Twitch Plays Pokemon: An Unintentionally Awesome Social Experiment.

How a linear RPG from over a decade ago creates a social microcosmic mirror.

The Twitch Plays Pokemon thing is ridiculous.  It’s also awesome. There’s a very powerful component that gets used in any story: making a choice. It’s powerful because it’s divisive. This mass-choice driven semi-coherent, vaguely random demonstration has, to my eyes, given us a brilliant little insight into, a rather exaggerated, human social brain.

Now it’s nothing we haven’t seen in one form or another several times before. The factions that have sprung up out of these choices and actions interest me:

The choice to store the Helix fossil.

Throwing away the moonstone.

The choice to release two of the Pokemon, including the starting Pokemon.

The Evolution of Eevee into Flareon.

The result seems to have created a couple of minor religions and a couple of social groups.

The Religions:

The Spiral of the Helix

The Order of the Dome – and the Prophet Eevee/Flareon.

The Existing Social Groups:

The Society in Mourning for Abby and Jay Leno.

The Golden Society of the S.S. Ticket

At the moment you have the two religions preaching at each other, while the Society in mourning for Abby and Jay Leno kind of stumbles around in the midst of the madness screaming incoherently.

What I’m hoping is for more decisions/choices and divides. Red has become a kind of stand in for society – stumbling around blindly in a maze, gambling and buying stupid amounts of useless products while everybody on the ride screams and shouts their agenda in an almost futile bid to steer him to victory.

I know this is a somewhat exaggerated look at the whole thing, but I love how people will form these strange little groups around, apparently, anything. It’s fantastic. It’ll be interesting to see if this continues like this, with it’s now insane following, or if it’ll taper out and die off.


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