Is Pokemon one of the world's most ingenious marketing ploys for children?

Full disclosure here, I'm 33 and British, so I missed the whole Pokemon phenomenon as a child.

But I have noticed my friends' children getting into it - and oh boy are they really into it. My little brother was also a Pokemon fan as a child, when it first hit our shores. To an on-looker like me, it looks like an average RPG and cartoon. But then I thought of the strap-line.

Gotta catch em all.

Kids love collecting things. I remember I enjoyed collecting stuff. Mix nostalgia in there and you start getting adults who still enjoy Pokemon. Kids aren't the only ones susceptible though, apparently. Adults were sucked in by Pokemon Go for a while (because it was on their phones) though that craze is dying out.

But then you look at all the things you have to do to collect Pokemon - such as buy essentially the same game, but a different 'colour' just to get more Pokemon in your collection. Wow, I mean, why would you buy the same game twice just to get more Pokemon. My nephew did this recently.

I feel like playing on people's addiction to collecting is a good way to get people to keep buying things and the strap-line for this has worked so well on kids I'm surprised no-one has managed to rival it with something similar.

Thoughts?

It was the anime that got me into Pokemon first and in the ripe time of Pokemon's First Generation.

And all you have to see is that famous intro:

Heck I am still nostalgic for the show's soundtrack:

And me and brother played the fuck out of Pokemon Stadium and the first GB games because of the Anime, and we lost our shit when we found out Mewtwo was in Smash Bros Melee.

Now Pokemon is unrecognizble from the Generations I grew up with (I stopped at 4) and I have long sinced tuned out.

Shit, son, it got plenty of grown ups into it too. I remember buying some of the damned CCG just so I could actually play a few rounds with my brother in law. Thankfully, once we got that out our system, I gave all my cards away to the kids of the owners of my favorite Chinese restaurant.

Shadowfist remains my only CCG mistress to this day.

I always found Pokemon one of the best marketing campaigns ever. Basically the premise alone would probably get kids hooked though its kinda messed up if you think about it.

Its still working to this day and I'm still onboard. Though I tuned out for Gen 5. Not the game, but wow, the anime of Gen 5 was super shit. Thank God XY got me back in and got good again

Yes it was like that from the beginning. It also capitalises on kids love of cute animals, bright colours, competition and memorisation. It's like the love of dinosaurs x50

It's almost distasteful

Sure, the premise is you gotta buy them all and there's always more to buy.

Ploy? Like they're tricking kids? Nah. Its an IP, and a damn good one at that.

It combines owning a pet with adventure, action, and lets you personalize your team to really make it feel special. Its fucking ingenuous is what it is, but I wouldn't say its insidious. Its no Battlefront II

Very much so. I think the variety of Pokemon helps too. It doesn't matter if you like cute animals, bugs, tough-looking monsters, pink frilly fairies etc, there will be a Pokemon for you.

To be fair on one point, though, buying multiple versions is absolutely not necessary to complete the Pokedex. The idea in the past was that you had to trade with a friend or sibling with the opposite version (which was a genius marketing ploy in itself) but nowadays even that isn't necessary. As long as you have a functioning Wi-Fi connection, it's easy enough to get the few version-exclusive Pokemon off the GTS (global trade system).

It hits all the bases for a slightly-nerdy kid with some minor compulsive tendencies-- collecting stuff, competition with your friends, cute/cool animals and fighting with exaggerated powers.

This thread alone is making me want to replay HeartGold.

Was it not big in Britain? Because age-wise you were the perfect age when it took off.

djl3485:
Was it not big in Britain? Because age-wise you were the perfect age when it took off.

Maybe it became popular slightly later in the UK. My brother was on the first wave and he's 4 and a half years younger than me.

Silentpony:
Ploy? Like they're tricking kids? Nah. Its an IP, and a damn good one at that.

It combines owning a pet with adventure, action, and lets you personalize your team to really make it feel special. Its fucking ingenuous is what it is, but I wouldn't say its insidious. Its no Battlefront II

I dunno, as well as being a good marketable idea to sell it children initially it seems like a pretty intentional drive to get them to buy a silly amount of things they don't need to me. For example some of the Pokemon games aren't different enough to justify a separate game but kids will buy them purely for more Pokemon. Then there's the Pokecoins thing with Pokemon Go, not to mention all the merchandise/toys and stuff, which is vast with Pokemon, the reason being that there's so many of them and obviously you HAVE to 'catch em all'.

All I hear when I hear the words 'gotta catch em all' is 'I got to buy more Pokemon I got to buy it I got to buy buy buy'.

I go through phases with Pok?mon. I even enjoyed playing online a few times with friends, but as with everything a serious scene develops and it became a 'join them or die' scenario, I chose to bow out. I'll get a new release, play the fuck out of it and then retire it when I eventually can't be bothered to complete a Pok?dex that tripled in size once you completed it or start EV leveling to be competitive online.

As far as marketing goes, I don't think there's anything you can't get with some shade of Pok?mon on it. I worked in an electronics shop about the time when Pok?mon Go launched and we received Pok?mon themes power banks for the launch...

dscross:

But then you look at all the things you have to do to collect Pokemon - such as buy essentially the same game, but a different 'colour' just to get more Pokemon in your collection. Wow, I mean, why would you buy the same game twice just to get more Pokemon. My nephew did this recently.

I feel like the point of this is massively missed. I thought the idea was to buy one version and look for the Pok?mon you're missing amongst friends and family that have the other version. It's certainly how I experienced Pok?mon as a kid. I had Blue, my dad had Red. When Gold and Silver launched, me and my best friend at the time co-ordinated our birthday lists so that we wouldn't get the same version and we'd be able to trade our exclusives to each other.

I mean yeah, obviously there's always going to be someone who buys both versions to get them all without interacting with anyone. But for me, Pok?mon was always a social experience.

I will say though, the concept of "Gotta Catch 'Em All" gets more ludicrous with each subsequent release. Arguably online trading has made it easier, but the event exclusive Pok?mon are total bullshit when you live out in the arse end of nowhere, like I did when I was youngster. The criteria for completing the Pok?dex in R/B/Y was catching 150 Pok?mon, with Mew being totally optional as it was tied to an event.

Pokemon is arguably insidious in its marketing with its "gotta catch 'em all" marketing, but the idea was back in the day that you'd trade between friends - some would have Blue, others Red. Of course, that by itself wouldn't be enough to get all the Pokemon (e.g. the three versions of eevee - you could only get one version per game), and you'd have to time your (temporary) swaps to get the starters.

As someone who ended up with Blue, Red, AND Yellow, I'd kind of cheat - I'd boot up one version as my main game, do short playthroughs in the other, and trade the starters over to my main. So, for instance, Pokemon Red would be my patsy, and I'd use it so in Blue, I'd have all the starters. I think I got as high as over 130 Pokemon, but I've noticed that all my save files have deleted themselves when I last tried using my Gameboy.

That said, Pokemon is kind of a conflux of elements as to why it's so popular with kids, namely:

-The aesthetic (cute creatures that can become monsters if you want)
-An anime that essentially reboots itself with each region, meaning that kids can jump in at any time)
-The game mechanics (Pokemon is a fairly simple RPG, but it's got enough depth (e.g. elemental advantages) that you can be challenged, but not so challenged that it's impenetrable to a young kid).
-The "gotta catch 'em all" element (we all like swag, regardless of age, and the bragging rights that come with it)

I never went beyond Gen 2, and stopped watching the anime in the Jhoto arc, but is the company going to miss me? Hell no. With Gen 3, a new group of younsters will come in, and the cycle will begin again.

>Pokemon
>Children.

Pick one.

Children can't grasp the depth of pokemon. Pokemon is a gentlemans game.

Lufia Erim:
>Pokemon
>Children.

Pick one.

Children can't grasp the depth of pokemon. Pokemon is a gentlemans game.

In some respects, I wish Game Freak would realise and cater for this. On the face of it, Pok?mon is a cute and colourful collect-athon that you can breeze through with type matchups and strong moves. But look under the bonnet and IV breeding, EV training, battle tactics and held item combos make online play a minefield for the casual player.

Leave to Shigeru Miyamoto to come up with the suggestion of releasing two versions with different Pokemons available, to require trading to catch them all, and not feel cheated.

So speaking here as one of the kids that got really hooked on the show and later on one of the games when I finally had a gameboy. I feel like you are being weirdly cynical here. The line between game design and marketing ploy is getting rather blurred here.

Is it a marketing ploy to sell things to children that they like? I don't feel like I was tricked as a kid into playing pokemon gold, nor was I tricked as a teenager/adult into playing red, heartgold and Y. I did religiously watch the tv show when I was 5 or so, to the point where it worried my mother and she wouldn't allow me to watch anymore... I rewatched the whole first season in its entirety when I was 21 or so. I would recommend though, to those who do so to skip episodes 25-55 as the middle forty of the 80 or so episodes are wholly superfluous filler to the point where even I found it rather boring. When it comes to the themes though, as cheesy and shallow as it was, it did have the perfect mix of competition, love and doing the right thing.

dscross:
But then you look at all the things you have to do to collect Pokemon - such as buy essentially the same game, but a different 'colour' just to get more Pokemon in your collection. Wow, I mean, why would you buy the same game twice just to get more Pokemon. My nephew did this recently.

The game has a trade mechanic that is supposed to be used for, well, trading. Buying two copies is the wrong way to go about it and won't work if you don't have a second handheld lying around. The idea is that both you and a friend play it, or, better yet, many of the kids at a school. Ussually though, it did mostly get used to trade some pokemon of which person a had 2, which were only in the one version, and which person b wanted making it a bit dull. The battles you could do were more interesting in terms of social play. Catching them all was in any case not a thing I did as a kid. I did do it when I was 22 and I copiously used bulbapedia (which in ye olden days was not as easy, your parents might not even own a computer with internet in 1995) and I think most children wouldn't do it. The task is fairly daunting actually. You can fuck up by KO'ing that one ho-oh in the game, or not understanding the mechanics well enough to catch that second legendary now that you've used your one masterball (sleep powder or thunder wave or something like that are pretty much required). Then there are the pokemon that can only be evolved through trade, and the ones that have a 1% spawn rate in one specific patch of grass in the whole game.

Samtemdo8:
And all you have to see is that famous intro:

It is nearly impossible for me to not sing allong with that. (incredibly poorly, I might add)

Azure-Supernova:

Lufia Erim:
>Pokemon
>Children.

Pick one.

Children can't grasp the depth of pokemon. Pokemon is a gentlemans game.

In some respects, I wish Game Freak would realise and cater for this. On the face of it, Pok?mon is a cute and colourful collect-athon that you can breeze through with type matchups and strong moves. But look under the bonnet and IV breeding, EV training, battle tactics and held item combos make online play a minefield for the casual player.

You can play pokemon like that if you want but it really isn't ideal, I think. The training, ev training and iv breeding takes so long that it's better to just hack the damn thing so you can get to the actual gameplay. Even then it is weirdly balanced with a lot of pokemon being competetively unviable, often due to the silliest things like not being resistant to stealth rock or earthquake. The obvious reason for this is that pokemon is an RPG first. You level your pokemon slowly because it shouldn't be lvl 100 halfway through and because you want to get attached to it. Pokemon are then hilariously unbalanced because there have to be stronger and weaker ones so that dragonite feels special, so that butterfree is a good early pokemon who later is only useful due to compoundeyes, sleeppowder and so that some of the weaker pokemon are still just cool to use. IMO there are just better games for competetive play and learning the arcane meta of competetive pokemon does not seem worth it at all. And really that is fine with me. It is a children's RPG first with some other functionality second.

Azure-Supernova:

Lufia Erim:
>Pokemon
>Children.

Pick one.

Children can't grasp the depth of pokemon. Pokemon is a gentlemans game.

In some respects, I wish Game Freak would realise and cater for this. On the face of it, Pok?mon is a cute and colourful collect-athon that you can breeze through with type matchups and strong moves. But look under the bonnet and IV breeding, EV training, battle tactics and held item combos make online play a minefield for the casual player.

Isn't that just players unnecessarily complicating things for themselves just to spice up the gameplay on a competitive player? I never gave a shit about any of that stuff, always pretty much stuck with the first 6 Pokemon I caught and never took me more than a couple of tries to defeat anything, except Whitney's Miltank.

Johnny Novgorod:

Azure-Supernova:

Lufia Erim:
>Pokemon
>Children.

Pick one.

Children can't grasp the depth of pokemon. Pokemon is a gentlemans game.

In some respects, I wish Game Freak would realise and cater for this. On the face of it, Pok?mon is a cute and colourful collect-athon that you can breeze through with type matchups and strong moves. But look under the bonnet and IV breeding, EV training, battle tactics and held item combos make online play a minefield for the casual player.

Isn't that just players unnecessarily complicating things for themselves just to spice up the gameplay on a competitive player? I never gave a shit about any of that stuff, always pretty much stuck with the first 6 Pokemon I caught and never took me more than a couple of tries to defeat anything, except Whitney's Miltank.

It may spice the competitive battles between players, but it has benefited every player since the beginning. EV training may serve to maximize stats for competitive matches, but the mechanic also rewards the average players for winning with their favorite 6 Pokemon over and over again (even if the player doesn't really notice it).

Pseudonym:
You can play pokemon like that if you want but it really isn't ideal, I think. The training, ev training and iv breeding takes so long that it's better to just hack the damn thing so you can get to the actual gameplay. Even then it is weirdly balanced with a lot of pokemon being competetively unviable, often due to the silliest things like not being resistant to stealth rock or earthquake. The obvious reason for this is that pokemon is an RPG first. You level your pokemon slowly because it shouldn't be lvl 100 halfway through and because you want to get attached to it. Pokemon are then hilariously unbalanced because there have to be stronger and weaker ones so that dragonite feels special, so that butterfree is a good early pokemon who later is only useful due to compoundeyes, sleeppowder and so that some of the weaker pokemon are still just cool to use. IMO there are just better games for competetive play and learning the arcane meta of competetive pokemon does not seem worth it at all. And really that is fine with me. It is a children's RPG first with some other functionality second.

Yeah, I mean those are pretty much my feelings about the meta. It's never been of interest to me because none of my favorites are in the right tier for play. But I can't see how making the online scene more accessible could be a bad thing. They've danced around IV and EV checking for ages, but as far as I know there's still no in game method of reliably tracking these two factors. They're taking steps to making EV training easier, but it's still a chore if you lose track of what you're tallying. The only objections I've heard have been from die hard players who hate the idea of casuals entering the meta.

Johnny Novgorod:

Isn't that just players unnecessarily complicating things for themselves just to spice up the gameplay on a competitive player? I never gave a shit about any of that stuff, always pretty much stuck with the first 6 Pokemon I caught and never took me more than a couple of tries to defeat anything, except Whitney's Miltank.

I think it's the mechanics themselves that are unnecessarily complicated, with some players having spent a lot of time learning them. It results in some downright broken team formations. But as I have so few friends that play locally, I'd like the option to play online without getting swept by a single leading Pok?mon that's been Min/Max'd. So it came down to abandon online play or join in on the gag. IV breeding is a bit hardcore, but EV training is super easy, it's just a bastard to track and there's no reason not to have a basic in game tracker. Especially with it being necessary to be competitive.

Johnny Novgorod:

Azure-Supernova:

Lufia Erim:
>Pokemon
>Children.

Pick one.

Children can't grasp the depth of pokemon. Pokemon is a gentlemans game.

In some respects, I wish Game Freak would realise and cater for this. On the face of it, Pok?mon is a cute and colourful collect-athon that you can breeze through with type matchups and strong moves. But look under the bonnet and IV breeding, EV training, battle tactics and held item combos make online play a minefield for the casual player.

Isn't that just players unnecessarily complicating things for themselves just to spice up the gameplay on a competitive player? I never gave a shit about any of that stuff, always pretty much stuck with the first 6 Pokemon I caught and never took me more than a couple of tries to defeat anything, except Whitney's Miltank.

Not really. While there is usually a " Meta" there are such things as gimmick teams/ pokemon. You can pretty much " build" any pokemon anyway you like.

Also just because you don't give a shit, doesn't mean other don't or shouldn't. If peoplr actually looked beyon surface level, there is actually a lot of depth to pokemon.

Not unlike the Super smash brother game.

Azure-Supernova:
Yeah, I mean those are pretty much my feelings about the meta. It's never been of interest to me because none of my favorites are in the right tier for play. But I can't see how making the online scene more accessible could be a bad thing. They've danced around IV and EV checking for ages, but as far as I know there's still no in game method of reliably tracking these two factors. They're taking steps to making EV training easier, but it's still a chore if you lose track of what you're tallying. The only objections I've heard have been from die hard players who hate the idea of casuals entering the meta.

Fair enough. I suppose these are changes that nintendo could easily and harmlessly implement and I agree that they probably should.

Lufia Erim:

Johnny Novgorod:

Azure-Supernova:

In some respects, I wish Game Freak would realise and cater for this. On the face of it, Pok?mon is a cute and colourful collect-athon that you can breeze through with type matchups and strong moves. But look under the bonnet and IV breeding, EV training, battle tactics and held item combos make online play a minefield for the casual player.

Isn't that just players unnecessarily complicating things for themselves just to spice up the gameplay on a competitive player? I never gave a shit about any of that stuff, always pretty much stuck with the first 6 Pokemon I caught and never took me more than a couple of tries to defeat anything, except Whitney's Miltank.

Not really. While there is usually a " Meta" there are such things as gimmick teams/ pokemon. You can pretty much " build" any pokemon anyway you like.

Also just because you don't give a shit, doesn't mean other don't or shouldn't. If peoplr actually looked beyon surface level, there is actually a lot of depth to pokemon.

Not unlike the Super smash brother game.

What, that game that I would play when I went over to my friend's house and win half the time even though I was just mashing buttons against the guy who played it every day? Thank you, you just proved my point.

I don't even remember what placed Pokemon in my mind as a child...I just remember sort of needing it.

What's funny, is that I never asked for the games. I was just given a Gameboy color with a copy of Pokemon Yellow version during a Christmas, and from then I was hooked. Staying up way late into the night, desperately trying to angle the screen to any light source possible.

Of course, as an adult, my affinity for the series has dwindled considerably. Mostly because it turns out many of my favorite Pokemon are considered quite useless. Why the fuck is Onyx, a massive stone snake monster, consisting of several huge boulders, made to be so weak? I used to love Onyx, and from the design I still do, but he's useless in a party no matter how hard you level him.

DeliveryGodNoah:
Why the fuck is Onyx, a massive stone snake monster, consisting of several huge boulders, made to be so weak? I used to love Onyx, and from the design I still do, but he's useless in a party no matter how hard you level him.

Onix was the most overused Pokemon in gen1 competitive
Often sweeping whole parties with just Rock Throw

Johnny Novgorod:

Lufia Erim:

Johnny Novgorod:

Isn't that just players unnecessarily complicating things for themselves just to spice up the gameplay on a competitive player? I never gave a shit about any of that stuff, always pretty much stuck with the first 6 Pokemon I caught and never took me more than a couple of tries to defeat anything, except Whitney's Miltank.

Not really. While there is usually a " Meta" there are such things as gimmick teams/ pokemon. You can pretty much " build" any pokemon anyway you like.

Also just because you don't give a shit, doesn't mean other don't or shouldn't. If peoplr actually looked beyon surface level, there is actually a lot of depth to pokemon.

Not unlike the Super smash brother game.

What, that game that I would play when I went over to my friend's house and win half the time even though I was just mashing buttons against the guy who played it every day? Thank you, you just proved my point.

implying that your friend is good at Smash Bros and not also just a casual player like you...

try playing against some ACTUAL competitive Smash players from the tourney scene.

dscross:
Full disclosure here, I'm 33 and British, so I missed the whole Pokemon phenomenon as a child.

But I have noticed my friends' children getting into it - and oh boy are they really into it. My little brother was also a Pokemon fan as a child, when it first hit our shores. To an on-looker like me, it looks like an average RPG and cartoon. But then I thought of the strap-line.

Gotta catch em all.

Kids love collecting things. I remember I enjoyed collecting stuff. Mix nostalgia in there and you start getting adults who still enjoy Pokemon. Kids aren't the only ones susceptible though, apparently. Adults were sucked in by Pokemon Go for a while (because it was on their phones) though that craze is dying out.

But then you look at all the things you have to do to collect Pokemon - such as buy essentially the same game, but a different 'colour' just to get more Pokemon in your collection. Wow, I mean, why would you buy the same game twice just to get more Pokemon. My nephew did this recently.

I feel like playing on people's addiction to collecting is a good way to get people to keep buying things and the strap-line for this has worked so well on kids I'm surprised no-one has managed to rival it with something similar.

Thoughts?

You weren't suppose to buy two versions, you were suppose to drop ten to 15 dollars on a link cable and trade with your friends. Also to make it worse, some pokemon were event pokemon and until the 3DS era, event pokemon weren't easy to get. If you Played gen 1-4 is was pretty damn impossible to catch them all of them unless you glitched or hacked the game.

Fantasy dogfighting simulator for kids?

I'm old enough to have known the games well before the show (I didn't really have time to watch cartoons), and given that context of enslaving animals in cages to force them to fight in staged battles for money without any of the charm(?) of worldbuilding expansionism of the shows kind of kept me away from the whole thing.

Honestly the concept seemed pretty fucked up to me even when I was a young'en. Try to divorce any more of the 'humanising' aspects of the show. Just try to remember the first game and the first game only and you might see why I was perplexed as to how exactly was this a game?

Mainly because even when I was 7 I'm pretty sure I was an animal lover. So by the time I was 14 when the first game was released, at least in Australia, it didn't seem like an enthralling pitch for a game. Already used to have pet snakes, take care of injured reptiles, had pet dogs and a horse. One of my weekend jobs when I was 11 I was working in someone's breeding stables for the enthusiast horse riding and horseback hunting market. Training for the latter of which is unsurprisingly dangerous, given you need a person actually in the saddle firing a modified starting pistol from behind and near its head... so guess which silly mug they got to do the job? The people that command $30k+ p.a if they get injured or not, or the kid that might break $2k p.a earning only $1.80/hour, and they could technically let go whenever they wanted? You do the math.

Most of my jobs or free time involved animals of one sort or another.

Long rant short, I didn't get why a game like it existed... nor did I see the appeal. And I'm pretty sure just for that rural/subrural enculturation alone sort of put up barriers between me and it.

The original Harvest Moon was more my speed.

Not only that Harvest Moon just made more sense. Whether you grew up in rural location, or whether you grew up in the city and dreamt of wild, open spaces. Pokemon always felt like this really weird RPG that didn't make much sense, nor could I ever understand the target audience or its popularity.

But I guess things that are popular don't really have to make sense.

So to answer your question in the long way around, as a kid Pokemon wasn't my jam on its own grounds.

I agree... World's most difficult choice: Would you rather find the perfect partner (woman/man) or have any one Pok?mon?

Addendum_Forthcoming:
So to answer your question in the long way around, as a kid Pokemon wasn't my jam on its own grounds.

You can see my point as to why it would be effective on lots of children though?

dscross:

You can see my point as to why it would be effective on lots of children though?

Kind of? I mean, at heart collecting stuff isn't just rewarding for kids. And when I mean 'rewarding' I don't mean as in a physical byproduct of our expense and investment of time. I mean in the processes of thought that humans use that actively reward a feeling or thrill of finding something largely inconsequential. Whether it be a stack of MLP stuff with me, or whether it be some motorcycling enthusiast who has a garage full of old bikes they've bought, repaired with largely factory standard parts, and keep for themselves. My excitement of getting some limited circulation MLP merch is no different. And I'm 33.

It's rewarding because there is sufficient degree in investment already, and given that life has no inherent meaning rather than confronting that intuitively and meaningfully we invent reasons to create it. Save for the physiology, no animal is truly an 'adult' for that reason ... we invent responsibilities because we need to invent reason and meaning.

Simply put it's not as if 'collecting things' is somehow just for kids. If anything as we get older, we desire it far more.

A mid-life crisis is essentiually a crisis of faith that actually discovering that pretending to be an adult as to what everyone assumes an adult to be is actually fucking awful. Collectively one of the reasons in the new world of digitally accessible alleviation of one's adulthood seems to correlate to a seemingly growing immaturity of people. It's not that people are more immature, it's just that there's less reasons to pretend being an adult is as if some manufactured ideal or even real.

We don't see it in nature, we don't see it in neuroscience. Very litte difference (in operation) between a 18 year old brain and a 30 year old brain beyond brain damage and ridiculously different degrees of manifesting depression when we look at fMRI data. Hence why so much stuff that is popular for kids is also popular with #Adults. You don't really grow up ... you just get taller and lie to yourself more regularly.

If you want to see what reality is, talk to a 9 year old and get them to describe everything around them. You'd be surprised by how they describe their world and how they see it ... and suddenly you become very conscious you no longer can still do that. Maybe more articulately, but not make the same bridges of thought concerning mundane materials you just write off as mundane.

In essence, the same way we get involved in 'fandoms' and absorb as much as we can of specificities of culture/science/etc is the same processes by which young children are inquisitive and examine their world in a general fashion.

So yeah, you're right. In a way.

But then again, there is also the barrier of investment. Which is purely in terms of conceptual design.

I mean, I can't be the only one that thinks the concept of Pokemon is particularly fucked up. I felt that way as a kid with what was a fairly animal-centric childhood. The concept didn't appeal to me precisely because the barrier to investment was always kind of barbed in things I couldn't quite divorce was active cruelty for no reason whatsoever.

I don't want to be 'that girl' that says Pokemon is awful solely because of its theme. But honestly I think that's a two way street to the fact that there is that barrier to investment, and even if you're a kid who likes videogames ... there's kind of a chance that a game wasn't going to tickle your mental fancies.

In short I don't believe there is such a thing as a 'winning strategy' of total appeal. As an inverse of that, neither do I believe that consumption trends between kids and #adults is somehow a gulf with large differences of mechanics.

I know I'm really popular with my cousin's kids for that reason. I'm even teaching them the basics of orienteering and Earth sciences through showing them maps of places I've explored of the Australian interior and some of my fossicking gear. Same wonderment in those eyes as there are mine. Same drivers of agency. The artificial deviation between kids and adults just isn't there. I can show them on maps the range of the opal mines on the edges and inland of the Great Artesian Basin ... explain how they came about, hint at all the possible locations one might find fossils or precious stones because of that. I can show them logbooks and journals of adventurers and explorers ... how new records of traversing the continent and its obstacles are being made each year and that the exploration of Earth is nowhere near as comprehensive as people pretend it to be ... and all of it within fingertips of the playground they have inherited easy access by simply being born here. She'll make a fine pathfinder when older and none of that is necessarily childish on its own.

She might grow out of it, or become disinterested, but I think I've been enough of a bad influence on her to actually make it stick.

Same thrill of mystery about what is actually someplace that might await them.

Pokemon seems to tap that duality of adventure, the 'exotic' and neuroticism for detail and desire for control over other things. I get the mechanics of its popularity, but the conceptual barriers bar me from enjoying them. It's not as if Pokemon owns the idea of adventure. It uses various mechanics of the psyche to phenomenal effect. The idea of 'collection' being one of them, but that remarks about nothing concerning children specifically, and nor does it have a universality of appeal by merely the conceptual frameworks of that premise.

If the concepts didn't alienate me as a kid, I might have enjoyed it. But they did alienate me, and I think the reasons of their alienation aren't as if wrong, misinformed, or somehow aberrant to the human condition regardless of being a kid or a #adult.

 

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