What is it about old games that makes us want to play them again?  The nostalgia?  The fond memories?  Whatever the reason may be, more than 28 million people have decided to rekindle their childhood fun by logging onto Twitch.tv.

The website allows anybody who logs on to control the main character, Red, in a non-stop game of Pokémon Red, the first game in the series that took America and our childhoods by storm during the early 1990s.

The frustratingly brilliant part of this is that anybody watching the game can control Red at any time by just typing in a command such as “up” or “start,” which makes progress well-nigh impossible without many, many attempts and failures.

For anybody wanting a good laugh, “Twitch Plays Pokémon” is the place to go, since tens of thousands of people trying to beat a game with very little success is a lot funnier than you would think.

A vast quantity of Internet memes have sprung up from “Twitch Plays Pokémon,” the majority of which focus on something that the players repeatedly do during the game.  For example, the players will often make Red select the Helix Fossil, a relatively useless item, while in the midst of battle.

This caused people to decide that consulting the Helix Fossil is essential to accomplishing anything in the game, and for people to make many Internet memes stating that it is the savior of the game’s universe.

In addition to being a humorous attempt for tens of thousands of people to beat a game designed for children, “Twitch Plays Pokémon” has become an interesting social experiment.  Red’s success can only be achieved by the players working together, which is an extraordinary feat for such a large number of people.  Additionally, the game’s creator decided to implement a voting system, in which the players can vote for either “anarchy” or “democracy” in order to decide how the game will turn out.

In its original state, the game was only run under “anarchy,” with any commands entered being obeyed by Red.  When “democracy” is voted in, the command with the most votes in a 20-second period will be obeyed, which many see as undermining the integrity of the game.  They feel that if the game cannot be beaten through “anarchy,” then it should not be beaten at all.

The “anarchy” versus “democracy” voting was only implemented so that certain difficult portions of the game could be accomplished relatively painlessly, but it has become an analogy for how things are done in the real world.

When the game is run under “anarchy,” almost nothing gets done, and everyone makes Red waste time for fun. When it is run under “democracy,” the plot gets played out, and Red gets important things done.

This is comparable to how things are done in the real world, with progress being made when people work together democratically, and chaos reigning when people act like they are in a state of anarchy.

If you decide that you want to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit your childhood, all while getting a good laugh, “Twitch Plays Pokémon” is the place for you.

Additionally, if you want to watch a social experiment at work, you’re in the right place.  “Twitch Plays Pokémon” is a very interesting concept, and should be watched by everyone, just to see what is going on in the game.  With so many people controlling one game at the same time, you never know what you may find.

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