If you thought it was bonkers when thousands of gamers played the same Pokémon cartridge simultaneously, then get ready to be both inspired and frustrated as you watch a fish play Pokémon Red. That's right, an actual fish.
How is it doing that, you ask? Simple: the fish is being observed by a webcam that's overlayed its tank with button inputs in the form of a three by three grid. When the fish, dubbed Grayson Hopper, swims over a certain tile in its tank, the camera registers it as a button press.
As such, Grayson's life is a Truman Show-esque experience where his every move is for our amusement as people leave angry comments on a twitch feed when they get annoyed with his actions, and he has no idea why. Thankfully, he can't read what the internet is saying about him, because he's a fish.
The existential aquatic experiment was set up by students Catherine Moresco and Patrick Facherous who developed Fish Plays Pokémon in the span of 24 hours for New York University and Columbia's HackNY event, in which students are presented with a startup's tech and given 24 hours to build an app based around it.
Currently, Fish Plays Pokémon has about 18,000 viewers, though it was up to 22,000 earlier.
So far Grayson has been playing for roughly 135 hours. In that time he's begun a game as a charmander with the preset name AAAABBK and defeated an opponent's squirtle.
Judging by the comments, it sounds like Grayson's character has been stuck in the same room for 10 hours. Then again, Grayson has been stuck in the same tank pretty much his entire life, so quit your whinin'.