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Twitch Plays Dark Souls is happening right now

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Last year, the collective Twitch community played and somehow managed to complete the original Pokémon for Game Boy through the streaming video service, exclusively through Twitch chat input. That crowdsourced, brute force effort was known as Twitch Plays Pokémon. Now, the community is tackling something a bit more daunting: playing From Software's notoriously challenging Dark Souls.

Twitch Plays Dark Souls is still in its early stages. Players are currently fumbling their way through the game's starting area, the Undead Asylum. They have 22 commands available to them through Twitch chat, and it will be interesting — if not a little maddening — to see how well thousands of players can manage to use those commands to make any real progress.

Dark Souls' design may actually lend itself to a brute force playthrough. It's possible to play through the game without leveling up at all and the game generally does a good job of preventing players from getting hopelessly stuck. It's also been beaten using a Rock Band guitar controller, voice commands and Donkey Konga bongo drum controllers, so really anything is possible.

But even the Twitch channel's official name ("Can Twitch Play Darksouls?") seems to have its doubts.

Progress as we've seen it has been glacial at best. Simply lighting a bonfire and climbing a set of stairs has taken nearly 30 minutes. Watch with a healthy dose of patience.

Watch live video from TwitchPlaysDark on

The next level of puzzles.

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