As of this writing, over 15,000 people are watching (and playing) the same game of Pokémon. So how’s that even possible? Someone created a stream called Twitch Plays Pokémon (I embedded the stream below) where anyone watching can write commands in the chat window to play the game. If it sounds like thousands of people are writing random commands at any given time, you’ve guessed correctly.
According to the official FAQ, Twitch Plays Pokémon is a social experiment that was created using a rom of Pokémon Red running on an emulator. People watching the stream can input commands in the chat and a bot translates those written commands into actual keypresses via software.
The stream has been running for a few days and players have made some progress, but it remains to be seen how far they’ll make it. Will they beat the Elite Four? Will they capture Mewtwo? More importantly, what will happen with the unique Master Ball? I guess we’ll find out eventually.