In a delightful meshing of two popular memes, the Bird Jesus of Twitch Plays Pokemon has now been made the star of a Flappy Bird clone called – you guessed it – Bird Jesus.
For the uninitiated, Twitch is a website which allows video games to be streamed on the Internet. Usually people just sit back and watch others play. Then last month the cultural phenomenon that is Twitch Plays Pokemon burst onto the scene when a computer-emulated game of Pokemon Red was made available by an anonymous Australian programmer. The game was controllable through the chat feature, allowing multiple people to enter commands at the same time. Not surprisingly, with tens of thousands of people attempting to gain control of the game (at its busiest, around 121,000 players were online), chaos ensued. To deal with this, the creator of the channel eventually made a tweak to the game allowing players to vote for “anarchy” or “democracy.” If more votes were cast for anarchy, then it retained its original configuration with the game attempting to sort out all of the commands being simultaneously entered into the chat box. If democracy won out, however, the majority was able to rule for the next ten seconds of game play. While many considered anarchy to be the true way to play the game, the fleeting moments of order and organization did allow for coordinated effort in important moments in order to progress the game – well, sort of. It still took the players about two weeks to finish the game, compared to the norm of about 40 to 50 hours of game play for an individual player.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Twitch Plays Pokemon, however, is the whole mythology that sprang up surrounding it. Catching a pokemon is no easy feat in a game where coordinated action is rare and generally unpredictable so it was considered to be quite miraculous when not only did they players manage to capture a Pidgey, but they managed to hold on to it and eventually evolve it into first a Pidgeotto and then a Pidgeot. Pidgey and his evolutions won battle after battle, in fact, leaving many to label him as a sort of Messiah figure. Thus, Bird Jesus was born. Other religious figures followed, such as the Helix Fossil, which became revered as a god-like oracle, and Flareon, the False Prophet. Through it all, however, there was always Bird Jesus.
Even though Twitch Plays Pokemon has since switched over to Pokemon Crystal Version, Bird Jesus did not die. He now lives in a Flappy Bird clone called Bird Jesus. Flappy Bird, of course, is a mobile game that was developed in 2013 by a Vietnamese game developer call Dong Nguyen. In the game, the player controls a bird as it tries to fly between rows of green pipes without touching them. Due to the fact that the game is easy to learn, but hard to master, it quickly became a favorite. Unfortunately for fans of the app its creator began to feel remorseful over the addictive nature of the game so he yanked it from both Apple’s App Store and Google Play on February 10, 2014. Since that time, many clones have sprung up to the take its place, including Bird Jesus.
Whether Bird Jesus will please fans of Twitch Plays Pokemon remains to be seen, but reviews suggest that it is one of the best Flappy Bird clones around. In any event, the ad-supported app is free and certainly worth a try for fans of either game.
Editorial by Nancy Schimelpfening