Well folks, the internet has gotten just a bit weirder, though for once it may be in a good way. If you head over to the Twitter profile of Constatin Liétard, a 3D programmer at Gameloft in Montreal, you’ll probably notice two things. First is that their profile picture is a screenshot of Pokémon Red. Second is that every few seconds, it updates. That’s because now all of Twitter can apparently play Pokémon Red on this Twitter profile by responding to it.
If you remember the “Twitch Plays Pokémon” phenomenon, this is essentially that in Twitter form. In “Twitch Plays Pokémon” there was a live chat of hundreds of thousands of people screaming commands which were then promptly fed into the game. It made for absolute chaos for weeks on end, but also proved to be a neat social experiment, seeing if we could band together to beat the game and praise the Helix Fossil.
This time around the experiment is a bit more controlled, albeit still mildly chaotic. Every 15 seconds or so, the command with the most inputs (whichever reply appears the most) is then applied to the game, and the change is reflected in Liétard’s ever-changing profile picture. It’s some pretty nifty black magic if you ask me and makes sure that there is at least some method to the madness.
Things are going decent so far. Understandably, a lot of time has been spent messing around in menus, but Twitter did manage to pick and evolve a Squirtle (a good and underrated boy) so maybe the site isn’t entirely bad.
The experiment has grown into an immediate hit since launching on Jan. 8. The original post which receives the inputs has thus far gotten over 34k replies, and a Discord server made by Liétard has already seen a ton of traffic. In the server, there are channels hosting discussions on both minute-to-minute decision-making and long term goals for the playthrough.
In Liétard’s bio, they pose the question “Twitter Plays Pokemon?” I’m excited to see what the answer to that ends up being.