Designed to Fail: Pokemon Fandom Produces Culture

[This article was originally published on March 25, 2014 at Hidden Baltimore. It is co-written by Mary Metelski.]

Chris Betts, 21, and his roommates walked around Towson’s CVS Pharmacy late on a Sunday night, not seeking out a pack of cigarettes, but a pack of children’s sidewalk chalk.

They headed to Towson University’s Freedom Square, hoping to create a work of art capable of viral Internet distribution.

After hearing about “Twitch Plays Pokemon Red,” an Internet-based live stream that allowed a massive number of players to simultaneously control one character, Betts was enthralled by the potential inherent in the platform.

“It was more than just this novelty of a bunch of people fervently mashing commands into a game from my childhood,” Betts said. “There was this whole culture behind it. It was exciting, hilarious and altogether just this fascinating thing to me from that point onward.” Continue reading Designed to Fail: Pokemon Fandom Produces Culture