Streaming company Twitch believes there’s a future in having millions of people all sharing control of a game.
By now, you’ve probably heard of the grand social experiment that is “Twitch Plays Pokemon.” The whole phenomenon, which began earlier this month and is still going strong, started after a Twitch user uploaded a custom script that allows people watching a game of Pokemon Red to manually input commands for the game.
And if you think having millions of viewers shout commands to a would-be Pokemon master might result in bit of anarchy, well, you’re probably right. The Twitch community has doggedly continued their quest to beat the game, though, and as of this writing have made it all the way to penultimate level Victory Road. And in this dedication, Twitch sees what might be the start of a new gaming platform.
“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, in an interview with website MCV. The success of “Twitch Plays Pokemon,” and the millions of views it has garnered so far, has made the company consider if there is a future in a service that lets viewers from all over the world share control of a single game.
“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 … We encourage everyone to think about new ways to leverage Twitch’s platform and community for creative gaming endeavors,” DiPetro said. “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.”
What do you think of this possibility? Are there any games you’d want to see played like this over Twitch or a similar service? Or is the whole idea just an epic-level trolling waiting to happen?