Software Web

TwitchPlay[Games]! Social Experiment With a Large Following — The Community

A continuation from the previous TwitchPlaysGames blog which can be found at


Once the project was done the stream went live under the name TwitchPlaysPokemon, which was given the acronym TPP. Starting with a few players, the adventure began. A new game was created and the nostalgic adventure of Pokémon was underway. Starting with roughly 1,000 people, it was mind-boggling how this once single player game was being played by so many people, yet this was just the start. TPP began rising in popularity extremely quickly. Within hours, the viewer count rose to 5,000, then to 10,000. Within two days, the stream was averaging about 50,000 viewers.


A viewer of TPP contacting Guinness World Records about 50k viewers
A viewer of TPP contacting Guinness World Records about 50k viewers. Original Post from Reddit user CajunPlatypus can be found here

A community rose from a single stream of an old game which many people played as children, teenager or young adults, expanding to a vast number of social networking and blog sites such as Facebook, Twitter (#TwitchPlaysPokemon), Reddit (with the subreddit More and more players began coming to the stream until it became the most viewed stream on Twitch, above all other existing channels.


Visual representation of 70,000 people playing TPP
Visual representation of 70,000 people playing TPP

TPP started to become more than it was intended, molding into a social experiment more than anything else. With such a large number of people, the developer began to change the format of the stream, applying things such as the “Anarchy vs Democracy” system (AVD). In its release format, anybody, at any moment, could say “Down” and the character would move accordingly, and with the number of players approaching 100,000, movement became very chaotic and almost random. The AVD system would have the players voting on whether they wanted to continue playing in the original way, or use a new mode, democracy. For democracy to be activated, people must vote democracy into a 75% threshold over anarchy. When democracy is active, every 15 seconds, all players’ actions are tallied and the option with the most votes is input to the game.

While in anarchy mode, losing due to non-coordination.
While in anarchy mode, losing due to non-coordination.

TPP was considered “completed” once the Elite Four, the final four trainers of the game that must be beaten in sequence. This was completed with the timer: 16 days 7 hours 45 minutes 30 seconds. The hype began to die down, but TPP still lives on, playing more emulated games using the same software it did for the Pokemon Red. TPP has since then played, Pokemon Crystal which was completed in 13 days and 2 hours, and is now in the process of completing Pokemon Emerald.

TPP stream currently
TPP stream currently, a few days into playing Pokemon Emerald

TPP in the month it’s been playing has surmounted 50 million unique channel views, which is when someone just loads up the stream for the first time, a hefty sum of people for a singular stream. TPP has players at any moment of the day, and be sure to give it a visit!