The Future of Pop Culture
Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 06:53PM
Sam Rutherford in Gaming, Internet, Pokemon, Twitch.tv

Over the last week one stream has gone from zero to the largest channel on Twitch, broadcasting a black and white Gameboy game from 1996 no less. That channel is Twitch Plays Pokemon, and its popularity has grown to peaks of over 80,000 concurrent viewers.

 

Twitch Plays Pokemon is the perfect example of a novel idea combined with technology showcasing new forms of pop culture. The channel is a playthrough of a hacked and emulated version of Pokemon red, but instead of having one person inputting the commands the channel takes input from the chat. It has been programmed to understand all the d-pad directions and A.B, Start and Select. This is the kind of audience interaction major media groups can only dream about but are instead forced to throw hashtags and calls for "Likes" in your face. At the time of writing they are have already acquired 4 badges and continue to progress at a slow but steady pace. Even setbacks such as depositing their entire roster into the PC and the difficulty of using Cut have only gone to increase the viewers everyday. Difficult puzzles have also been conquered, like the barrels in Lt. Surge's gym which was conquered on the first try.

 

While the recently implemented site wide 30 second delay between video and chat has made even more challenging, like a million monkeys banging away on million typewriters they production continues on like an unstoppable force.  The channel has even already spawned copycats and followers in its wake, with channels showing a RNG generator playing through the same game and a crowd sourced playthrough of Final Fantasy I and II.

 

And in a week or two when the chat conquers the Elite 4 and vanquishes their rival the channel will probably fade into obscurity again, albeit while leaving behind a legacy of Twitch Plays All the Games.

 

But it goes to show how with the invention of the internet, pop events spring up and pass by before the mainstream even notices. This trend will only continue and accelerate, and that's fine. It has become so easy to reach out to others with similar tastes and interests that there's no time to stand up and shout so others will notice, they won't care anyways. The point is, get deep into what fascinates you, as deep as you can and stop caring about what the Jones's think. Otherwise the only one really missing out is yourself.

Article originally appeared on scrknights (http://scrknights.com/).
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