So everyone who is anyone in the gaming community has probably heard about the most recent phenomenon to strike the Internet, and that is Twitch Plays Pokemon. If you haven’t heard of it by chance, it’s a livestream of Pokemon Red Version, but with a twist. It allows viewers to take control of Red by leaving a comment of what button they would like to push. 20 to 30 seconds later, it is put into the stream and Red responds to the command. It has gained a HUGE following, totaling up to over 100,000 people simultaneously controlling Red as he travels across Kanto. But there is a bit of parallelism between Twitch Plays Pokemon and a certain classic novel by John Steinbeck, entitled The Grapes of Wrath.
Now, I know what you’re saying, “SS, your connection here doesn’t seem to really make much sense here. How do you relate a novel about the Dust Bowl and moving west to a glorified playthrough of a Pokemon game?” Well, gather around, my readers, and hear how I put the two together.
I thought they were kind of similar because Joad feels like he is similar to Red in a few ways. For instance, Joad is wandering through an unknown area towards the beginning, and he meets friends along the way who join him, like Reverend Casy and Muley Graves. Similarly, Red travels through an unknown land, meeting friends along the way, like Bird Jesus and All-Terrain Venomonth. Seeing the similarities yet?
Another parallel I found was between the “controllers” and the bank. In the novel, the bank is controlling the lives of the people in the town, forcing them to move to California and all. This is pretty similar to how the Twitch users’ comments force Red to move all over Kanto how they want him to. I noticed the similarities, and thought it was kind of interesting.
Now, I know not everything about The Grapes of Wrath and Twitch Plays Pokemon are the same, but this shows that there can be connections in anything, even in two things that seem entirely different. So the next time you find yourself doing something, you might just notice how it relates to something you never thought it would.