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Pokémon Go - A Wild New Subculture Emerges

Updated on July 29, 2016

A nice example of just how much traffic this game recieves

My Thoughts on the Franchise

For as long as I've lived, Pokemon has infested my life with all sorts of media and merchandise, and crazy freaking fans that were obsessed with it. As for me... I enjoyed it. I remember it fondly even today. But it never was a horribly important part of my life.

I'm part of a minority it seems though, as with each new installment this franchise seems to only grow bigger, more invigorated, less tired... And millions more half mad raving fans rushing to pad Nintendo's pockets.

I guess Pokemon is another one of those incidences of people confusing content with substance... Because there isn't really any substance to hold on to. It's a cute show sure, but it doesn't warrant holding anybody's attention but a toddler for any more than 30 minutes at a time.

I'm perplexed as to why people get so attached to something so shallow. And this game is no exception... There are Pokemon go DRIVERS for God's sake, charging upwards of 30$ an hour to drive players around town. Why??? Why is this a thing that exists?!? That sounds like an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Public Reception

Of course there are stories about the game everywhere, and I will share a few of the more anecdotal ones, but first I'd like to point something out. All of these stories (like 99% of them) share the same kind of format: a group of kids or adults risk their lives or well being to play this game that was built for a demographic of casual child gamers.

I guess Nintendo's goal was to make the franchise more accessible, and they did a good job by that standard. But people are going nuts over it in every sense of the word; and I'm talking about every walk of life here. It's kind of hilarious. The "guns kill people" crowd is blaming the game for injuring the children who happen to get injured, the conspiracy theorists think that the section of the population that plays Pokemon go is being brainwashed and militarized (no joke), ALL people over sixty are complaining about how "They don't get it." And that's just to name a few.

One of my favorite stories, is about a 15-year-old girl who was struck by a car AFTER playing the game, so the game wasn't even really related. That didn't stop throngs of people shouting blame to the game though (including the girl's mother, who stated, and I quote "Kids don’t just going to normally cross a highway for no reason. This thing had her walking across the highway to find a Pokemon. When she called and said that she was hit by a car I blamed the game, because she would not have been out of my house.") I mean, they logic employed is beyond flawed, and what was that last part about? "she would not have been out of your house."? Like ever? Is this woman psychotic? Now, just because misinformation is a scary thing, I'll link another version of the story here.

Why is it so Successful, Anyway?

So, while I was researching I noticed an interesting pattern in search trends. When I typed something like "Why is pokemon go" searching in vain for the auto-completion "successful", I came across other apparently massive searches like "why is pokemon go so addicting", or "why do pokemon evolve". I can only assume that the material is successful because Pokemon fans are completely obsessive.

I don't understand fandoms, but don't get me wrong I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. No, never mind, I don't care. But I will refrain from making my criticism any less than fair. a "fandom" is defined by one Urban Dictionary as being "The community that surrounds a tv show/movie/book etc. Fanfiction writers, artists, poets, and cosplayers are all members of that fandom. Fandoms often consist of message boards, livejournal communities, and people." The problem that I have with these people is why do they have to commit to a piece of media so wholeheartedly. It would make sense if there was some deeper connection that was associated with it, but this possibility is excluded just by sheer probability. Most people, I assume, are only committed to ANY fandom because of the advertisement campaign.

And the "If it doesn't jive with you" argument doesn't apply here, naysayers. My sole criticism is the fact that most fans of any fandom are going to be raving mad. They've been so engrossed in their franchise's "propaganda" that they can't look at there beloved media with a critical eye. Yeah, that's generally bad, because the more money gained by these money-grubbing corporations, the more money they will need, and they'll get it through relentless advertisement and merchandising and catchy new slogans, and addicting new video games. Soon, Nintendo will take over the world! But no, really, Pokemon go is just annoying.

Also, I'd like to make a revision here. The only money that Nintendo has made from this game came from Niantic, Inc. who developed the game. I don't know much about this company, and I'd rather imagine Tatsumi Kimishima with dollar-signs in his eyes.


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