Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pokémon and on and on

It's amazing to think that our little yellow friend Pikachu and his Pokémon horde have now been dominating the kids' culture scene for over a decade. Keeping track of games sales and best-seller lists reminds me almost every year that out there, somewhere, there are still a lot of kids playing Pokémon games, watching Pokémon programming, and consuming Pokémon branded goods. Pokémon is the second best-selling video game franchise ever (after Mario Bros.), the show still pulls in good ratings on Cartoon Network and elsewhere, and the toys still generate a regular income flow. This year, it seems that Pokémon might be in for a bit of a "re"-vival (even though it's hardly gone anywhere to revive from), with the introduction of two new Pokémon video games, Diamond and Pearl, due to ship later this month. I've had a long time to think about Pokémon and have almost too much to say on the topic to condense it in any meaningful way here. Instead, I'll refer you to two excellent publications: Pikachu's Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokemon by Joseph Tobin et al., and Gotta Catch'em all: Structure, agency and pedagogy in children’s media culture by David Buckingham and Julian Sefton-Green. If after reading these you don't think Pokémon may in fact eventually take over the world, then you are a much bigger optimist than I.

No comments: