Twitch Starts Pokemon Go Channel

twitch pokemon go
(Photo: Twitch/Niantic)

A couple of years ago, a Twitch user started a social experiment called "Twitch Plays Pokemon". Basically, "Twitch Plays Pokemon" was a playthrough of the original Pokemon game, with crowdsourced directions and instructions coming in from the channel's chat room. Twitch Plays Pokemon became an internet phenonomenon, leading to the channel playing through all the Pokemon games multiple times.

Now, Twitch has started a "Twitch Plays Pokemon Go" channel, which lets the Twitch community play the hot new mobile app using the same methods as Twitch Plays Pokemon. Players enter commands like "spin", "scroll" or "move" to control the player, with spoofed GPS coordinates designed to "trick" the game into thinking the player is actually walking around the real world.

The project was started by members of the group HackNY, who rigged a jailbroken iPhone to simulate walking in the real world. The "Twitch Plays Pokemon Go" player began in New York's Central Park and appears to still be wandering the area. Theoretically, Twitch could send the player anywhere, even to the middle of the ocean.

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Over 80,000 people have watched Twitch Plays Pokemon Go, with much more expected to come. It's possible Niantic Labs and Nintendo could ban the "Twitch Plays Pokemon Go" account as it's technically rigging the system, but the platform's creators are hoping the game's developers realize it's all in good fun.