More often than not - the answer is.... not a whole lot.
TwitchPlaysPokemon, dubbed a social experiment, is a channel on Twitch.tv where every user comment is converted into an action in a copy of Pokemon Red. Created by an anonymous programmer from Australia, a client-bot translates the buttons being typed in chat - into simulated keys being pressed on the emulator software.
To play you pick from eight commands (a, b, start, select, up, down, left, or right). As there are a lot of actions being entered into the system, the site warns that there is a noticeable amount of lag and that it may take awhile before your actions are registered into the game. The concept is pretty awesome. However, I've only seen the character move in a circle in a maddening fashion while opening the menu and closing it, and then opening it again. The process seems simple for a game like Pokemon, with limited choices and turn based gameplay - but it doesn't seem like a system that would support a complex platforming game or any title requiring distinct timing.
According to the the community surrounding this event, participants have somehow managed to beat four of the gym leaders in the game, which seems like a pretty staggering amount considering that most of the people playing are just trying to cause grief. You can view the progress of TwitchPlaysPokemon here.
We're interested to see more TwitchPlays, as this phenomenon continues to grow. What game would you give the TwitchPlays treatment? Let us know in the comment section below.