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Posted by TruthTellah (9532 posts) -

Late into the night of Friday 21st, 2014, the BLUE stream of Twitch Plays Pokémon overcame all obstacles to finally defeat the Elite 4 and Rival (RED) to become the first Twitch Pokémon Master.

After 184 hours and 17 minutes in-game, over a thousand users finished their simultaneous singleplayer run of Pokémon Blue. Like many of those who took part in it, I watched and participated off and on throughout the run, and when myself and others were resting, different Twitch users from all around the world participated and guided Blue toward his eventual victory. A gym or map might have taken hours upon hours over even more than a day to complete, and thousands of individuals contributed to that result in their own small ways.

The moment our Blastoise, which was trained into a tank, finished off Rival (RED)

This was all achieved through a surprising mix of coordination and luck, and as I checked in every few hours, we were always just a bit further. Many strategies developed to compensate for a twenty second delay on what we saw on the stream, the inherent madness of hundreds of people trying to put in commands at once, and those who regularly set out to input commands to hinder us, and numerous strategies were compiled into this strategy document that was very helpful in informing people how to better help get things done.

There were little strategies like tactically pausing at times to buffer against derailing inputs, creating and sharing timely maps and guides to keep everyone informed, and finding ways to motivate one another to want to push the same keys in sync with everyone else. And that may have been the most amazing aspect of the run. Not simply that a random cacophony could beat a classic videogame, but that hundreds(and indeed thousands) could somehow haphazardly work together to defeat each and every challenge.

Despite being a singleplayer game, you were never the hero. In Twitch Plays Pokémon BLUE, you were one of many collectively overcoming obstacles. We caught Pokémon. We raised them. We defeated Team Rocket. We beat the game. Despite often regarding it as a silly side activity over the past week, I have come to realize how rare it is for gaming experiences to give that kind of collective sense of achievement. I don't believe my part was at all special or too significant, and I know many who did far more. But I was still a part of it.

In the big picture of its madness, we were all important in it turning out exactly as it did, and frankly, in a world where you may often not believe in others, it's somewhat surprising and reassuring to see a few thousand people actually conquer a game like this together. Most were purely anonymous with only an attachment of goals we had all set out to conquer.

While there were missteps along the way, "Surftoise" was grinded into the leader of our narrow victory.

So, I am thankful to those kind folks. The tenacious, the passionate, the bored, the irresponsible, the enthusiastic, the ones who called-in-sick, the planners, the cheerleaders, and the surprisingly diligent. All your A's, B's, Lefts, Rights, Ups, and even Downs. It couldn't have happened without you.

Now, as I say goodbye to Pokémon BLUE, I can't help but think of Pokémon RED. Those lovable madmen who have constructed an ever-evolving mythology surrounding their run. I've enjoyed watching and participating in Pokémon RED, as well, and I recommend you give it a shot if you have the chance. It is entertaining chaos. With a few thousand folks guiding Pokémon BLUE, it was difficult but possible, particularly through coordinated messaging, encouragement, and repetition. Yet, as you are likely to have heard, Pokémon RED has grown with public attention, blooming into tens of thousands. We were a Blue Lake to their Red Sea.

Even with that enormous size, though, I am now confident that they will see victory. The progress has already been miraculous, but the backbone of that miracle are hundreds and thousands of crazy gamers cultivating a community and coordinating to get things done.

Slowly but surely, through every troll and challenge, they will get there. Because as ridiculous as it may seem amidst the disorder around us, we can do more than we ever think possible when we find a way to work together.

A special thanks to Twitch user Trakof for setting it all up(and now facilitating a Twitch run of Pokemon Silver) and awesome duder @golguin! It was always a delight to run into him in the stream and catch up on the progress being made. He was a diligent button presser and a great encouragement to others.

[Google Doc for more info on the Twitch Plays Pokemon BLUE run]

#1 Edited by Tarsier (1078 posts) -


i remember my 7th birthday
it was the best day of my life
i didnt even jomp on the bouncerama
all i did was play my new Blue Gameboy Color with Pokemon Blue Version
i chose squirtle and caught a jigglypoff my first try


#2 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

Is there any mythology page for the Blue run or any particularly interesting/ridiculous parts of the run? It's an impressive feat they accomplished, but with fewer people participating and therefore fewer mistakes it just doesn't seem as fun.

#3 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1105 posts) -

@red: Yeah I agree with you on this one. I want the game to finish with at least 50,000 people.

#4 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4891 posts) -

Those lovable madmen who have constructed an ever-evolving mythology surrounding their run.

What is this!?

#5 Posted by ikilledthedj (349 posts) -


#6 Posted by flasaltine (1731 posts) -

Why should I care about a ripoff Twitch Plays Pokemon?

#7 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12251 posts) -

Good on those guys, but it was always going to be faster than the mainline Red run because they were operating with like 1/50th of the people most of the time. Still, I don't think Red's victory is *much* further behind. They're having some trouble in the Saffron Gym, but they'll pull through soon enough.

#8 Posted by Chop (1999 posts) -

I'm smiling like an idiot right now. The internet is fucking awesome

#9 Posted by pyrodactyl (2418 posts) -

Way easier without thousands of trolls in the chat at any given time

#10 Posted by RazielCuts (2997 posts) -

I came expecting GIF's @truthtellah, I leave disappointed.

#11 Edited by Animasta (14745 posts) -

weren't they banning a lot of people? I've heard complaints on the SA TPP thread that they were and it was a boring copy due to them banning people.

#12 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (6090 posts) -

@tarsier: Seeing that picture brings back such good memories. :)

#13 Edited by pyromagnestir (4344 posts) -

I didn't even know there were two streams.

#14 Posted by Zeik (2887 posts) -

More proof that the Blue version is the better version.

#15 Posted by Bollard (5930 posts) -


#16 Edited by The_Great_Time_Muffin (31 posts) -

Pfffft. Whatever. RED is the one people should have been watching.

#17 Edited by MB (13286 posts) -

I'm going to have to close this since there is an existing, active topic discussing the whole Twitch Plays thing with over 500 replies already, and it's still on the top page of the forums. Remember that when you elect to cross-post your blogs to the forums they become treated as if they were forum threads themselves, and we try to avoid duplicate topics whenever possible. Plus, this is in General Discussion for whatever reason and moving topics is currently broken, so this one is bound to be lost anyway.

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