If you’ve been watching the glacial progress of Twitch Plays Pokémon, you might be witnessing the evolution of the streaming platform into a game platform, according to Twitch.
Having managed to only sit through five minutes of the stream, I can’t think of a less entertaining way to experience a game, but there’s no denying its popularity. Millions of people have stared at the crawl from gym to gym, hammering away on their keyboards ceaselessly.
“It has delivered a huge and sustained audience for days on end and captivated the attention of the entire Twitch community,” said Matthew DiPietro, VP of marketing at Twitch
“The incredibly high volume of chat activity has helped us to hone our chat system to deal with massive loads like we’re experiencing,” he continued. “It has also made us all think deeply about creative social experiments that can be done on Twitch. This is one of the most interesting things we've seen on Twitch since we launched, and we hope to see more experiments like it.”
This obviously doesn’t mean that Twitch is actually going to become a game platform, but DiPietro sees Twitch Plays Pokémon as an interesting proof-of-concept, leveraging Twitch in new ways.
“This is unique in the history of Twitch. And when you consider how game developers might capitalise on features and functionality like this, the sky is the limit,” said DiPietro. “We’ve also seen many new viewers come in as the result of popular interest generated from the widespread press attention.”
It’s certainly good for Twitch, but will this type of community controlled gameplay catch on? Is Twitch Plays Pokémon a passing fad, quickly obsessed about and just as quickly forgotten, or the start of something new?
If you don't want to have to sit through agonisingly dull footage of the Pokedex opening and closing the the game pausing constantly, you can check out our highlights of the journey so far right here.