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20K people watch Grayson the fish play ‘Pokemon’ on TwitchTV

20K people watch Grayson the fish play ‘Pokemon’ on TwitchTV
20K people watch Grayson the fish play ‘Pokemon’ on TwitchTV

Over 20,000 have tuned in to watch a Japanese Fighting Fish named Grayson Hopper play and attempt to beat the original Pokemon Red/Blue on streaming video game website TwitchTV.

Created by two developers from the HACKNY Fellows Class of 2014. who attend the University of Chicago and Columbia University, the program allows the fish’s movements in his bowl to be assigned to a button on the screen, allowing Hopper to simply swim, yet play the handheld classic.

Information posted on the livestream's page on Twitch says the fish has been playing for over 160 hours and selected his first Pokemon, a Charmanader and named it, “AAAABBK.” He even defeated his rival’s Squirtle in his first Pokemon battle.

Most of the time however, Hopper’s character just stays in one place. Regardless, the thousands of Twitch users in the chat area for the feed have been vocal throughout his gaming journey, asking the page owners several times if he was dead and if he had a heater. Most of the time though, they're just cheering him to move in a direction where he can advance the game.

"Things can move a little slow, so another option we're considering is making the system distributed where we have a site where you can provide a fish stream link and we'll include it in the controlling, “Grayson’s owners said on Twitch.

This new Pokemon project comes on the heels of the uber successful “Twitch Plays Pokemon,” which saw nearly 120,000 gamers play the original Pokemon game and beat in 17 days. Hacking into Twitch’s message box and using it as a controller, gamers were able to input commands into the game, straight from the chat box. That event garnered over 35 million page views on Twitch’s site.

Since then, the players have moved on to the next generation of games and have stepped up their collaborative efforts, creating a live Google Doc to track progress and allow other players to quickly jump in and contribute.