[I feel like a disclaimer should be put here. This argument is not fully thought out and may contain errors, fallacies, etc. At the very least this is an interesting gaming thing.]
TPP is a game of Pokemon Red/Blue for the Gameboy that is being played on the Twitch.TV steaming website. Through the chat, viewers control the character’s movements throughout the game world affecting everything from the path he walks to the choices made in battle. As of posting the game has been going for 6 days and 19 hours. Tens of thousands of people are viewing the game at any given time and a segment of that number are actually playing it. I’m not sure how many unique viewers are giving commands, but I’ll guess it’s at least in the thousands.
At the beginning of the game, the character’s actions were controlled in a first-come-first-serve basis. The chat entries were handled as they came. For a while this worked until the character got stuck in a maze room that is difficult enough to navigate regardless. Since then the creator has updated the game (I think, specifically, around day 3) to include two control modes: anarchy and democracy. In anarchy mode, the control system is as it was in the beginning. In democracy mode, a majority of votes is required to move the character after a given time period.
In either case, the game is pretty chaotic. Most of all in anarchy mode where one misstep, one person who decides to troll the game, can decide to ruin hours of progress with a simple command like “down” leading the character off a ledge that will take another day to get back on top off.
I think this is a critical design, whether the creator intended it or not. I think this design is speaking to the gaming community, a group of people who are often the perpetrators of chaos in the gaming world. TPP can be seen as a metaphor for the effect the gaming community has on developers. The massive number of people participating on this game, only a few of whom are contributing to the argument, is representative of the gaming communities reactions to the release of a new game. While some are content or are happy with the game as it is, there is a vocal group which is not happy and is actively attempting to derail the experience.
TPP brings to light the effects of those who want so badly for their voice to be heard. The trolls and haters that plague the community have an alive and active voice and the effect on the people who make the games is evident.