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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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