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Twitch launches a new category dedicated to 'Twitch Plays' events

Twitch launches a new category dedicated to 'Twitch Plays' events

January 14, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

This week livestreaming titan Twitch recognizes the enduring popularity of the various "Twitch Plays..." events that keep cropping up on its platform by creating a new "Twitch Plays" directory dedicated to such streams.

It's a notable response to the enduring after-effects of Twitch Plays Pokemon, the 2014 chat trick-turned-phenomenon in which thousands of viewers played an emulated version of the game simultaneously with chat commands parsed via script and fed to the game.

The surprising popularity of the game inspired game developers and spawned a host of imitators, who will now finally have their own dedicated category on Twitch.

"The Twitch community has consistently rallied behind organically created Twitch Plays games, with the trend growing rather than subsiding,” Twitch Developer Success exec Kathy Astromoff stated in a press release announing the new category. “Making it easier for prospective players to find Twitch Plays games drives developer success, and encourages new developers to begin experimenting."

So what goes in the new "Twitch Plays" category? According to Twitch, it's any stream of an autonomously-running game which takes inputs from the audience via commands entered into either Twitch chat or a "second screen" interface -- presumably exemplified by the way Jackbox Games' Jackbox Party Pack accepts player input from smartphone browsers pointed to a game session-specific URL.

Also, Twitch Plays games must be seen to use Twitch as their primary means of delivering content to players and must not put a cap on the number of people who can play simultaneously.

The new category currently includes ongoing events like Twitch Plays Dark Souls, the Punch Club promo event Twitch Plays Punch Club, and the (still ongoing!) Twitch Plays Pokemon.

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