Twitch Installs Arch Linux | The Scariest Text-Based Adventure Game Ever
Published 8 months ago | Last update 8 months ago
Can you install Arch in Zork? I don't think so.
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What is Twitch Installs Arch Linux?
Twitch Installs Arch Linux was launched on October 31, 2015, and was described as a “cooperative text-based horror game.” Inspired by similar Twitch streams such as Twitch Plays Pokémon, this project aimed to use crowdsourced, chat-based inputs to install Arch Linux one keystroke at a time.
Arch Linux is an independently developed 32-bit GNU/Linux distribution, and was chosen specifically because it doesn’t have the simplest installation process compared to other versions of Linux. It requires typing specific values into the command terminal. Anyone watching could attempt to aid (or inhibit) the installation process. Inputs were decided democratically, as every 10 seconds the most popular key press was chosen to send to the terminal.
This article links to several resources on how to actually install Arch Linux, which participants were encouraged to study before hand.
Although Arch Linux requires very specific commands, it is not extremely difficult to install provided people are familiar with the process. In order to make the process more challenging, Twitch Installs specified the following list of goals:
- Boot Arch Linux from the hard disk.
- Write a “Hello World!” script using Python
- Configure a fully working X server
- Pull up the Twitch screen in the virtual machine
- Install a Game Boy emulator and start Twitch Installs Arch Linux to play Pokémon
- Install Irssi and join the #twitchinstalls Freenode chat
The Twitch Installs Arch Linux stream was particularly vulnerable to trolls, who tried to sneak in commands such as rm - rf / to wipe the disk or dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda to really sow chaos.
Twitch Installs Arch Linux was intended to be a collaborative effort, but The Twitch Installs Arch Linux stream was taken offline once it became apparent that a botnet was being used to vote too perfectly on certain actions, such as attempting to install Nmap and then Gentoo Linux instead of Arch Linux. It seems that the troll had a sense of humor.
Because of this, Twitch Installs was forced to kill the stream prematurely, releasing this statement:
Apparently, the project had been hosted on a dorm network, and the duo behind the stream were worried that they may get in trouble if the person controlling the botnet actually had malicious intentions. Pulling the plug was the cautious thing to do, though it’s more likely the troll was just having a bit of fun.
This all occurred the same day that the project launched.
Twitch in the Shell
Just one day later, on November 1, 2015, the project was handed over to another team that was more equipped to handle potential security threats such as botnets. The project was rebranded as Twitch in the Shell. Apparently, the stream succeeded in achieving the original project’s objectives, and is still active today.
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