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The only way to make Twitch Plays Pokemon more fun? Add robots

An Arduino board and an old GameBoy Color make the popular stream even better.


Cassandra Khaw

Internet Culture

Twitch Plays Pokemon, a massively multiplayer social experiment that saw thousands of strangers trying to play one of Nintendo’s classic RPGs together, took the Internet by storm a few weeks ago. But Twitch Plays Real Pokemon, which is essentially the same idea except with an actual Game Boy and robotic peripherals, looks like it may blow the original out of the water.

“Almost immediately after I started watching, I wanted to make TPP with a real GameBoy,” the creator behind Twitch Plays Real Pokemon wrote in the channel’s description.”So I drove home, found my childhood GameBoy Color Pokemon edition and Pokemon Crystal, and got to work. I added electrical switches to Up, Down, Left, Right, Select and Start, and I added mechanical servos to press A and B.”

The switches are controlled by an Arduino board, an open-source microcontroller that sees a lot of use by hobbyists. Commands are transferred from the Twitch channel to the console via a USB serial and a custom-made C# software. The system certainly isn’t perfect, though. If the Twitch Plays Real Pokemon subreddit is any indication of things, it looks as if lag is a bit of an issue. But that may well be fixed at some point. Either way, be sure to at least check out this Imgur gallery which rather beautifully showcases the technical intricacies of the endeavour.

Photo via twitchplaysrealpokemon/Imgur

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The Daily Dot