"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
Twitch Plays Pokemon has been sweeping the Internet for the past 10 days or so and it has been a pretty wild ride. It's just such a funny concept that there would be thousands - then tens of thousands - of people all trying to control a single game of the original Pokemon through commands input via Twitch's chat, interpreted from a cleverly programmed IRC bot and input into commands on an emulator.
At first, I think it's easy to discount it as being something that has no point and doesn't go anywhere; I'm sure there are a lot of people that just don't get it. I can see why, it seems really strange to someone who expects a LP, want to progress, or can't laugh at the simple chaos. It's funny for a few minutes then you move on and go about your normal business.
After a couple hours or a day, it starts to twitch (see what I did there?) in the back of your mind. I wonder how TPP is progressing; are they still stuck trying to cut a tree? And then, much to your surprise you find out that progress is being made, albeit slowly. The forward lurch of thousands is undeniable and it sparks curiosity, mesmerizing fascination and a strange twinge of optimism...I wonder how far they can go? I wonder if they can be the very best?!
Then it really starts to draw on you. You start finding out more about it, discovering things like the subreddit and its endless enthusiasm; the excellent fanart depicting TPP's dominance over all other streams and characterizations of the stories that have come to be from the adventure; comics (via @bennmarion) and an endless supply of memes. The planned coordination, stories that people have made and the attachment to inexplicably obtained Pokemon are part of this communal experience, drawing you in and making you want to participate.
I think that someone on Reddit put it best when writing about the democracy versus anarchy system:
I finally understand why Democracy is met with such violent opposition; it's because it's fun to not know what's going to happen next. People don't want to see Red beat the Elite Four as quickly as possible; people want to see what kind of crazy, unpredictable shenanigans happen along the way.
I think it is similar to what makes life interesting. Good and bad things happen and, chaotic as it may seem, it's the journey that makes things fun.