As if Pokémon Go couldn’t get any more communal: the coding cowboys at hackNY just figured out how to let mobs of players team up and control the game together via Twitch. Joining the experiment/novelty is as simple as popping into the live chat.
The crew’s running the game out of a real iPhone which’s GPS has been spoofed; so its Poké Trainer still ostensibly traverses New York, even whilst being controlled by a sort-of aggregate, virtual player. All “touch events” on screen are decided by a real-time vote. Viewers are given a list of possible commands–each with an array of conditions–and the “player” follows whatever choice is most requested. So, if you enter the chat, you might type “TAP D 13” or “THROW 3.” And if enough other chatters request the same, then that’ll be the next move in this never-ending search for digital critters.
It may sound like an overly-convoluted approach to a simple game but, believe it or not, this isn’t actually the first Twitch-ed take on Pokémon. There was an earlier “social experiment,” the channel TwitchPlaysPokémon, which applied the same crowd-sourced control scheme to basically every Pokémon title up until that point. And the Twitch gang beat every game that way.
hackNY has already volunteered to take this channel down if any of the powers-that-be object to it. So, the experiment could be gone in a flash. Or it could uncover new summits of Pokémon mastery by putting our collective wits together. Again, the only way to find out is to log in.
Does this turn Pokémon Go into an overwhelming, cacophonous experience? Or is it the perfect alignment of current tech for true 21st century gaming? Treat the talkback like Twitch, and vote!