A recent question about "start9" in TwitchPlaysPokemon was closed for various reasons and has generated quite the discussion.

I am not going to discuss (or even bring up after this sentence) whether or not the Twitch chatroom constitutes a game.

However, with regards to the specific question and the primary close reason, which is that the question is off-topic because it is "about the rules and workings of an input parser":

Should questions dealing with software based video game inputs be allowed or not?

  • Do you think you could edit your question into a question, and then post your opinion as an answer, so we can actually have pseudo-meaningful votes on it? – Invader Skoodge Feb 19 '14 at 17:23
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    I'm confused how to approach this considering most of the answers deal with the specific question on its own and not what you're asking here. I'd say with a resounding "yes, they're allowable", but I also feel that it's tangential to the question that is in discussion (which you elected to suggest we shouldn't discuss). – Grace Note Feb 19 '14 at 18:31
  • Whether or not TPP constitutes a video game is the heart of this question. We sort of have to discuss it to determine whether or not to allow them. – Frank Feb 19 '14 at 18:36
  • @GraceNote - bapd appears to have co-opted my question and turned it into whether TPP is on-topic with his answer. – au revoir Feb 19 '14 at 18:42
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    @Frank - Not to answer my question. It's Pokemon, played on an emulator, with a script as input. Asking specific questions about how that script works is what I'm saying should be allowed. – au revoir Feb 19 '14 at 19:10
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    @JasonBerkan You're sorta glossing over the fact whether or not it can actually be a video game. That's the critical part, and should be the decision to support this or else. – Frank Feb 19 '14 at 21:37
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    @Frank - I'm guessing by your vague "it", you mean TPP? I don't care about that and I'm not making any comments about TPP questions being on topic. Pokemon is a game, an emulator is a gaming utility and the script is an input device to the emulator. – au revoir Feb 19 '14 at 21:52
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    @JasonBerkan And with that assumption, you're disregarding what's the most critical part of this discussion. If the community decides TPP is a video game, I have no issues with it sticking around. But I don't think it is. – Frank Feb 19 '14 at 22:30
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    @Frank - Please re-read my question, my answer and my comments. At no point have I ever said TPP is a video game. My argument is that the input script is analogous to a keyboard, which also is not a video game, but something we allow questions about. In fact, I specifically worded this about all software based inputs, as I cannot see why speedrun assisted inputs would not also be on-topic. – au revoir Feb 20 '14 at 0:35
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    Yeah, you're not saying it because you're assuming it. And that's what I'm challenging. If it's not a video game, it doesn't belong here. Inputs, software, whatever, isn't even part of the equation. – Frank Feb 20 '14 at 0:36
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    I am not, because my argument cares not if the chat room is considered a game or not. You are misconstruing what I am saying, so I see little point in continuing to argue. – au revoir Feb 20 '14 at 0:51
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    It very much does. Your question, and I quote, is, "Should questions dealing with software based video game inputs be allowed or not?" – Frank Feb 20 '14 at 0:53
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    I think us here at Arqade should be the deciders of what is and isn't a "video game" because we can decide best. – Nick T Feb 20 '14 at 21:15
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    @NickT very tempted to just straight out and post the question to meta, see where the votes go. This whole thing has been very fascinating so far... – l I Feb 21 '14 at 12:04

I would say software video game input questions are acceptable in a general sense. Programming input is not a foreign concept - the very heart of "macros" are pre-set forms of input that are deployed into a game. It's feasible to picture that this can be done through a third-party program that isn't built into the game - and to a point one might consider the very nature of installed plugins that do just that to be sorta between "in the game" and "in a third-party program".

To a more direct point, let's think about something like the wonderful joy2key that I never actually use but I recommend a lot of people who are happy with it. We cover a fair number of questions about gamepad controls on computers, a lot of which turn up joy2key in the answers. In this sense, the system is gamepad -> joy2key -> game. We allow questions about the first and the last part, disallowing the middle seems misguided.

I would then say this meta is a technicality-borne distraction from judging the actual question on main that is under discussion. The applicability of this entire question to the given point is that we perceive the system as Twitch Chat -> Input Parser -> Pokemon Red. This is a way to perceive it, but it's not one that everyone agrees on, or that everyone actually considers is even relevant to the acceptability of the question. Now I know that Jason Berkan is not attempting to make a technicality call here - I ain't going to say that he is. I am saying that adopting this as the reason would be the community making such a call.

This coincidentally-also-Pokemon question was asked two days before the game's global release date - we have rules that say "No questions before a game is out!", but in this case the user was one of many who received an advance copy. We can qualify it as a "pre-release question", but that would be a mistake. One that we elected not to make because we toned down the relevance of our time clause.

In the same vein, I think that trying to look at this from the perspective of "This is just an input parser into an emulator running Red" is shooting ourselves in the foot. It sets the stage for the discussion as the broad spectrum rule, meaning that opposition requires big picture changes that can be a lot more destructive than if we had just looked at a narrow perspective.

I think TPP is a unique entity of its own. Whether or not we can classify it as a video game, that's something we should discuss in another question. Divorcing the nature of what TPP is, and looking only at this one part of it, and trying to say that the question is only about that part, is why this feels like the community acting on a technicality. Like when people jumped on "list questions" as if they were game-rec and I had to write this thing, it's failing to see the sloth for the bears. Focusing on only one bear means the rest will brutalize us - in the same way, focusing on only one detail of an entity that really is more than just that one detail, is an unhealthy habit for the site in either direction.

Look at how this question went. We got two responses rather quickly - one that was pro-TPP, and one that was anti-TPP. But neither actually wanted anything to do with what this discussion is trying to focus on, because neither really agreed that it was impactful. That's a major red flag with how this question's subject is applicable to the situation that is under discussion. So just like how we chose not to apply the weight of pre-release status to the aforementioned question, so too do I feel that this is the community noting that the weight of this particular label on the question isn't helpful for addressing the situation.

We're the fourth largest Child Meta on the network - we have a lot of labels we can apply to questions. These labels have unequal and also inconsistent weights, because at heart we're a collective of people who think. Rules are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules, and in our case we have a lot of overlap in what applies to what. And we also have things that don't actually fall in the overlaps. There's no doubt that we can perceive this TPP question as one about the input parser - but I feel that if the community were to stick to that, of all things, as the reason to allow it, that would be having the community be dishonest to itself. Ergo, I feel that regardless of how we feel about software video game input questions, it isn't a major factor as to whether we should allow or disallow the TPP question. We are a collective people and we can address the question and its subject matter on its own without needing to find some broad-spectrum label to put it under for rote mechanical obedience. Nor do we have to make a decision to which the future will follow with a cold iron fist.


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    Q: WHAT KINDS OF QUESTIONS ARE THERE? (A: Oh, we have both kinds: closed and deleted.) – badp Feb 20 '14 at 21:31
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    THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS. A large part of the reason I haven't weighed in on this Meta is because, quite frankly, it just doesn't address the issues that I have with the question. I don't like it, and I don't feel it's a particularly great fit - I've down voted it accordingly - but that has much more to do with the question of whether questions about watching someone play a game and, essentially, yelling at him what buttons to press, no matter how automated that process is, don't feel like a good fit for our area of expertise. We're a site about gaming. Not gamers. – LessPop_MoreFizz Feb 20 '14 at 22:38
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    Quoting for truth: We are a collective people and we can address the question and its subject matter on its own without needing to find some broad-spectrum label to put it under for rote mechanical obedience. – Shog9 Feb 21 '14 at 0:51
  • Plus, we hold no guilt in answering questions about streaming video games, which is essentially what this question is about - A very unique method of streaming (And crowdsourcing?) a video game. – Zibbobz Feb 21 '14 at 14:44

Arqade is for passionate videogamers from all platforms, including consoles, computers, handhelds, and mobile devices. If your question generally covers things such as …

  • Gameplay strategies and tactics check
  • Puzzle solving or obstacle clearing check
  • Game mechanics and terminology check
  • Plot and characters in games
  • Game-specific hardware and utilities

…then you are in the right place to ask your question!

Please note, however, that site policies prohibit questions of the following types:

  • Game and Mod Development check
  • Requests for game identification based on personal recollection alone check
  • Catalogues (listing games that fit specific criteria or are like an existing game) check
  • Shopping advice and recommendations check
  • Speculation of the future of the industry and of upcoming releases check
  • Piracy, and support with pirated games check

I think it is reasonable to consider Twitch Plays Pokémon a video game with non-obvious game mechanics that deserve an explanation. While I would rather have us cover the event through questions about Pokémon Red itself (say, "What is the optimal route through the Safari Zone?"), I think those questions are on-topic, relevant and timely.

enter image description here

Original image courtesy of FEichinger in this very same question.

The argument made by FEIchinger is that, since the question is about what happens on the green side, and the game is on the red side, the question is off-topic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Allow me to abstract the situation:

enter image description here

On the left side, we have the player-side part of the program. You have a window in which you can issue commands. The commands go through the network through a set of so-called RPCs (remote procedure calls; the name is not important) and the game server reads your commands and acts on it. The game server then sends you the answer back with the updated state of the game.

Does it sound novel or extraordinary? It shouldn't. Here's another example of this configuration:

enter image description here

I'm going to pick World of Warcraft here, but this is the description of almost every multiplayer game ever written. Every game that has a server is comparable to Twitch Plays Pokemon.

  • When I play World of Warcarft, I open the World of Warcraft application (green) and give commands at it (blue arrow rightwards). These commands are sent (rightwards arrow) to Blizzard's World of Warcraft server (red box), which gets my input and processes it, resulting in the casting of spells. The server gets back to the client (leftwards arrow) and tells the client that yes, you had enough mana, you were still alive, you did have access to the spell, so the spell was cast.
  • When I play Twitch Plays Pokèmon, I open the Twitch application (green) and give commands at it (blue arrow leftwards). These commands are sent (rightwards arrow) to the Twitch Plays Pokemon server (red box), which gets my input and processes it, resulting in the pressing of a button. The server gets back to the client (leftwards arrow) and tells the client that yes, your button of choice has been pressed.

Saying that questions about the left side of TPP are off-topic is saying that we do not want questions about the World of Warcraft application. All troubleshooting questions are now off-topic. All questions about configuration are now off-topic. All questions about the interface are now off-topic. All questions about chat are now off-topic.

Ironically, FEIchinger got the situation entirely wrong. He argues that the only part of the setup that's our concern is the red one. Nothing could be further from truth.

What happens on the red side is actually off-topic. We don't want questions on how to be Blizzard and operate and maintain the World of Warcraft servers. Similarly, questions about Twitch Plays Pokemon should not ask about Pokemon Red, or the IRC bot that feeds it input. Questions about Pokemon Red should be tagged Pokemon Red.

We are very much about the green box. Making it work, understanding its user interface, its commands, making it do our willing: this is very much what Arqade is about.

This is clearly and patently absurd, and not how we have operated this website for the last 3½ years. We should not panic over one borderline question and singlehandedly destroy the site in the process.

But badp, I hear you cry. This can't be right! Pokemon Red is a game! Twitch chat isn't! Have you gone insane? No. No I have not. See, there is a little thing out there called cheats. When you have a server-client program where some of the clients may be compromised (say, gold farmers), your main recourse is that of using a "thin client." What this means is that all the client knows is how to render the game state and how to send inputs. The game itself - the game logic, the game state, who is where, who is doing what to whom, what map they're in, everything - is right on the server.

Even in World of Warcraft, the actual game code is on the red side. All the green side does is send commands and get frames back. And yet it's the precious, precious green side the part that we commonly call "the game." It's the part we install, it's the part we maintain, it's part we mod with texture packs and shaders and HUDs and polygons and anti-aliasing and all the delicious client parts that are so dear to us and are, ultimately, what this website is about.

This might be far and abstract because the World of Warcraft servers are only in Blizzard's hands, but since this is almost every single multiplayer game ever made, Minecraft comes to the rescue. Even when you play in single player mode, Minecraft has a thin client that connects to the server side with all the game logic. The client only knows how to render the world as downloaded from the server.

All of this is precisely, identically, indistinguishably, exactly the same deal with Minecraft, and World of Warcraft, and Team Fortress 2, and Starcraft, and Quake — and, likewise, Twitch Plays Pokemon.

(Exceptions are games that operate in peer-to-peer. I'm not aware of any.)

Visual thinkers may find my argument in this diagram:

enter image description here

What I need you to understand is that if we decide that TPP is not a game, we must do it sensibly, on grounds that make sense when looking at the big picture, without necessarily take half of our topic with it. So far, in order to outlaw Twitch Plays Pokemon, we have tried in turn to outlaw every game with a menu ever, every game with a community ever, every videogame with luck elements in it ever, every hidden object game ever and now every multiplayer game ever. All for one question about start9.

If TPP is truly different from EvE online and its bretheren and we want to give a reason as to the difference, we must be more careful. This website is 3½ years old. This question is not going to open the floodgates for thousands over thousands of terrible questions, and even if it does we should let the floodgate open anyway to have some actual data and discriminate the good from the bad. We can't do that on one question and one game and the super-generic tone of this question is not helping.

This should make you pause and think on what actually we are trying to achieve. Is it worth to destroy this website over one question?

  • "The unwritten assumption here is that the streamer would run Twitch Plays Some Other Game exactly the same way Twitch Plays Pokèmon is debunked in the channel page itself, where the author says..." Any turn-based game would work equally well. The author is talking about games with real-time action, which would understandably be a bad fit for chat control due to the ~30-second Twitch chat lag involved. You could, almost certainly, swap out Pokemon for another fully turn-based game like Game Boy Wars and use the same chat input parser without any modifications. – CloudyMusic Feb 19 '14 at 18:15
  • You could but then you would not be playing vanilla TPP anymore; it would be like playing a mod, right? – badp Feb 19 '14 at 18:26
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    It depends on whether we consider the "TPP bot" to be an input device, or a game unto itself. There seem to be people championing both points of view. In either case, I'm not sure I'm equipped to really offer an opinion on that particular point, because it gets into murky territory about "what is a game, really?" really quickly. I've heard that there are TPP-copycat bots that play other games that sprouted up around Twitch in the wake of TPP's popularity, but can't find links to any at the moment. – CloudyMusic Feb 19 '14 at 18:29
  • @panic TPP being its own videogame is my stance. The TPP bot is the server side of TPP. Twitch chat is hosting the game clients. It's quite the classic MMORPG setup from a technical standpoint. – badp Feb 19 '14 at 18:31
  • I believe I've brought this up before, but old versions of Minecraft are relevant thanks to the ability to load old Alpha & Beta versions from the launcher. – Robotnik Feb 19 '14 at 23:21
  • Your beautiful art has a flaw: You're assuming the client doesn't belong to the game. It very much does. – user98085 Feb 20 '14 at 17:10
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    @FEichinger The official client of Twitch Plays Pokemon is this webpage. There is an alternate client through IRC, but it's hard to set up and write-only. Just because the client side has been offloaded to Twitch, it doesn't make it any less of the official client of the game. The client-server architecture remains very much in place and continues to describe almost every videogame with networking ever. – badp Feb 20 '14 at 17:12
  • @badp So we're back to "Is TPP a game?" then. And I'll keep disagreeing with that. – user98085 Feb 20 '14 at 17:15
  • @FEichinger "TPP is a game" has always been my argument. None of what you said is an argument to the opposite. – badp Feb 20 '14 at 17:20
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    I disagree with your analogy, and would be more inclined to treat it like gamepad <-> xpadder <-> game. The gamepad is the green side, and the game is the red side. All we deal with is the public interface of the game (control input and video/audio output), and that (the client) is what's in the red box. The WoW server is behind the red box. – MBraedley Feb 20 '14 at 18:11
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    @mbr xpadder does not send multiplex, or send input over the internet. Your analogy doesn't hold. Even then, xpadder would likely be on topic – badp Feb 20 '14 at 19:56
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    @badp it's still a better analogy than what you presented. How about this then: local OnLive client <-> internet <-> OnLive server. What we are concerned with is still the red box. I'm sure we'd accept questions on the green box in this instance, but the primary concern is the red box. How is this different than WoW? Well the game's public interface is still on the OnLive server, it's just being wrapped by OnLive software. Now extend this to something with local multiplayer (even if OnLive doesn't actually support that), and you have multiple people connecting to the same game. – MBraedley Feb 20 '14 at 20:03
  • @mbr still not appreciably different. The point you are trying to make about the green box being the same for all games just doesn't hold: none of the clones paying different games is using twitch chat the same way as TPP; the chat interface is tailor made for Pokémon red and the difficulties specific to this one run. You can't play games that require fast interaction with that green box. It is not generic. It is not interchangeable. A music player doesn't need democracy mode. TPP on a different game would not have disabled select to prevent soft resets. – badp Feb 20 '14 at 20:17
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    @badp no, you are missing my point. That is, you're argument is flawed, which makes it impossible to support since the analogy is so key to your argument. Get a better analogy, and I'll look at your argument again. I want you to convince me, but you're not doing that. If I can't access the red box directly myself, then something has been abstracted away too far, which is the case with your WoW example. I can play Pokemon whatever without needing a twitch chat to control it. I can't play WoW without the client. – MBraedley Feb 20 '14 at 20:25
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    @badp yes it does make it a bit clearer, but still suffers because you're wrapping it in a client-server approach, which I fundamentally don't agree with. I think you can have an analogy here that doesn't involve that approach, and I've suggested 2 such approaches that you can use. Whatever is in the red box, IMHO, needs to be a game in and of itself, which is the approach that FEichinger took. It's obvious to me that the green box can be on topic, as demonstrated by my previous analogies. The question is if the green box in this case is on topic. You haven't convinced me that it is. – MBraedley Feb 20 '14 at 21:19

This specific question should be re-opened, because video game input is on-topic on Arqade.

We have always allowed questions on keyboards, mice, joysticks and controllers. However, we have also allowed questions about stranger things, such as using a Nintendo DS to control a PC and using a purpose built device to control an emulator. In all cases, we allow questions about input devices that are not exclusive to gaming, when the topic of the question pertains to a video game or some other video game related software, such as an emulator. When it comes to hardware devices, video game input has always been on-topic.

The only difference in this question is that the input is software based rather than hardware based. In fact, it is very similar to the iCade question, where we were asked about mapping purpose built hardware to MAME (an emulator). The Twitch Plays Pokémon software maps chat room input to VisualBoyAdvance (an emulator). Software based video game input should not be treated any different than hardware based input. In both cases, we are dealing with input into a video game.


I don't think so.

Fundamentally, what we have here is this:

Sketch #1

From a given chat's input (block 1), key words are selected (transition 1), then a command is picked in some method (block 2) and piped (transition 2) into a game/emulator (block 3).

This is all fair and well, that's just how it works. Our expertise regarding this lies here:

Sketch #2

We know how the game works, and we know what happens when we give a certain input - that is, we know the controls, too.

Here's what these questions are about:

Sketch #3

They're about the process of selecting and transforming the chat input. Not about the game input itself.

"But, but, but, ... That's totally a new game!"

Okay, let me show you the next sketch:

Sketch #4

Here we have replaced the game/emulator with a music player. The part the questions are about (chat input and transforming that) is still the same. The target device has just changed. I certainly don't consider "Twitch picks music!" a game.

And here's the thing - our expertise does not apply to "Twitch picks music!" anymore:

Sketch #5

The input and workings of a music player are not in our expertise, but the setup here is still exactly the same.

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    I like your drawings. – Invader Skoodge Feb 20 '14 at 16:03
  • @StrixVaria Why, thank you! It's all about the little details, you know. – user98085 Feb 20 '14 at 16:04
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    Let's say TPP never existed, and it's instead Twitch Plays Little Sound DJ. Tell me: would start9 have existed to begin with? Would Twitch Plays Little Sound DJ have democracy and anarchy mode? Does Twitch Plays Little Sound DJ have a "victory condition"? I really do think the green and red parts are not quite as disjoint as you make it out to be, and it doesn't make sense to separate them. – badp Feb 20 '14 at 16:09
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    My point is, it does not make any more to separate the green and red parts in your drawing than you would separate the WoW client from the WoW server because the client is theoretically capable of performing a set of RPCs on any remote server. Are we going to rule all questions about the WoW game clients as off-topic? – badp Feb 20 '14 at 16:10
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    I disagree that this particular question pertains to the green highlighted in your diagram. This particular question pertains to transition #2, at least part of which lies under the red of our expertise. – au revoir Feb 20 '14 at 16:11
  • @badp We don't allow hardware questions about the server, or questions about the concept of the Client/Server communication. To me, that's a similar problem here. – user98085 Feb 20 '14 at 16:17
  • @FEichinger How is asking about start9 either of those things? – badp Feb 20 '14 at 16:18
  • It's asking "What does the parser turn this chat command into?" - That (@JasonBerkan), is precisely in the green area of my diagram, and has nothing to do with the game itself. – user98085 Feb 20 '14 at 16:20
  • Also, why are we still discussing that particular example? Wasn't this meta Q supposed to be about an abstract case, instead of this precise TPP question? – user98085 Feb 20 '14 at 16:21
  • @FEichinger - Well, your answer is straying a lot into the specifics of TPP, rather than software input in general. Changing start9 into an emulator command is the same as changing F1 from the keyboard into an emulator command and has nothing to do with the chat room. – au revoir Feb 20 '14 at 16:25
  • @JasonBerkan The same principles still apply, though. Replace the chat room with another layer of key mapping and you get the same result. We can do the emulator, we can do the direct input for the emulator, we can do the game itself. What we don't do is key and command mapping into those layers. The red area in my diagram very much takes the direct commands for the emulator into account (that's why it spans into transition 2), but getting to those direct commands is no longer our scope. – user98085 Feb 20 '14 at 16:31
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    @FEichinger - gaming.stackexchange.com/search?q=keyboard+mapping – au revoir Feb 20 '14 at 16:36
  • @JasonBerkan A lot of these are about the games' own mappings. Very few are about mapping utilities on top, and those questions that are, are mostly about mapping keys with the utility, not about how this utility maps the keys (that is, "what input do I need to make after installing this tool?"). That's where a big difference comes in: The TPP scenario (and many like it) have an externally imposed command structure that is put in-between the game and the "player". A simple remapping tool, or the mappings in the game - that's configured by the "player" instead. – user98085 Feb 20 '14 at 16:40
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    In the general case of keyboard mapping, again, the question is about what happen on the red side when you act on the green side. Game controllers are on-topic. Your pretty image is misleading and wrong. – badp Feb 20 '14 at 16:40
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    "Your pretty image is misleading and wrong." This whole thing seems to be getting, uh, pretty confrontational. – CloudyMusic Feb 20 '14 at 22:28

I don't honestly think we can call Twitch Plays Pokemon a video game at all. At best, there's a video game there, but that's not what's being played. What's being played is a chat box, where what you input may or may not happen. That's not a video game so much as an exercise in luck.

Describing it as another form of input is disingenuous, since no one can actually guarantee that what goes in is what actually happens. Other input devices, such as a keyboard or mouse, we can be expected that what you press, happens. Not so for this.

I'm not sure how watching a video where what you want to happen may or may not happen can be construed as a video game of any sort. It is a partially interactive video. We play video games here. Twitch Plays Pokemon isn't one.

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    All input goes through the emulator but Pokèmon red has a lot of lag frames where it does not poll for input. A large portion of videogames, especially for older consoles, have lag frames. That does not make them any less of a videogame. You have, all in all, much !ore agency on the plot of TPP than you do on the plot of, say, World of Warcraft. – badp Feb 19 '14 at 18:32
  • Yes, games have lag frames. Games, however, do not discard inputs based on randomness and sheer luck (and/or majority votes). – Frank Feb 19 '14 at 18:34
  • Majority vote takes all input in consideration. Managing input lag is only really possible when you are playing frame by frame with a TAS or when you have control on what is causing the lag - e.g, turning your viewport away from a complicated 3D structure taxing your GPU. In all other cases it's essentially randomness and sheer luck. People playing games on lower end machines know the frustrations of missed input. – badp Feb 19 '14 at 18:38
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    That's not randomness or sheer luck. That's overtaxing the capabilities of the system being used to render the game. – Frank Feb 19 '14 at 18:45
  • I'm not sure I see the difference. The game is overtaxed with so much input, it has to drop some of it. This is very much a limitation of Pokémon Red. – badp Feb 19 '14 at 18:46
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    No, it's a limitation of the chat system being used to play the game. Even if there was no input lag, this still isn't a video game. It's watching a video of several thousand people attempting to do different things, of which you may be one of them. – Frank Feb 19 '14 at 18:48
  • If the input appears on screen then it's been sent to the game. If you are one of these people you are going beyond watching and you are controlling what happens on the monitor through your inputs on a fairly deep level. – badp Feb 19 '14 at 18:51
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    And that makes it an interactive video. It does not make it a video game. – Frank Feb 19 '14 at 18:52
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    [citation needed] – badp Feb 19 '14 at 19:03
  • The game being played is a democratic internet chat voting game. The earlier version of it was an anarchic internet chat voting game. Either way, it's a chat game or forum game, not a video game – Robotnik Feb 19 '14 at 23:39
  • @rob that's quite arbitrary. If you really can't see what the difference is between Twitch Plays Pokémon and "You Laugh You Lose" we will just have to agree to disagree. – badp Feb 20 '14 at 1:31
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    @badp - if TPP is a game, Youtube 'Choose your own adventure' series' may as well be games as well. They're interactive (you have to click an annotation to progress), the player's choices affect the overarching story, and the goal or objective is to complete the story. Are we open to questions about how Youtube's annotations accept input? – Robotnik Feb 20 '14 at 13:33
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    @Robotnik If they were sufficiently non-obvious, how different is that from any hidden object game? start9 is very much nonobvious. I don't think however that we should be putting down obviousness requirements for questions, at any rate. – badp Feb 20 '14 at 13:50
  • How is an interactive video where you control the storyline in an attempt to reach a certain goal any different from early text-based adventure games? When this whole era of video gaming started, there were tons of games that basically played different scenes based on the written option the user selected. Just the fact that modern games are much more interactive and complex doesn't make these old games (or anything new with a similar approach) any less of a game. And "video" game litterally only means the game has some sort of graphics display. – scenia Mar 6 '14 at 9:58

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