For those of us who are Born in 80’s, most of us could not figure out why children born in 90’s are so hell crazy about Pokemon. We love Disney, Ducktales, Aaladin, but these children will say, “Pikachu” more enthusiastically than the dream Girl “Jasmine”.
They buy stuffs of Pokemon, they act like a Pokemon and they even leave their Cricket to watch Pokemon in cartoon Network.
This Post is dedicated to the Hows and Why of the Buzz around Pokemon and How Pokemon has taken the Market away.
Its based on my understanding of the Phenomenon called Pokemon, as I everyday witness my own nephew
acting like a stranger with the start of Pokemon.
This is Post–I of the analysis. Will try to cover the whole topic in 3 posts.
Here we start…………….
WHAT IS POKEMON?
Pokemon is essentially a Boy Game. Targeted to boys of age 6-12 Years.
First released in Japan in Feb 1996, it is reported to have taken 6 years to develop.
It is developed by Satoshi Tajiri with its company Game Freak. ( Nintendo is a part owner and was not very keen for this game initially)
Tsunekazu Ishihara’s game design studio, “Creatures,” provided the Visuals and Investment Support.
Tajiri is generally regarded as the “author” of the game, while Ishihara is regarded as the business genius.
Hence for our understanding we will concentrate on Ishihara- The Business Genius of the Game.
WHY NAME POKEMON?
Pokemon is the made by Joining two words: Pocket + Monsters. Since it has its roots from a Japanese game
it comes from two words of Japanese Po-ket to Mo-n-su-taa. If you know Japanese language, you might know that it is common in it to refer to things using only first syllable of their name.
So If you want to call Television in Japanese it will become “Te-re-Bi”, and Mono which often becomes “Mon” which means “things”.
Pokemon has a close relation with Poke- Stuff, as in you Poke someone.
Video game genres are used to categorize video games based on their gameplay interaction rather than visual or narrative differences. The Genre of games in Video games are plenty like action Adventure, Shooter, Construction and Management Simulation ( The Markstat we played at MICA), etc.
The Pokemon relates to RPG which means Role Playing Genre.
The GAME- What one does in it
There are lots of creatures in the game and the character you are, you have to defeat Pocket Monsters. There are multiple goals in the game right from defeating monsters to solving small puzzle, to collect variants of Pokemon etc.
There are in all 151 variants of Pokemon.
Originally Pokemon was sold in two versions,
each of which was missing a set number of the total pokemon. The only way to collect them all was to trade with a player with the other colored cartridge; this could be done through the means of a “Game Link Cable” (sold separately).
THE INSPIRATION OF THE GAME
You might be amazed to know that the Tajiri, the author of the game said that he got the inspiration for the game from his childhood when they used to collect insects and show it to friends.
We know of Pokemon as a Cartoon, but Pokemon in a game is actually built in the way the children Shop.
You might also be amazed to note that when you enter the Home in Pokemon, there you will find shelves lined with “Books of Pokemon”, and “Pokemon Goods”.
PROMOTIONAL TOOLS USED IN JAPAN
As part of promotion in Japan, Nintendo arranged for Children Publisher , Shogakukan , which ran a Boy mased comic called Koro Koro comics.
You might be amazed to know that in Japan it is expected that 1 out of every Four boys have read the 800+ page Koro-Koro.
Pokemon was developed as a Humorous adventure tale of the hero , Satoshi , his Loyol electronic Mouse “pokemon” Pikachu.
B. TV SHOW
First the Tajiri was hesitant to start animated show, but then when he agreed, he put one condition.
He said that the writers of the TV show must play the game extensively before they even start thinking on producing the show. This lifted the Pokemon in Japan.
C. TRADING CARDS
Tsunekazu Ishihara developed Trading cards, in which a basic starter pack can be bought in from the market and then later on Booster packs can be bought to improve the competitiveness of the deck in hands. What they did was to keep the special cards so scarce- 1 in every ten card deck, and continuously introduced new decks.
Also they introduced video games based on those Deck cards, which helped the “Pokemon” become a Phenomenon rather than a Game.
In the next Post you will know how Japanese were able to take the game to America, and subsequently to India.
They followed strategies to suit the American Children and you will be amazed to know how they marketed the Game to play with the psyche of American Kids.
How these people influence kids is amazing………………………
Hope you all like it.