News and Notes

Crowdsourced 'Pokemon' Becomes A Viral Hit on Twitch

Twitch users try to catch 'em all

On Feb. 14, an anonymous user on Twitch — the videogame broadcasting platform that now accounts for more Internet bandwidth than Hulu or Facebook — crafted and began playing a stark-looking version of Pokémon, a classic '90s Game Boy title. The twist? The user was allowing chat-room participants to dictate every move in the game. As of press time, the "Twitch Plays Pokémon" channel had progressed more than halfway through the game, with over a million people playing and 7 million tuning in to watch. "You have people who want pure play, and the other people who want the heavy hand," says Twitch VP of marketing Matthew DiPietro of the fan-fueled phenomenon. "Everybody is getting crazy philosophical about it."

Originally posted Feb 28, 2014 Published in issue #1301 Mar 07, 2014 Order article reprints