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Twitter users are currently playing Pokémon Red entirely within a user’s avatar.
Gameloft Montreal programmer Constantin Liétard has built a script which changes his Twitter avatar every 15 seconds with a capture from the classic Game Boy title.
Users are able to control the game by replying to a Twitter thread with basic commands, such as “up”, “down”, or “A”, and the most commented input is then sent to the game each time Liétard’s avatar is updated.
So far, users have submitted more than five thousand replies to the Twitter Pokémon thread, which in real game terms translated to them picking a starter Pokémon (Squirtle) and barely leaving Pallet Town, the game’s starter area, over a day’s playtime.
On Saturday Liétard reset the game’s progress to refine his script and allow users to add commands and comments at the same time.
The Twitter game is reminiscent of the 2014 social phenomenon Twitch Plays Pokémon, a crowdsourced attempt to play Game Freak‘s Pokémon games by parsing commands sent by users through the channel’s chat room.
The concept was developed by an anonymous Australian programmer and launched on February 12, 2014, starting with Pokémon Red.
The stream became hugely popular, reaching an average concurrent viewership of over 80,000 viewers (with at least 10% participating), according to Twitch.
Several weeks later, on March 1, the game was finally completed after more than 16 continuous days of gameplay, with over 1.16 million people participating and peak simultaneous participation of 121,000.
The Pokémon Company recently began teasing plans to celebrate Pokémon’s 25th anniversary next year.
A group of Pikachu danced to the Pokémon theme song in New York’s Herald Square in November as part of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Following the performance, the group unveiled a large banner featuring the official logo for next February’s milestone birthday celebration.
“The Pokémon Company International invites fans around the world to stay tuned for more information about the very special upcoming celebration of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary in 2021,” the firm said in a press release.