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Here’s What Happens When Pokémon Is Ruled By Anarchists

Here’s What Happens When Pokémon Is Ruled By Anarchists

In 1996, Nintendo released a game for its Game Boy console that would change everything. That game was Pokémon Red.

Pokémon Red was the start of the Pokémon universe. The second-best selling game franchise of all time, the products that have spawned from this classic game have lasted two decades. With 21.5 billion trading cards out there and 260 million games sold, Pokémon is not showing signs of slowing down. The brand itself is has made $37.76 billion worldwide and earned $2 billion in the year 2014 alone.

Thus, Pokémania remains as intensely popular today as it was two decades ago. Both the classic games and the new additions continue to generate huge sales figures for Nintendo.

To get in on the action, a streaming service called Twitch began running Twitch Plays Pokémon in 2014.

Twitch Plays Pokémon was the perfect storm of online gameplay fueled by Pokémon intensity. It was half reality show and half art project, with as many viewers as there were payers.

Twitch transformed the game, with the help of a software development company, from a single player console game to a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. This means that users who signed on to play were playing with as many as 120,000 users at the same time.

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Playing The Game

Old school fans know that the goal of a Pokémon game is to create the best team of creatures possible. The player then uses this team to solve puzzles and win battles to defeat other players. The player with the best team and the best record then becomes the Pokémon Champion.

To achieve this title was to unlock the ultimate dream of virtually any 90s kid.

Of course, this is an oversimplification of a classic game. But its relative simplicity is important when compared to how the game was played on Twitch.

Anarchy Mode And The New Rules Of The Game

The name of the game on Twitch was anarchy. The number one rule of anarchy is that there is no law and order—only chaos and disorder. This kind of play made for a whole new way of playing Pokémon.

Anarchy mode was the original mode of game play on the site. In Anarchy mode, as many as 100,000 people offer up commands for the characters. All these actions were fed into the emulator. Without a controlling system or another authority, any action could come up on the screen.

The result largely saw the main characters of the game wandering around in circles, knocking into each other, and failing to pass even the most basic of obstacles. All the conflicting directions had a dizzying effect on game play.

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The effects were then compounded when the game began to gain popularity.

Soon, the days begin to drag on with little action. Trolls also began logging into the game. They intentionally entered commands that were totally problematic and made the game almost impossible to play.

Although anarchy allowed for some accomplishments to be made. It also began to erode the quality of the game.

Trolling Anarchy In Favor Of Democracy

Fortunately, there was an alternative to anarchy for the Pokémon stream.

To combat the insanity of the anarchy, the democratic mode of operation was quickly created for the emulator. This mode chose the most popular options according to a voting system lodged within the chat function of the game.

In theory, this mode would have drawn upon the collective internet wisdom. The hive mind would then allow the best suggestions to enter into the emulator through popular vote.

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It would also thwart the trolls and remove the likelihood of detrimental moves entering gameplay.

However, enforcing democracy on the players only opened up new problems.

The Battle Between Democracy And Anarchy

Interestingly, the introduction of the democratic mode of game play did not solve many of the issues that anarchy saw. In fact, the battle between democracy and anarchy itself ended up taking over much of the game for a period of time. Democracy was still not a perfect method because it is still corruptible.

Yet, there were still plenty of players who were committed to the game itself. Rather than choosing sides, the players moved away from the Twitch chat function to communicate via other sites.

These players began using Reddit and Google Docs to organize themselves. Soon, this select group of individuals had a solid strategy for winning the game.

Determining The Winner Of The Game

There are no winners or losers in war, but there are still important lessons to learn.

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The most interesting part of the game was not the result. It was the fact that progress was still made despite all the infighting.

It was also interesting to note that both anarchy and democracy had a positive role in the game, despite the inevitable weaknesses of each position.

Whatever the result, one thing was certain. Even several years later, the showdown is still entertaining to watch and filled with surprising lessons.

Featured photo credit: Farley Santos/flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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