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15,000 People Are Watching A Fish Play Pokemon

"FishPlaysPokemon" is exactly what it sounds like, and the "gamer" has already captured his first Pokemon.

by Beckett Mufson
Aug 7 2014, 2:00pm

Watch live video from FishPlaysPokemon on

Update: Motherboard has since published an exclusive "interview" with the gamer fish. Check it out here.

Almost six months ago a user helped Pokemon make international headlines by linking thousands of players together into a single, interactive stream of the game Pokemon Red. Every logged in member was allowed to send commands to the overwhelmed protagonist, and the ensuing chaos spawned several Homer-worthy narratives, a pseudo-religion, and more memes than Success Kid could shake a stick at. Now that Twitch Plays Pokemon (TPP) has beaten all existing generations of the Pokemon franchise, many players were wondering, "What's next?" Well, it seems the answer is to pass the mantle on to whole other species—the fish.

Straightforwardly named Fish Plays Pokemon, the next generation of chaotic Pokadventuring is based around a nine-panel grid superimposed over live footage of a fish tank. Each panel is linked to a button (up, down, left, right, a, b, start, select, and blank), which is activated when the fish—dubbed Grayson Hopper—swims in front of it. 

According to the info page, the creator—also named FishPlaysPokemon—"built it in about 24 hours of hacking." It works in the same way that TPP did, with the Twitch stream hooked to an emulator of Pokemon Red, but instead of linking the chat box to the controls, he's linked them to a video of a fish.

Grayson's game has a subreddit for nine hours, where fan art already abounds. Since players can't actually play the game, the memes generated here will be instrumental in deciding how long the Internet can really just watch a fish swim around in a tank. But hey, the little guy has already captured his first Pokemon. Maybe it's only a matter of time until he snags a Gyarados. 


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