Pokémon Twitch
Having finally found a Pokémon to battle, the players promptly ran away Twitch

Watching someone else play a video game can be an infuriating experience, so how about 30,000 people playing a single game of Pokémon Red?

Right now there's an interactive live-stream on Twitch that shows a game of the original Pokémon Game Boy game being played by its viewers via inputs in the chat box.

Up, Down, Left, Right, A, B, Start, Select – it resembles one of those Saturday morning kids TV show phone-in competitions, and progress is slow – but there is progress.

Watch the game being played live below...

As I type, the game has been active for four days, and in that time the players have beaten four gym leaders out of eight and caught ten Pokémon. They are currently in Celadon City, and walking around aimlessly a lot.

Is it a social experiment? Well, its creator claims it to be. He or she was interviewed by badatvideogames.net and wished to remain anonymous. They said: "Although I claim it is a social experiment I think that gives the false impression that it was planned or for a particular purpose, it's just a fancy way of saying 'I want to see what happens'."

Its legitimacy as an experiment can be debated, but it is certainly interesting that a hive mind of Twitch viewers (over 5 million so far in total) have progressed so far as relatively quickly as they have so far.

Pokémon Twitch

Revealing as much that he or she is from Australia, the game's creator is "a self-taught professional computer programmer". For the stream he used an IRC bot that listens out for inputs in the chat box and corresponds that to a virtual button press in the game.

So far they've captured a Pidgey which has evolved through to its final form Pidgeot, a Pidgey which has not, a Drowzee, an Eevee and a Rattata. The Eevee has been a little controversial, as users can't decide which of its evolutions to evolve it to.

Vapereon is clearly the best.

At one point they had an Abra and a Charmeleon, but both were accidentally (or perhaps not) released back into the wild after players reached a PC and attempted to retrieve Pokémon from it.

Watching for large swathes of gameplay is excruciating, but as something to drop in and out of its fun and – thanks to commenters not just typing inputs – can be quite funny as well.