Unless you've been hiding under a rock recently, you've probably heard of the social experiment known as Twitch Plays Pokémon. In short, thousands of players are able to control trainer Red in a streamed version of Pokémon Red via command input in the chat section. It was originally developed as an experiment to test the viability of the Twitch format, the way people interact with the input system and the way they interact socially. Due to the success of Twitch Plays Pokémon and several other spin-offs it is now being suggested that Twitch could evolve into its own games platform.
Twitch Plays Pokémon recently hit the 100,000 concurrent user peak last week and completed the goal of beating all eight gym leaders and reviving the Helix fossil; it also amassed enough participants to disrupt messaging systems across the service last week. Players involved in the series have erected a Google site to monitor the game's progress.
Matthew Di Pietro, Vice President of Twitch stated:
It has delivered a huge and sustained audience for days on end and captivated the attention of the entire Twitch community.The incredibly high volume of chat activity has helped us to hone our chat system to deal with massive loads like we’re experiencing. 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
As for the idea of Twitch becoming a games platform he said:
You never know. Twitch Plays Pokémon is an interesting proof-of-concept though. We encourage everyone to think about new ways to leverage Twitch’s platform and community for creative gaming endeavors. This is unique in the history of Twitch. And when you consider how game developers might capitalize on features and functionality like this, the sky is the limit.
The idea is certainly a hot topic at the moment. Do you think something like this is likely to draw in developers or more enthusiasts and pave the way for another form of social gaming?