is made. Is it the will of the masses or just dumb luck that four gym leaders fell?

As amazing as the progress is, it’s the stories that people have conjured up to describe the events that have transpired that are most amusing to me. Sacred items and false prophets were named, civil wars have erupted in the Twitch chat over released Pokemon and discarded items.

This is the kind of dumb internet tomfoolery that I love most with games.



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