We still don't know if infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters can produce the complete works of Shakespeare, but it appears that tens of thousands of people collectively controlling a single Game Boy can beat a famous game. Two weeks ago, viewers of game streaming site Twitch.tv started playing a massively multiplayer session of Pokémon where each comment in the chat window translates to a button press on the gamepad — and somehow the resulting mess of over 10 million button presses has turned into successful gameplay. As of today, Polygon reports that players have managed to steer the game's protagonist to collect all eight badges, the medallions of the Pokemon world required to proceed to the game's final stages.
Digrat we hardly knew ye
However, there have been losses along the way. Anarchists have managed to direct the group's shared avatar to release many healthy, powerful Pokemon into the wild, something smart players would normally never do in the original game.
Arguably, the current (peak) of 100,000 players would never have gotten this far if the game's creators hadn't tweaked how the Twitch metagame is played. Users can no longer spam the Start button to bring the action to a standstill, and they can vote to throw the game into a "democracy" mode where users vote on button presses rather than having their chat commands press buttons immediately.
You can watch the game's finale, or help play it yourself, at this link.