The internet can often be a dark and unforgiving place, full of hostile trolls, anonymous abuse and juvenile behaviour. But occasionally we are reminded of its enormous potential; it's wondrous ability to unite international communities and create experiences otherwise impossible anywhere else. Twitch plays Pokemon was one such inspiring event, and reminded me that for all its downsides, the internet is an undeniably beautiful thing.
One year ago an anonymous Australian programmer had an ingenious idea that ignited the online community overnight: let's have one giant co-operative game of Pokemon Red played by the whole of the internet!
The programmer set up a Twitch channel that not only allowed anyone to watch the game be played, but also let them affect the game itself - live. The chatroom for the stream enabled viewers to enter commands that would control the character on screen, resulting in pure, hilarious mayhem. Some tried to complete the game while others attempted to foil those players, splitting into two juxtaposed camps: Anarchy and Democracy.
The experiment lasted for 16 continuous days of gameplay, with around 1.16 million people participating. It was a period of internet magic and is a prime example of the wonderfully bizarre creations that awesome fans offer us every day!
On it's first anniversary, I take a look back at the phenomenon that was Twitch Plays Pokemon!
There were euphoric moments...
Like when this level 36 Venemoth named 'AATTVVV' miraculously managed to defeat a level 62 Dragonite!
And there were some much darker moments
Like when this devious player released the game's precious starter Pokemon.
Some sections lasted mere seconds
Others whole days
But the Elite Four ultimately fell
And four victorious Pokemon entered into the history books:
Happy Birthday Twitch Plays Pokemon - We Will Never Forget You! Share your memories from this epic moment of mass co-operation below...