Fish Plays Pokémon; Tens of Thousands Entranced

Rob Walker
Tech Columnist
August 8, 2014

Just when you thought the Internet had run out of baffling variations on the theme “How can I waste some time?” we have this: a livestream of a fish “playing” Pokémon.

Specifically, Creators Project reports, some enterprising coders have come up with a way of linking a replicated version of the vintage Pokémon Red game to the movements of a fish in a bowl.

A grid has been superimposed over the fishcam’s feed, with each square now corresponding with the game protagonist’s potential movements or actions. The game and the fishcam are presented in a split screen on the video game streaming site Twitch

Fish Plays Pokemon screenshot
Fish Plays Pokemon screenshot

As I type this, more than 23,000 people are watching the, uh, action.

And not a few of them are commenting, in a fast-scrolling chat window that’s part of the Twitch layout. Not surprisingly, they aren’t saying anything interesting — although in general this peanut gallery seems more concerned with the fish than with the gameplay.

Fish Plays Pokemon screenshot showing caht window
Fish Plays Pokemon screenshot showing caht window

According to an FAQ on the Twitch feed, “Fish Plays Pokemon” was created by Catherine Moresco and Patrick Facheris as a project for educational program HackNY.

The fish, incidentally, is named Grayson Hopper. And the FAQ also assures us that, while occasionally idle, he is not dead. Just sleeping.

The Internet!

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