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The World Is Playing Pokemon On Twitter

The world can now play Pokemon Red in the unlikeliest of places: Twitter. A user by the name of Constantin Liétard has started a thread on his account where fans can comment with the game's next move and the account's avatar image is updated accordingly.


Liétard's Twitter bio states that they are a 3D Programmer for Gameloft Montreal and a "Game Jam God" for game development company Temporarily Unnamed Collective. Liétard began their Twitter Pokemon journey on Jan. 8 with a screenshot of the Game Boy game as his profile photo. Players were told to comment one of the following words, "Up, Down, Left, Right, A, B, Start, Select," to control the protagonist's next move. In a follow-up tweet, Liétard explained that "comments are pulled every 15 [seconds] and the most commented input is then sent to the game." In other words, the current game state is automatically turned into Liétard's current profile image.

The ongoing game of Pokemon Red quickly grew in popularity as fans flooded the replies of Liétard's tweet. The creator has now restarted the game a few times to add different functions to the emulator, such as a functionality that saves the frames and one that improves inputs. Additionally, Liétard created a "Temporarily Unnamed" Discord server for players to easily discuss the next move.


Liétard has been answering some fan questions in the replies while people play Pokemon Red. One user asked the clever programmer if they would be adding another emulation to the Twitter avatar after players finish up Pokemon. This prompted Liétard to suggest Super Mario Land, another Game Boy title, played frame by frame. However, they did not confirm that Super Mario Land will definitely be the next title.

Liétard's Pokemon game on his Twitter account bears a striking resemblance to another Pokemon Red social media game dating all the way back to 2014. An anonymous Australian programmer created the Twitch channel "Twitch Plays Pokemon" with the same idea in mind: the comments section acts as a control center. Entertaining chaos quickly ensued as thousands of people attempted to control the same game with conflicting commands.

Despite the chaos, Twitch Plays Pokemon's continuous stream is still going strong seven years later. Twitch Studios director Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham even stated in 2019 that Twitch Plays Pokemon "changed Twitch forever" with its innovation. Perhaps Liétard's Twitter Pokemon will live on with the same legacy.