Twitch Plays Pokemon – a livestreamed crowd-play event with thousands of individuals attempting to control and play through one game – has ended in triumph, and a new journey is already underway.
According to this TPP stats page, the game lasted a bit over 16 days and saw 36m total viewers during that time, with concurrent users at peaking at 121,000. The stream also saw 9m individual onlookers, who totaled over 1bn minutes watched. The game itself saw 122m commands issued through Twitch's chat function.
It also spawned new religions, political debates, and what feels like millions of memes. Watch parties were thrown at bars and other establishments, and college kids even took to real world property in the name of Helix – an Omanyte that almost inexplicably became the crowd's lord and savior.
It's hard to define what Twitch Plays Pokemon actually is. It is a game, and more accurately: a game within a game. Perhaps that partly explains the viral nature of this social experiment – something recognizable put together with something new and (arguably) absurd.
Whatever you want to call it, people want more. During the stream's run, several other “Twitch Plays” appeared for games including the original Legend of Zelda, and spoof feeds such as Twitch Plays Pokemon in real life and Twitch Plays Adam Sessler also came about as well. Twitch.TV appears to be turning into a budding game platform right in front of our eyes.
A new journey has also begun for the original TPP stream, as a Pokemon Crystal game kicked off earlier today. With the novelty of the experiment waning, it'll be interesting to see how it all evolves (apologies) from here.