A group of Twitter users have been playing Pokémon Red entirely through another user’s avatar, and it’s not going well.
With the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, complete with smooth frame rates and cutting-edge graphics, it’s easy to forget how far technology has come in such a short time. It wasn’t long ago that many thought games like Doom were the best gaming could ever get, and now Doom can run on anything from a Mario Bros. Game and Watch to a pregnancy test.
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Pokémon Red is even playable on Twitter, although maybe not in the traditional sense. A group of Twitter users have banded together to try and complete the game through another user’s avatar. Twitter user Constatine Liétard is a 3D Programmer at Gameloft Montreal and has managed to develop a script that continuously changes his Twitter avatar to different still images throughout the game, allowing users to take control of Red’s journey.
Twitter users can comment in the embedded thread what they want Red to do, and after fifteen seconds the avatar will change in correspondence with the most popular command. This has led to some truly baffling decisions including being stuck near the coffee-deprived old man in Viridian City for fifteen minutes, somehow navigating to the options menu to turn off battle animations, and picking Squirtle instead of the clearly superior Charmander.
The thread currently has over 12,000 comments, and Red is just leaving Pallet Town. It’s also worth noting that this thread was reset fairly recently in order to allow users to comment alongside their command, and Twitter has managed to make a fairly impressive amount of progress in only three hours. It would be lovely to see the playthrough go all the way, although it may take several weeks to reach the end.
Something like this was previously attempted by an Australian programmer back in 2014, who instead used Twitch’s chat room to play the game. It turned out to be just as popular as the Twitter playthrough, reaching an average viewership total of around 80,000 people. The Twitch playthrough took 16 days of continuous gameplay to reach the credits, but it’s a safe bet that it’ll take much longer this time around. Good luck Twitter, you’re going to need it.
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