Fish Plays Pokemon Red: Grayson Hopper is Just Sleeping, Not Dead

Humans are not the only one playing Pokemon these days.

Following the success of Twitch Plays Pokemon earlier in the year, two other Twitch streamers, Patrick Facheris and Catherine Moresco, decided to let their fish play Pokemon.

The fish, Grayson Hopper, controls the in-game character by simply swimming in his tank, thanks to the technological magic of a simple webcam and movement recognition software.

Essentially, the software inputs commands into the game in a very similar fashion to Twitch Plays Pokemon.

Instead of thousands of players typing commands into the Twitch chat to move the Pokemon trainer, however, where Greyson swims to in his tank will determine what the trainer does.

The tank is divided into nine rectangular grids, and eight of them represent a Game Boy button. One of the grids just randomizes the grid’s buttons, allowing for more movement variation.

When Greyson enters one grid, it automatically translates into trainer movement in the Game Boy emulator.

Thus far, Greyson has been playing for about 160 hour, and has drawn more than 1.6 million unique viewers to his stream.

Patrick and Catherine note that Greyson successfully moved the trainer out of the house, acquired his first Pokemon (a Charmander he named AAAABBK) and defeated his Rival’s Squirtle.

Greyson clearly has great ambitions, as he picked the name “ASH” from the list of preset names.

Still, progress is slow, and his owners are considering a “distributed system” to allow other fishes with webcams to stream their movements and speed up play.

It doesn’t help game progress that Greyson “sleeps sometimes.” Earlier, Twitch viewers must have presumed that he’s dead because Patrick and Catherine stressed repeatedly that “he’s just sleeping” in their FAQ.