Magikarp has become a bit of a running joke as one of the least useful Pokemon in the lineup, so beating the whole game with it only adds to the fish Pokemon’s mystique.
Fish Plays Pokemon has no music or sound – and viewers have no control over the game at all. Grayson is fed at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., which is about the only constant in this game, because it ensures the fish will come to the top of the tank at those times and, in so doing, “select” functions in that area.
While Twitch Plays Pokemon allowed players to vote on their next move, Fish Plays Pokemon has stripped away the game play. It has turned a popular video game into a spectator sport – or maybe an art installation. It’s now a statement about the mesmerizing, unifying power of gaming culture. A fish can hold the community's attention 24/7. Even when the lights turn out, the online chat room keeps talking.
It reminds me of the kid who gets a huge gift for his or her birthday and chooses instead to spend the next week playing in the cardboard box the gift came in.
In fact, that could well be the next big thing – cardboard box. Just overlay the game panel and let a room full of toddlers at it on camera.
“It started a week ago Thursday with just six people watching and blew up overnight,” says Mr. Facheris, a senior computer science and math major at . He started the live video stream, titled Fish Plays Pokemon, with Ms. Moresco, a junior physics major at the University of Chicago. “Catherine called me at, like, 3 a.m. one night and said she had this dream about a fish playing Pokemon.”
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