Pokemon appears to be the game of choice for completely new ways to spend time on Twitch. After the wildly successful social engineering experiment that was Twitch Plays Pokemon, comes another random input version of the game. Two students from the HackNY Fellows Class of 2014 set up a motion tracking sensor for their pet fish, and then set it off to see if it can complete Pokemon Red by itself.
Grayson Hopper, the fish in question, has already spent more than 135 hours on the game; although he appears to still be stuck in Palette Town. Like every Pokemon player ever, Grayson has chosen Charmander as his starter and has managed to defeat his rival’s Squirtle. Unlike the chaos that was Twitch Plays Pokemon, this particular stream moves at a painfully placid pace. Also, the fish tends to fall asleep and bring all progress to a halt.
The input is provided through a webcam display that is divided into a nine-block grid. Each block contains a different input and is triggered when Grayson swims in that particular area. The developers continually randomised the distribution of the inputs to try to get the game to move faster, but the fish appears to be content with taking his time in finishing the game.
According to the creators, this stream was created as part of the HackNY event, a hackathon for New York students, and was completed in about 24 hours. They have promised improvements to the game and are trying to figure out how to make things move faster. There is already a – obligatory – subReddit set up for discussions. Viewers also seems to continuously assume Grayson has died every time the fish stops moving for a short while.