Archive for the ‘Pokemon’ Category

Pokemon Community

Posted: August 31, 2017 in Essays, Everything, Fandom, My Life, Pokemon

Pokemon are friends and partners of many children for the past two generation. Pokemon, a shortened version of the name Pocket Monsters, comes in many forms, from plushies to Trading cards and from mobile games and apps to an anime TV series. It was through the mobile app Pokemon Go that got me interested in the franchise and the TV series was the thing that got me hooked on Pokemon. As I watched Ash and Pikachu friendship grow and had fights with other Pokemon, it made me want to fight and enjoy the Pokemon world too.

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The first two games, Pokemon Red and Pokemon Green on Nintendo Gameboy was created by Games Freak, originally a small-time gaming magazine. The idea for Pokemon was created by Satoshi Tajiri, who drew his inspiration from his childhood bug collecting in Machida, Tokyo. Drawing from the same idea of going out into the woods and hunting for bugs, Satoshi recreated the same passion by having you go out into the wild and collect creatures called Pokemon. And similar to trading insects and showing off his bugs, players were able to connect with each other’s Gameboy through the Gameboy Link Cable, allowing them to trade or even challenging each other to a Pokemon Battle.

As a teenager, Satoshi Tajiri found a new hobby of gaming and created a self-published magazine called Game Freak with the help of a few friends. Games around that time were all in Arcades and most of them weren’t that great, so in 1989 they started to create their own arcade games and made Game Freak a game developer. Later in 1996, when Gameboy came out Game Freak teamed up with Nintendo and published the two first Pokemon games in Japan, which was a huge success. Over the years, it spread from Japan to all over the world with new games coming out nearly every year, every time with something new.

A company called Media Factory, separate from Nintendo, started created a table top card game called Pokemon Trading Card Game and started selling the cards, but in 2003 Nintendo took over the making and selling the product. The Card game is huge, there are now tournaments in cities and there is also a Pokemon World Championships where hundreds of Pokemon Trading Card Game players come to compete against each other with their Pokemon decks.

The Pokemon franchise became an empire, people all over the world creating fan art, costumes and playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game or watching the anime.  All this, from a game, but why do people love it so much?

Pokemon creates the three things, connection, interaction, and community. In the Gameboy games, you could connect with other players by connecting each other’s Gameboy with a cable and fight each other with their Pokemon or even trade. When you meet someone with a Gameboy, you both had a similar interest and could interact, which grew into a community where you share and encourage your interests.

I know this will sound silly but, for me, in the game, I have a strong relationship of sorts with my Pokemon. In Pokemon Moon, I trust and love my Pokemon and get all teary if I put them in my storage unit in the game, especially if I’ve battled with them for a long time. I built a sort of a virtual relationship with them because I’ve travel around in their world with them by my side, and had dozens, if not hundreds, of battles with them. You kinda build that type of relationship with them and I think that’s amazing how Satoshi created a game where you create something like that, which I’ve heard he meant to do in the original games, to help people to overcome certain fears or problems in their lives.

Pokemon Trading Card Game is another way players can connect and grow into a community. Pokemon Trading Card Game, or Pokemon TCG, is a table top card game where you have a deck with a very of Pokemon and other cards, you then place your Pokemon out onto the table fight the opponent till either your Pokemon or theirs faints when their health reaches zero. People play it for different reasons. “Once you connect with something fun and harmless like Pokemon TCG, it’s just another avenue for fun like playing Spades, Monopoly, or Mortal Kombat. Fun is fun man. That’s why we play.” Rogue Archetype said on pokegyme.net.

People also play the game to collect Pokemon Cards, which I must say is very fun. The feeling of having hundreds of different cards, each one different from the last one is very exciting, and also very hard. You’ll have to search hundreds of Pokemon packs or you could trade with others for certain Pokemon that you want, that’s another way to connect and make a community. Though it’s easier if you just buy it online for the cards you want, but that feeling of trading with someone is really thrilling.

For me, I play the card game because it’s both fun and so I can connect with others who have the same interest. Thanks to Pokemon TCG, I’m able to get up and announce that I’m hosting a game every so often and share my interest. I believe that’s what Satoshi Tajiri wanted when he first came up with the idea of Pokemon, those three things, connection, interaction, and community. Pokemon is a way for people to do those things and it has. For the past 21 years, Pokemon has grown into an empire that has brought many children and adults closer and created many new relationships.

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