When millions of people typed commands into the internet to play old Pokémon games one at a time, it exploded a whole new way of socialising around games into being and became the weirdest, most popular interactive drama of early 2014. Now a fish is playing Pokémon. And he's doing pretty well! Y'know, for a fish.
After spawning religions and inspiring other crowd-play streams, Twitch Plays Pokémon recently entered the modern era of pocket monster games. But Grayson Hopper, a fish being cared for by Patrick Facheris and Catherine Moresco, is going back to the beginning. Grayson's moves are determined by a grid with symbols for the inputs and buttons laid over a video of his bowl. Grayson's humans say that they idea came up for the HackNY hacking festival.
His progress is slow but hypnotizing, with long stretches of stillness broken up by inscrutable movements all over the playfield. So far, he's collected a Charmander, named it AAAABBK and managed to defeat a Squirtle from a rival trainer. At the time of this writing, more than 48,000 people have watched Grayson's tiny little brain unwittingly swim through the classic Nintendo strategy game. As one chat commenter put it: "Fish plays Pokemon: hours of boredom and moments of excitement !!!!" Even if he doesn't get much farther, he's already won so, so much.