Pokemon Case Study – Yohaan P. Sharma 1537214

“Pokémon Case Study.” Pokémon Cast Study. N.p., n.d. Web.

This online paper traces the movement of Pokémon from Japan, its origin, and how it spread across the world.  In addition to this, the paper also discusses the merchandise that the franchise has spawned and how the product was slightly altered so that it could be accepted in other parts of the world.

Essentially, this paper deals with the path that Pokémon took to becoming a global phenomenon.

Emerson begins his paper by discussing the Game Boy. The Game Boy was a handheld video game console that could access games through cartridges. The cartridges would need to be bought separately and each cartridge acted as the storage unit for a game. The comparison of the ATM could help in understanding this system.

Thinking of the Game Boy itself as the ATM, the cartridge would be the card that is used to gain access to the bank account through the ATM. Different cards could access different bank accounts but all potentially through the same ATM depending on which card was used.

The Game Boy is important to discuss because Pokémon was first released on the Game Boy platform falling under the Role-Playing Game (RPG) genre. X goes on to talk about the objectives of the game and the way in which products within the game anticipates its status as a commercial cultural phenomenon.

X states that Nintendo, part owner of Game Freak, producer of the games, was not enthusiastic about the game initially because the early stages of the release did not classify Pokémon as a hit but its popularity grew steadily through word of mouth. This is probably due to the fact that the game could not be fully completed unless a player was able to link his game to another one for trade.

The popularity of Pokémon grew so much that Nintendo made an arrangement with Shogakukan, a children’s publisher, to run Pokémon comics in their magazine Koro-Koro Comics; a book that, until today, releases Pokémon information periodically as well as information of other Nintendo characters and games.

The reception of the comic series led to the development of the television series that is, today, running into its nineteenth season in Japan. While the producers of the game were hesitant fearing that poor television could hamper the sales of the game, the writers of the show were forced to play the game extensively in order to make the show as compatible to the game as possible. The television series was so well received that Nintendo made a new Pokémon game that closely mirrored the game’s plots and characters, though this was the only game that did so and from then the television series adapts the characters and plots from the games into the show itself.

This case study helps in situating how Pokémon as a franchise spread across Japan and how various forms of media served to complement each other and add to the credibility and reach of the franchise.

Yohaan P. Sharma 1537214 – Why Conservationists Should Heed Pokemon

Balmford, A. “Why Conservationists Should Heed Pokemon.” Science 295.5564 (2002): 2367. Web.

Balmford et. al builds their article on the premise that humans possess an “innate desire to catalog, understand and spend time with other life-forms”. Deriving this from E. O. Wilson’s Biophilia hypothesis, the writers of the article believe that this hypothesis provides for a basis to build an argument to protect endangered animals but they also state that due to industrialization and urbanization, the human interest that formerly resided with other life-forms are slowly, but steadily shifting, to a more man-made paradigm.

This redirection to human artifacts, that occur outside of the control of the natural world, holds, what they feel, are “potentially grave consequences for biodiversity conservation”. To substantiate their point, they quote Robert Pyle in saying “what is the extinction of the condor to a child who has never seen a wren?”

Delving now into their study, Balmford et. al aim to test children’s awareness of wild life by providing them with pictures and asking for an identification. In the mix of these cards, they also inserted 10 Pokemon playing cards in order to see if the children could name the Pokemon as well.

The research team surveyed 109 UK children aged between 4 to 11. Each child was given 20 cards; 10 cards depicting actual wildlife and 10 depicting Pokemon. Their findings indicate that all the children within the given age group were able to identify between 30% and 50% of wildlife whereas the same group varied quite drastically for Pokemon. The younger children (aged 6 and below) scored between 10% and 50% but all the children in the older category could identify at least 70% of the Pokemon cards probably due to the fact that the younger children may not have been exposed to Pokemon in the cartoon or trading card form.

However, the fact that the same group of children knew one and half times the Pokemon than they did actual wildlife seems to point to Blamford et. al’s hypothesis as true.

What this means to my research is that Pokemon acts as a tool for education because children are able to remember these characters and identify with them as well. This adds to them immersing themselves into the world of Pokemon where they interact with wildlife but a fictional wildlife.  Balmford et. al defend that the data that they uncovered should serve as proof that conservationists need to reestablish a connection between nature and children and build that link in order to “win over their hearts and minds” and, in turn, better the situation of endangered species.

Yohaan P. Sharma 1537214 – Studying Videogames Chapter 1.

McDougall, Julian, and Wayne O’Brien. Studying Videogames. Leighton Buzzard: Auteur, 2008. Print.

In the first chapter of their book, McDougall and O’Brien attempt to explain the reading of a videogame as a text. To start, they refer to Burn, Carr and Schott in 2003 to discuss how a videogame, as a text, will remain incomplete because they depend on movements based solely on the player.

Using Lara Croft as an example, they say that the way that Lara moves will vary a great deal among different players because different players will move the character according to their will. I feel that this argument almost ignores the fact that each player is assigned a particular goal in order to move on in the game. This argument may be more valid when discussing the order in which some goals are achieved. I am reminded of games like Eragon and such role-playing games where a goal is to defeat a certain number of foes. In a book, despite the reader being the source of meaning as is assumed in Death of the Author, if the book says that a particular enemy was attacked by Eragon in the scene corresponding to the videogame, that will always be the person attacked by Eragon first; this is not so in a videogame whereas the player can be more flexible in deciding his first target, the only requirement is to accomplish the goal.

However, taking the first Rachet And Clank game where one level insisted that a series of tasks be accomplished in one order, as a gauntlet, if everything is not done at the perfect time, the level is repeated. In such a level, individual strategy disintegrates and leaves behind a gamers’ skill. I feel that this most closely reflects the reading of a book because dictation depends more on the text and less on the meaning creator.

Burn, Carr and Schott do go on to say that a person’s control over the “hero” of the game remains why theory cannot fully describe digital games. Moreover, due to the player controlling the main character, the relationship between author and reader (in this case; player) is complicated and the use of cheats and game hacking further distort the lines between game producers and its consumers.

McDougall and O’Brien then explain that in this book, they attempt to deconstruct a range of games to analyse how media language makes meaning for players and how genres and narrative structures represent people and ideas and, to an extent, reality itself. They refer to Bruce (2002) and his acronym for studying a media text: ‘MIGRAIN’.

Standing for Media Language, Institution, Genre, Representaion, Audience, Ideology and Narrative, this acronym offers a sort of checklist in which each game is discussed to further delve into the game form and design.

Yohaan P. Sharma -What Pokemon Can Teach Us about Learning and Literacy

Vasquez, Vivian. “What Pokemon Can Teach Us about Learning and Literacy.” Language Arts Vol. 81 No. 2 (2003): 118-25. JSTOR. Web. 7 June 2016.
This article looks at the way in which a child, Curtis, envelopes himself in the Pokemon franchise. Vasquez, through studying her nephew and his life around Pokemon, highlights the way in which Curtis engages in pleasurable and powerful literacies.
To Vasquez, the term “Literacies” denotes all skills and strategies used by a learner including the learner’s faculties of reading, writing, drawing and other such skills that deal with the process of making meaning. She delves into this study to explore what engagement with popular culture texts could teach us about learning and literacy.
The next part of this section of the article dealt with Vasquez learning how to play the Trading Card Game from her nephew while paying attention to all the nuances, rules and strategies employed by one who partakes of this franchise in this form.
She uses the term “Pokediscourse” to describe the discourse she discovers when interacting with and participating in the discourse that lends itself to the Pokemon franchise: the trading cards in this study as a representation of the franchise.
Vasquez indicates that her nephew gave her the time to pick up on the speech used in the Pokediscourse so that she could make meaning within the realm of Pokemon.
This, she concludes in the first part of her article, allowed her to imagine the potential that lay within the paradigm of Pokemon in terms of learning and literacy development through the pleasurable engagement with this facet of popular culture.