Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Pokemon: the new G I Joe?

Yesterday ,Sriharsha was a panelist in a panel discussion about gender gap.He was talking about the fads of the various generations.I wondered “Are Pokemons the new g I Joe?"

What makes Pokemon or G I Joe so good?I will say it is the detail (not frames per second, but); the customizability of your favorite character.Even though Pikachu is the hero's pokemon, I personally know kids who like Bulbasaur or Charmander more.

Some statistics:

Though G I Joe had well defined good and bad, there were no less than 65 of the good guys to choose from (including Lady Jay and scarlet for macho girls) and 24 cobra leaders /masterminds to hate.

Everyone who likes his/her Pokemon has a favorite one: There are 150 of them to choose from: each with its own attacks strengths and evolutionary levels.

What appeals these people is not whether the show is about saving America or appreciating the environment (that talk is for the parents to allow the kids to watch the show ) but the complex alternate scenario they are put in ( the world with pokemons or that of the special commando forces).
Also this is not specific to these 2 generations alone. The time in between also had its share of such Pseudo real Scenarios .Star wars the real reason for whose success is the Mystical “force” rather than the Light saber fights of the new trilogy.

We idolized Captain Kirk for the different aliens and planets he encountered.

Finally, all of you (between 15 and 25 and watching T V since 5 or from before) who are giggling that none of these ever afflicted you; take this acronym

W W F.


Aradhya said...

I agree with most of what you said. It is also true that I was slightly into WWF (note: slightly) for exactly one year between my 7th standard and 8th standard. But I soon saw that there was absolutely no point to it. And the make-believe was a mockery of any sane guy's intelligence.

There is another point to this. When it is infants who like Pokemon, it is more of an arbitrary choice and not much of a Generation gap issue. They will cry for whatever the next kid is having (or whatever the pink thing on the TV is hard-selling!).

But when it comes to Teenagers, it is a different issue. They are not just looking at the 'customisability' or variety, they are trying to express themselves through their choices, and this is where Generation gap issue really comes in.

When I used the Pokemon thingie to start my opening comments in the panel, I wanted to show the break-down of communication, which is just one part of Generation gap. Please don't take it to be the all-encompassing example of Generation gap. I did it also to 'break the ice' in the discussion, without which, I was afraid, the panel discussion would have become too academic! It made some people laugh atleast!!!

Vinay said...

Sorry If I have created a false impression.
I meant that it is an innate curiosity of humans to such alternate worlds.

Smartie said...

Great work on your blog - it was very enlightening. You've got a lot of useful info on there about Pokemon so I've bookmarked your site so I don't lose it. I'm doing a lot of research on Pokemon Exposed and have just started a new blog - I'd really appreciate your comments