It all started innocently enough when a pet fish's owner decided to rig up an aquarium to let the swimming creature trigger Pokemon game commands. Throw in a live feed over popular gaming site Twitch, and it created a minor phenomenon.
Inspired by Fish Plays Pokemon, Andrew Hill has drafted his two pet goldfish to take each other on in an unending stream of Street Fighter II Turbo rounds.
Naturally, the feed is called FishPlayStreetFighter on Twitch. Hill rigged up his tank in a similar way to Fish Plays Pokemon by segmenting the tank into nine parts. When a fish wanders into one of the parts, a camera captures it and translates its movements into a key press. The Twitch stream includes video of the fish swimming around, along with corresponding video of the Street Fighter II actions they trigger.
Due to the random nature of the fish strolling about in the tank, a lot of the action involves the video game characters just jumping up and down and swiping and kicking at the air. But it's pure magic when the battle finally engages and you find yourself rooting for a fish.
To amp up the tension, Hill has offered up bios on the two contestants. AG.Aquarius, a yellow and orange fantail goldfish, "has an aggressive fighting style which relies on rapid movement and flowing combos." Robert the Bruce, a Black Moor goldfish, "is much more methodical in his technique, often pausing and waiting to counteract his opponents' style, then striking at the most opportune moments."
The stream is proving popular. It's heading toward 1 million views at a fair clip and has over 11,000 followers. Hill has already received some fan-made art submissions showing his fish all muscled out. It seems Robert the Bruce is a particular fan favorite, though AG.Aquarius has already attracted a sponsorship from Always Godlike, a professional fighting game team.
Hill tallies up the fish's wins and losses at the end of each day, along with amusing commentary worthy of a sportscaster. So far, the two aquatic buddies are pretty evenly matched. With the current arrangement, the fish can't trigger combos and special moves, but Hill is working to make this happen. I, for one, can't wait to see Robert the Bruce throw down a Spin Drive Smasher while AG.Aquarius counters with a Yoga Inferno.