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Impact of the Pokémon Franchise

Page history last edited by Charlotte Olivier 6 years, 6 months ago

 

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History of the Pokémon Franchise Impact of the Pokémon Franchise Case Study of the Pokémon Franchise

 [2]

The Impact of the Pokémon Franchise

Table of Contents                         


 

Introduction: The Pokémon franchise has impacted the video game industry on a number of different levels. Each game release by the franchise has brought a new level of innovation to the Video Gaming Industry and in addition, has created components enjoyed by Pokémon trainers throughout the various generation differences. The Pokémon franchise has brought together people from around the world through their strong social gaming emphasis. By providing their gamers with a social experience like no other, Game Freak was able to revolutionize the video game industry through its creation of the Pokémon games, developing original game play with new twists and turns has impacted a variety of advancements, innovations, and overall additions towards the bigger picture looking at the video game industry as a whole. The Pokémon franchise has and continues to have outstanding impacts on the video game industry, reshaping the way players interact with each other and changing the way we play games and move forward embracing the gaming layer in our society. Many aspects of our culture have been directly the cause of the Pokémon franchise which relate to the effects of rethinking the development of RPG games in the video gaming industry today. The Pokémon franchise was born in to a period of early RPG success and through their dedication to customization, social interactivity, and diverse challenges. The innovations provided by the Pokémon franchise have furthermore advanced the franchise itself and impacted gaming industry as a whole. 


[3]How the Franchise Related to the Industry[4]


The Impact the Pokémon Franchise has Made on the Video Game Industry as a Whole 

 

"The Pokémon, or Pocket Monsters, series began in Japan in March 21,1996 on the original Game Boy with Pokémon Red and Green, with versions Red and Blue arriving in North America on September 30th, 1998. Installments of this role-playing game are usually released in pairs, with minor difference between the two iterations, so that 100% completion can only be achieved by linking to a friend with the game and swapping the missing creatures. A third game would later be released with some alterations and improvements over the previous 2 versions. Published by Nintendo, this series became a sensation spawning toys, card games, shirts, spin-offs, and an animated television show that has gone on for thirteen seasons. The original cast of actual Pokémon has grown from 151 to 649."

[5] [6]

Four main impacts of the Pokémon Franchise 

 

1) Multiple layer challenges: While Pokémon has kept the RPG's common campaign single player mode alive, the Pokémon franchise brought forth the idea of an ongoing challenge of collecting, or "catching" all of the Pokémon within the game. The game cartridges are all full of different Pokémon allowing players to trade with one another in order to have caught every single Pokémon. This has shaped the video game model of story telling as a whole immensely. 

 

2) Specialization and Customization: The customization through capturing, training, and battling has been influencing other games ever since the Pokémon franchise took off. This role playing game or RPG has created a fantasy world where each player can specialize their Pokémon arsenal to embark on their own adventure and interact with the game's other inhabitants as well as one another. Pokémon character avatars are faced with making decisions throughout the game that will ultimately lead to a variety of different outcomes. 

 

3) Popularization of the Handheld Device: Pokémon increased the popularity of the handheld device as a method of gaming. In times where gaming was evolving from a few in home entertainment systems and stationary arcades, the handheld was not welcomed as well in to the industry until Pokémon was born in 1996. 

 

4) Social Interaction: Pokémon is reshaping the video game industry just as it was in 1996 to Present Day. The ability to trade and battle Pokémon avatars directly via device to device link contributed to the creation of social relationships between gamers throughout time. Just becomes easier as gaming device technological abilities increase.

 


How the Pokémon Franchise has shaped the Video Gaming Industry

 

Multiple Layer Challenges

 

Before Pokémon began taking over the video game industry during the 90's, games were originally based in a single player campaign challenge where a hero (or avatar) would pursue a realm of tasks in order to achieve a goal. Although there were difficulty standards in place, many people began to stray away from repeating the game's context over and over. Pokémon brought a new idea known as the popular phrase "catch 'em all!" which entitled gamers to subside from the original set goal in the game to achieve a personal achievement. Players could make the decision to catch or retreat from various Pokémon allowing people to function more freely in the video game.

 

Because of Pokémon's introduction of this optional side-campaign players were more inclined to purchase the Pokémon franchise games because they would still carry the same amount of energy and mixed diversity of challenges after players "beat the game." The freedom to choose various avatars and collect Pokémon shaped the industry through their multiple layer challenges creating lasting entertainment for their audience and a smooth game play without a significant amount of restrictions. Furthermore, this emphasized the gaming story telling model and escaping from reality in a new sense. Because video games during this time were being developed based off of the original mass media method of story telling there was often a lack of providing gamers with both freedom and smooth game play. Pokémon shaped the industry in a new way by providing a variety of obstacles and providing the player with decisions that alter the gameplay significantly. [7]

The presentation of multiple layer challenges was slowly but successfully integrated in to the video game industry. The idea of having a single set goal allowed for a community of gamers to enjoy the same challenges as one another. But since Pokémon introduced a new type of gaming experience with multiple layers and gaming challenges, the players could relate through competition and personalization to achieve common goals in their own ways. The idea of providing players with the power to choose their gaming experience opened the door for a wide array of other games setting the path way for factors that would shape the way players challenge themselves in the gaming experience. It's one thing to produce and provide players with a set of tasks and challenges through the creation of the Pokémon franchise but when players are able to create layers of various challenges ranging from (just to name a few): Improving one's Pokémon arsenal, capturing various Pokémon, beating a specific amount of other trainers, winning the game with a different Pokémon team, and many more challenges along the way. This notion has and still continues to shape the video game industry pushing it in a new way to provide players with a new and personal gaming experience.

[8]

"Pokémon are special critters that appear throughout the game that the player can battle and capture to use. There are currently 649 different Pokémon in the series, and not all can be captured in a single game. Players can use a Pokédex to keep track of all Pokémon seen and captured."

[9]

"Each Pokémon has 1 or 2 Types (out of a total of 17), and can learn up to 4 different moves at a time. Each Pokémon has a base stat point distribution, spread between 6 stats: Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, Speed, and HP. Pokémon earn experience every time they make an opponent faint, and will increase their stats automatically every time they level up. From the 3rd Generation onwards, Pokémon also have a nature, which will increase or decrease certain stats, and a ability, which is a special attribute that might help (or hinder) it in battle. Players can affect their Pokémon stat point gain through Effort Value (EV) and Individual Value (IV) manipulation, which can boost a Pokémon's stat points significantly."

[10]

"Many Pokémon can evolve (i.e. change to a better form) when they hit a certain prerequisite, normally by reaching a set level. The Pokémon will keep the moves, nature, EVs, and IVs of the original, but will gain (or sometimes lose) stat points. Some evolutions will also change the Pokémon's types or ability, and gain access to new skills that might not have been available in their previous form. Some Pokémon have branching evolutions, where the Pokémon can evolve into a different Pokémon based on their evolution method."

[11]

"Pokémon are captured using special capsule-like devices known as Poké Balls. These balls can be bought or found, and only be used against wild Pokémon. There are many different types of balls, from the basic red-and-white Poké Ball to the Master Ball, which will capture any Pokémon without fail. Players can also trade their Pokémon, either through local connections, or via a global trading system first introduced in the 4th Generation."

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What the Pokémon games brought to the Video Game Industry

 

The Pokémon Series and The Relationship Between Electronic Gaming and Media Culture

 

"The ever-growing relationship between video games and other media like books, movies, and television leaves no doubt that digital gaming has a permanent place in our culture. Like other media, games are also a venue for advertising. A virtual billboard in a video game is likely more than just a digital prop; as in television and the movies, it's a paid placement. And like other media, games are a subject of social concern, too. Violent and misogynistic content has ate more of culture and increasingly come in nonstandard formats and genres, they may also become harder to define, and therefore, regulate."

[14]  

"Gotta Catch 'Em All is the slogan for Pokémon, the most popular video game franchise of the last 20 years. In the Pokémon game series, players act as "trainers" who go on journeys to collect fictional creatures called Pokémon. As they catch Pokémon, they are mentored by wise scientists and must pay attention to all the bits of information that are presented along the way and use these facts to draw connections and make decisions. In our own journey of capturing students' attention and shaping their understanding of information, using Pokémon in the classroom can be a valuable tool for teaching lessons across the curriculum."

[15]

"In a shift toward project-based lessons (or project-based learning), lessons formulated by educators are designed around students learning by doing. School librarians/media specialists have the unique ability to be able to use a variety of new media in lessons, making the implementation of project-based learning easier. Students are playing video games at home in record numbers, and studies such as the Kaiser Family Foundation's "Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds" (kff.org/entmedia/8010.cfm) reveal that this trend is most true for our youngest students. Librarians and teachers must embrace the fact that video games offer students valuable literacy activities and important life skills. Harnessing these activities and putting them to use in libraries and classrooms will help to shape how we view education and human information behavior."

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Pokemon as a Teaching Tool  

"But let's be honest. The idea of using video games as teaching tools still has stigma attached to it. While some administrators and parents may feel uncomfortable around this new media, there is no question that video gaming can be implemented in schools and libraries. But how can librarians bring gaming into classrooms in a meaningful way? This is where Pokémon fits in."

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"Pokémon is a hugely popular intellectual property (IP) that had its start as a video game IP in 1997. While many video game IPs have made their way into pop culture (Pac-Man and Super Mario are recognized even by those who have never played a video game), Pokémon has been especially influential. It has branched out successfully to other media such as books, cartoons, card games, and toys. The game Pokémon Platinum has sold over 20 million copies since 2007, and is being played by gamers from kindergarten to college. This overarching popularity means that connecting Pokémon to classroom lessons will create an immediate familiarity for students."

[20]
"How do we teach the Pokémon generation? If we recognize that students connect to lessons when a familiarity is established, then the use of any media form in class is equally valid. The goal of education is learning, and if gaming can help students learn more effectively, why aren't we doing it already? Should librarians become more familiar with the medium and start gaming at home? Maybe. We are avid readers, partially because our job deals so heavily with books. How can we bring gaming to libraries and classrooms if we are not gaming? Librarians can't read every book, but are familiar with books as media. Similarly, we can't play every game, but we should be aware of how information is used in the medium of gaming. This is not so difficult to achieve. If you are already playing "Farmville" on Facebook, you are on your way to being a gamer!"

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Pokédex  

 

"Some librarians may not feel comfortable implementing a full-scale classroom lesson using Pokémon. That's fine--begin by starting small. If you are teaching your students about your library's OPAC (Open Public Library Catalog), you can make an immediate connection with them by saying that an OPAC is a library's Pokédex (Pokémon Indexer, a database of Pokémon and Pokémon statistics). Bulbapedia, the Internet's largest informational resource on Pokémon (with over 16,000 articles on the subject), uses the words "information" and "database" to describe the Pokédex. Wikipedia describes the Pokédex as a "device designed to catalog and provide information" and a "portable reference tool." In fact, kids are playing games in which they are acting like librarians. If they understand that librarians can point to and provide information like a Pokédex does, we can turn a whole generation of students on to the value of librarians and librarianship."

[23]
[24]

"The word Pokédex is a portmanteau of the words Pokémon and index; students can understand the "library space" as more than a room full of books if they think of the OPAC as a Pokédexesque index and librarians as similar to the expert professors in the Pokémon game. Additional lessons can then be tailored around the limitations of digital sources (like a Pokédex) and how librarians can provide the next step in the students' information journey. Both the strengths and limitations of the Pokédex mirror those of the digital indexes librarians use."

[25]

Classroom Applications  

"While Pokémon naturally connects with science lessons, making it relevant to other subject areas is easy. Mathematics teachers for advanced grades can ask students to do studies on the use of numbers in the game. Elementary grades can use specific examples in lessons, such as "A level 6 Abra evolves at level 16. How many more levels does the Abra need to evolve?" (The answer is 10). Elementary English classes can compare the differences between Pokémon books and video games (a study in storytelling across different forms of media). Specific lessons, such as map skills or intercultural relations, are all important themes students deal with in Pokémon. Teachers can also bring students into the lesson planning process by asking them what they have learned from Pokémon and what the class as a whole can learn."

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"Pokémon as a classroom tool is only the beginning of using games to teach. Games have a plot, character development, thematic elements, and interactive narrative devices--the same terms used to describe books. Games are forging new ground in terms of user collaboration. For example, Sony's new marketing campaign for the PS3 includes a humorous look at the leadership qualities needed to succeed in the 256-player online game MAG."

[29]

"Librarians are best at collaboration and sharing information--and the Pokémon generation is doing the same thing in relation to video game media. The information and education communities can't afford to exclude gaming from the learning process. Through the efforts of forward-thinking leaders in the field, gaming in the classroom will become more relevant and effective."

[30]

"The Pokémon anime series began in 1997 and now has spread all across the world in the animated series produced by Nintendo, TV Tokyo and Pokémon USA. The series stars Ash Ketchum and Pikachu in various locations throughout the KantoJohtoHoennSinnoh, and Unova regions during the series. Here are the seasons in the series in English"

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Example of a Couple Maps from The Pokemon Game Series

 

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Pokemon T.V. Series

  1. Pokémon: Indigo League
  2. Pokémon: Adventures on the Orange Islands
  3. Pokémon: The Johto Journeys
  4. Pokémon: Johto League Champions
  5. Pokémon: Master Quest
  6. Pokémon: Advanced
  7. Pokémon: Advanced Challenge
  8. Pokémon: Advanced Battle
  9. Pokémon: Battle Frontier
  10. Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl
  11. Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension
  12. Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles
  13. Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors
  14. Pokémon: Black and 

    15. Pokémon: Black and White: Rival Destinies

[37]

"The anime has also spawned many movies, each dealing with Ash and his encounter with, often, a Legendary Pokémon. There are currently 15 movies produced"

[38]

Movie1-poster.jpg

  1. Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back
  2. Pokémon the Movie 2000: The Power of One
  3. Pokémon 3: The Movie: Spell of the Unown
  4. Pokémon 4Ever: Celebi: Voice of the Forest
  5. Pokémon Heroes
  6. Jirachi: Wish Maker
  7. Destiny Deoxys
  8. Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
  9. Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
  10. The Rise of Darkrai
  11. Giratina and the Sky Warrior
  12. Arceus and the Jewel of Life
  13. Zoroark: Master of Illusions
  14. White: Victini and Zekrom / Black: Victini and Reshiram
  15. Kyurem VS. the Sword of Justice
  16. Extreme Speed Genesect (Japanese Title)

[39]

Cultural Impact within the emergence of the Pokemon franchise

[40]


 

most profitable video game based media franchises, Mario and Pokémon.""The Pokémon franchise, now in its fifth generation, is one of the most important aspects of Japanese pop culture to carry over into the west.  The legacy of Pokémon in popular culture as one of the defining moments of the nineties is an important moment in pop culture history. The Pokémon series penetrated the culture barrier that normally bars Japanese media from the Western world and found a massive and loyal audience in American consumers (Allison, 2003). The media empire that is Pokémon, the games, the anime, the manga, the trading card game, and the merchandise that enamored American audiences in the late nineties and now that is re-surging in the year 2012 is key to understanding the dynamic culture shift that occurred in the late nineties. In the previous decade, more Japanese products and media have found a market in interested American consumers (Berman, 2000). Nintendo, now more than ever, has a household name in America alongside the two 

[41]

[42]

"Pokémon arose from a small project in the mind of one Japanese game designer into a multimedia empire over the last fifteen years (Larimer, 1999). The importance of the multimedia approach cannot be understated by harnessing the power of television and video games together the series was able to establish iconic characters such as Pikachu and Ash Ketchum as well as consistently creating and promoting new iterations on merchandise and reinventing the image of the brand as children grow older and new fans emerge. Pokémon has managed to stay relevant and alive amidst all the legions of dissipating fads among elementary school-aged children. Nintendo’s Pokémon franchise is worthy of study because it is a rare beast in a field of short-lived children’s cultures. Pokémon finds new fans in children with each generation, and older fans that remain loyal to the brand because it remains engaging and deep enough for more mature audiences to enjoy. Analyzing, how a small unassuming pair of games (Pokémon Red and Blue) become a worldwide phenomenon is a simple task of examining how Pokémon appeals to children, teens, and adults alike (Elkin, 2003). It is a matter of looking at why people claim that Satan himself is ordering children to “catch em’ all,” it is a matter of looking at why PETA targets the series for their latest animal cruelty campaign, and it is a matter of why Pokémon is still around today."

[43]

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"The creation of Pokémon can be traced back to a young Japanese game developer who had an idea while pondering a new piece of technology for Nintendo’s extremely popular handheld gaming system, the GameBoy. He discovered the GameBoy Link Cable which allowed two compatible games for the handheld system to exchange data. The developer’s name is Satoshi Tajiri, and as a lifelong collector of insects, he envisioned creatures crawling along the cable from one system to the next. His company, GameFreak, began to work alongside Nintendo to create what would eventually become one of the biggest pop culture sensations of the late nineties (Larimer, 1999). In 1996, Pokémon Red and Green versions debuted in Japan and Pokémon fever overtook the land of the rising sun. Pokémon Red and Green set notable traditions for future games to follow. The first of which is to release a set of “paired versions” Pokémon Red version and Pokémon Green version, two separate games that contain different Pokémon requiring players to trade among themselves to acquire all the known Pokémon. Pokémon Red and Green also established the original 151 Pokémon. Future installments would add new Pokémon. Finally Pokémon Red and Green marked the beginning of the first generation of Pokémon. When a Pokémon game introduces new Pokémon and mechanics to the franchise following these games it would be referred to as a new generation. Two years later, after a few revisions to ensure high quality, the most familiar Pokémon games to Western audiences hit the North American shore. The video games themselves are classified as Japanese style role playing games. The Pokémon franchise quickly differentiated itself from its peers such as Final Fantasy andDragon Quest. Pokémon created a world that was akin to the real world, with modern technology and science fiction elements. The Pokémon games appealed to children by placing players in the shoes of a young child about to embark on a grand quest: to become the “Pokémon Master” by collecting eight badges and defeating the current Pokémon Champion. The plot is simplistic but effective in imparting the goals of the game to young players; players travel all over a region of the Pokémon world collecting the native Pokémon and battling other Pokémon Trainers. The design of the Pokémon games is highly accessible and easily understood assisting in their popularity among children. Pokémon Red and Blue versions quickly became the bestselling role playing games on the GameBoy despite coming along so late into the handheld’s lifetime ("Us platinum video game," 2007)." 

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"Pokémon Red and Blue launched a multimedia franchise quite unlike anything before. The series, which began in the realm of handheld video games quickly developed into one of the longest running anime television series, an ongoing series of manga volumes, feature films, music, and an ever expanding realm of merchandise. (McCormick, 2000) The Pokémon media empire was one of the most prevalent in the late nineties and early 2000’s during the first and second generations of the franchise, which included Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions along with all spin off titles. Through the 2000’s Pokémon’s popularity saw a decline during the third and fourth generations. While Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the flagship games of the third generation, and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the core games of the fourth generation, were among the bestselling games for the GameBoy Advance and the Nintendo DS respectively, they failed to capture the public’s attention like the first Pokémon generations did. (Curtin, 2004) However, where some may claim the Pokémon franchise is long past its heyday, the release of Pokémon Black and White versions on the Nintendo DS handheld system in 2010 and 2011 the Pokémon franchise has rebooted itself for a new audience more than fifteen years after Pokémon Red and Blue captured the attention of children across the world.  Pokémon began in 1996 in Japan with only 151 different monsters and over the course of five generations spanning fifteen years it now encompasses 649 different creatures."

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[48]

"Pokémon’s popularity in its home nation of Japan is more understandable than its Western popularity, as even today Pokémon enjoys a much greater degree of popularity in Japan than it does in the West. In the West, Japanese media were gaining ground as anime and manga rose in prominence in America with popular shows such as Sailor Moon andDragon Ball Z (Allison, 2003). Pokémon’s popularity would lead to a rise of Japanese children’s media in to the West: both emulators and trendsetters would base their media style on Pokémon. Nintendo would be responsible for facilitating Pokémon’s transition to the west, while in some ways they failed to anticipate the series’ massive popularity overseas, Nintendo continues to offer Pokémon alongside its own core franchises and ensure that Pokémon is the best in family entertainment.

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Pokémon is published internationally by one of the largest video game developers in the world: the Japanese company Nintendo. Nintendo has always provided an image of family- oriented fun, and believes in universal appeal to its games. Universal appeal is key to the success of any media franchise, and Pokémon is no exception. However, it could be said that Pokémon has only achieved universal appeal recently as many of the original Pokémon fanatics enter college age and even begin to start families because when Pokémon debuted in America the series was held in the opposite regard 90’s Pokémon was a kids-only club. Pokémon must attribute a level of its success in the late 90s to its ability to target a younger demographic almost exclusively. Parents in 1999, rushing out to pick up a Pikachu themed GameBoy or the latest Pokémon game for the N64 console were likely very confused as to why Pokémon was the target of their children’s affections (Buckingham, 2007). [51]

 

 


Pokemon Seperates itself from the rest: Controversial Content?

[52]

Pokémon was Nintendo’s latest hit and was different in many ways from Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda, and the mascot Pikachu was also very different from Mario or Link. Pokémon had much more in common with other recent Japanese anime series that had also taken America by storm. The leading character artist for Pokémon, Ken Sugimori, was influenced by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball Z fame and his designs were very much in line with other popular Japanese series at the time. Pikachu and many other Pokémon were designed to appeal to boys and girls, doubling its appeal and therein doubling its popularity (Allison, 2003). The history of Pokémon began in 1996 with the games Pokémon Red and Green versions on the GameBoy, however its infiltration of American culture began in September 1998 with the first episode of the Pokémon anime localization, which was in essence the translated and Americanized version of the original
Japanese animated series, airing on September 7th, a few weeks before the launch of Pokémon Red and Blue versions."

[53]

"The anime airing before the game’s launch was a move to capitalize on the massive success of the Pokémon anime series in Japan, as the Pokémon franchise gained a tremendous boost with the combined efforts of the video games and anime series . The multimedia approach in Japan launched the series to new levels of popularity similarly the American localization team used the anime alongside the games to give a major push to Pokémon in the West. This trend has been seen in later attempts to popularize Japanese media in the west. Some of Pokémon’s primary competitors, Yu-Gi-Oh, Digimon, and Beyblade have all used a similar tactic of employing major animated series adaptations to popularize the core element of their franchises (McAvoy, 2000). Pokémon’s great success in anime can also be seen in that it has over 700 episodes, claiming a spot as one of the most popular and prolific anime series.  However, even despite the obvious reasons for popularity an enjoyable and addictive series of video games, a successful and entertaining anime series, and other media such as a collectable trading card game and merchandise in every possible fashion one of the central reasons Pokémon remains popular is the development of a sub-culture among children."

[54]

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"When Pokémon Red version and Blue version arrived in North America children flocked to pick up the video games after viewing the new Pokémon animated series on television. However, as some parents observed the myriad creatures in the original release of these games one Pokémon species appeared to be quite different from the others: Pokémon #124, the “human-shape Pokémon” called Jynx in North America. Jynx in the video games is a rare species of Pokémon with a dual Ice/Psychic typing: it is difficult to obtain in the games as it can only be found by trading with a particular non-player character or NPC.  Its design however, appears to be a somewhat stocky woman wearing a long red gown with a black face. The Pokémon’s design outraged parents in the United States who claimed the Pokémon was a gross parody of blackface actors and a racist image to many Americans. In a quote from Carole Boston Weatherford,  “The character Jynx, Pokémon No. 124, has decidedly human features: jet black skin, huge pink lips, gaping eyes, a straight blonde mane and a full figure, complete with cleavage and wiggly hips. Put another way, Jynx resembles an overweight drag queen incarnation of Little Black Sambo. ” This is what Jynx was to many Americans who caught a glimpse of Jynx on one of the trading cards or in the anime series (Weatherford, 2000). Neither GameFreak or Nintendo have divulged what inspired the Pokémon. Whether it was truly was intended to be a racist stereotype remains unknown. However, others have offered alternative theories one popular assumption is that Jynx is actually inspired by the Ganguro fasion trend popular in Japan at the time of Pokémon’s development. Ganguro involves deeply tanning the skin and bleaching one’s hair, which provides an image somewhat similar to Jynx. Some believe Jynx is inspired by viking opera singers who wore clothes and wigs of similar style to Jynx. Nevertheless, because of the reaction to Jynx GameFreak altered the design of Jynx to cater to those who claimed Jynx was offensive. This is the only instance of GameFreak altering the design of a Pokémon based on controversy, Jynx’s black skin was simply changed to purple and the size of her lips were reduced as well. The decision to alter Jynx’s design has also likely influenced future generations of Pokémon and the designs of the Pokémon characters as well. Until 2010’s fifth generation, games Pokémon Black version and White version no games since Pokémon Red version and Blue version have featured Pokémon that appear based on humans. Jynx also has remained a relative rarity in the Pokémon games possibly in an attempt to distance the Pokémon from the franchise in hopes no controversy will resurface even after the design alteration."

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            "Many families in the United States value religion and teach their children to follow the traditional faith of the family. Religion captures the hearts and minds of numerous people of all ages and it relies on consistent adherence to the doctrines of the religion to fully encompass the spiritual growth and nurturing that religion can provide. This is why some pastors believe that religion is competing with media for the hearts and minds of children. As children’s media become more intricate and more developed it somewhat begins to resemble a religion in itself. Early on in the Pokémon craze small churches and other religious institutions began claiming that Pokémon was influenced by demonic forces and that children should be saved from the evils of Pokémon. Some particular pastors felt so strongly about these claims that they would hold meetings and events specifically to destroy Pokémon games and toys. One pastor in particular attacked Pokémon toys with a 30 inch sword and encouraged children to burn and destroy Pokémon merchandise.  Evidence cited by those who believe Pokémon is evil included, that Pokémon designs featured horns signifying demons, use of magic which is considered evil, creatures are based on ghosts which are evil, and evolution into more demonic states, which was compounded by the fact that in the minds of some Christians evolution undermines the idea of creation (Around the states, 1999). However examining the claims more closely simply proves that few of the people making them understand little about the Pokémon series. Pokémon designs feature horns often because the animals or mythological creatures they are inspired by also feature horns. Pokémon in general do not use magic, the powers of individual Pokémon may appear magical but that is merely the style of Japanese media Pokémon powers are innate and not summoned by magical forces. While there are Ghost-type Pokémon, they are not necessarily spirits of the dead; they are often ghost-like having traits commonly associated with ghosts including transparent bodies and levitation.  Finally, the idea that Pokémon evolve into more demonic states can be easily disproven by looking at the Pokémon themselves. While some Pokémon grow more fearsome with evolution, others actually become smaller and cuter which is arguably less demonic, and while Pokémon do evolve, it could be said that this is merely a gameplay mechanic and not akin to the scientific evolution as Pokémon evolution happens instantly upon reaching a certain level, rather than occurring over millions of years. However, not just Christian institutions antagonize Pokémon. The highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia banned all Pokémon products on the grounds that they conflict with Islamic Law. A fatwa, or religious edict, was issued to ban Pokémon on the grounds that it promoted Zionism and contains Christian and Shinto imagry (Saudi Arabia, 2001).  Misunderstandings and misconceptions addle the history of Pokémon. How this particular issue affected the Pokémon series is not quite evident as neither Nintendo nor GameFreak took obvious action in response to these claims. However, of note is the Pokémon Arceus introduced in the fourth generation games Pokémon Diamond version and Pearl version who is stated to be the creator of the Pokémon universe, essentially adding a god into the Pokémon universe. Perhaps this action was to dispel the evolution argument, but GameFreak remains quiet on the matter."

[59]

[60]

 "While most Pokémon controversies have been isolated to the original release of Pokémon Red version and Blue version in the United States recently the animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has targeted the Pokémon series’ latest fifth generation entries Pokémon Black version 2 and Pokémon White version 2 in a campaign speaking out against the games’ depiction of violence. PETA’s claims liken the treatment of Pokémon to the treatment of circus animals being abused for entertainment. Pokémon has remained consistent in its depiction of Pokémon battles and its portrayal of Pokémon-human relations since the original release of Pokémon Red and Blue. A common theme in Japanese children’s media is strengthening personal bonds through conflict. This is not something pioneered by Pokémon, but rather something that prevails in nearly all Japanese entertainment for children and even in some cases adults. Dragon Ball Z, being one of Pokémon’s early influences, centers around this theme, as does the Shin Megami Tensei series, a popular Pokémon-like game series for adults, and other media series that followed Pokémon and based their central ideas around Pokémon’s success including Yu-Gi-Oh, Beyblade, and Bakugan. PETA’s claims follow a theme of their own. The animal rights organization has a history of taking Japanese media and grossly misinterpreting it to fit their purposes. The 2011 Nintendo release Super Mario 3D Landfeatures a power-up reminiscent of the Tanuki, a Japanese Raccoon Dog, skinned for its fur. However the Tanooki suit in the video game is more closely associated with the mythological ideas of the Tanuki, who could shape-shift in Japanese mythology. While Pokémon games may feature Pokémon battles, the battles themselves are turn-based and do not feature graphic depictions of violence as PETA seemingly makes them out to be (Ewalt, 2012)."

[61]                         [62]


 The Pokémon Franchise Saw Meaningful Growth 


How the Pokémon Franchise has Advanced the Video Game Industry Overall

[63]

Specialization and Customization

 

Technology Customization: One of the early models of the popular handheld gaming devices: The Game Boy Color released a model which was specifically designed for Pokemon. The yellow design and Pokemon logo on the device was a specialized form that has impacted future hand held as well as console devices as well. The bundle model has transpired in to various game systems such as the Xbox and play station models to present day. Pokémon and the Nintnedo Gameboy Color were one of the first devices to include this kind of specialization.

 

 [64] [65]

The Pokémon franchise allowed players to truly experience a personal and specialized game play. Typically, characters, avatars, or heroes were typically selected by the game creators. In the past, the video game industry has been controlled by the game developers. The Pokémon franchise brought a new concept of being able to play as a controlled avatar which was similar to other games before, however, players were introduced to the idea of having various choices of capturing, battling, fleeing, and more when faced with various Pokémon throughout the game. The customization technique the franchise had brought to the video game industry exploded through a millennium of various games throughout the 21st century. This impact allowed players to create various themes of the game, specialized elements, attacks, item inventory, down to the gamer's Pokémon names could all be controlled by the user. This RPG has been changing the way video games incorporate player control in to their game play throughout the past seventeen years.

[66] 

The player was given the responsibility to take care of, train, and utilize a group of 1-6 different Pokémon throughout the game thus giving the most customized experience the video game industry had ever seen. The introduction of such specialization has advanced the video game industry through its incorporation of giving more power and more channel control to the gamer him/herself. Later editions of the Pokémon series included the customization of avatars with the clothing line, gender, and more. Pokémon has impacted the gaming industry by putting more control in to the hands of gamers than any of the games before its time. This specialization continues to inspire and effect other games in today's world. In a world where gaming is becoming more of a social mass media story telling tool, people are adapting to the popular trend that Pokémon had raised the bar to. The consumer is always attempting to find the means to becoming a producer (prosumerism) and the Pokémon series allows people to have more control over their content and story line.

 [67]

Ultimately, this allows the gamer to explore an infinite amount of options and outcomes through a variety of different scenarios. While the game allows the player to fully experience the video game method of story telling. Allowing their users to feel extreme highs and lows through their introduction and advancement of the custom gaming experience. This directly relates with the multiple challenges innovation the Pokémon franchise which also shaped the industry in new ways. The Pokémon series allows players enough direction and set goals to pursue the games challenge while still being able to focus and complete the challenges in their own personal way. An idea that has been revolutionized to this day and will continue to be a factor through the future effects of the gaming layer in our society. People like control (or feeling like they're in control), and the Pokémon franchise's impact of specialization and customization of player game play has advanced and will continue to advance and push future gaming models to replicate their model.

 

 

 

 

"According to E. O. Wilson’s hypothesis: “humans have an innate desire to catalog, understand, and spend time with other life-forms” The Pokémon gameplay is built around catching and collecting the hundreds of varieties of Pokémon that exist within the Pokémon world. Children largely connect to this gameplay mechanic as it is built upon discovery, finding new Pokémon species and trying them out in battles. Players are given complete freedom to customize their teams with Pokémon they capture along their journeys. According to a study involving 109 UK primary school students, children have an incredible aptitude for memorizing and understanding the species of Pokémon (Balmford, 2002). This mechanic alongside the intricate, yet easy to understand system of Pokémon gameplay is the recipe for the series long term success as with each new Pokémon generation, the Pokémon series becomes much more vibrant and varied allowing more children to discover and learn all new species of Pokémon."

[68]

First Generation (Kanto)

[69]

Pokemon Red/Blue

"The 1st games in the series were Pokémon Red/Blue(Red/Green in Japan), released September 1998 in America for the Game Boy. After the success of the first games and the animated series, Pokémon Yellow was released October 1999, with a plot inspired by the anime. These games started off the Pokémon craze around the world, and sets many of the gameplay mechanics still seen in current games, like Pokémon Types and battle mechanics."

[70]

[71]

 

Second Generation (Johto) 

Pokemon Crystal  

"The 2nd Generation of Pokémon began in 2000 with the release of Pokémon Gold/Silver for Game Boy Color. Like the previous generation, an enhanced remake titled Pokémon Crystal was later released. The second generation introduced 100 new species of Pokémon (starting with Chikorita and ending with Celebi), for a total of 251 Pokémon to collect, train, and battle. The second generation was a particularly well acclaimed one, thanks to it's large amount of new features and it's overall appeal. Many fan remakes have been made in the attempt to recreate the feel Gold/Silver had and Nintendo officially announced remakes of both the games in 2009, HeartGold/SoulSilver."

[72]

 

 

                             Third Generation (Hoenn)

[73]

 

Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire

The 3rd Generation began with the 2003 release of Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire for Game Boy Advance and continued with the Game Boy Advance remakes of Pokémon Red/Blue, Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen, and an enhanced version of Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire: Pokémon Emerald. The third generation introduced 135 new Pokémon (starting with Treecko and ending with Deoxys) for a new total of 386 species. However, this generation also garnered some criticism for leaving out several gameplay features, including the day-and-night system introduced in the previous generation, and it was also the first installment that encouraged the player to collect merely a selected assortment of the total number of Pokémon rather than every existing species (202 out of 386 species are catchable in the Ruby and Sapphire versions).

[74]

 

The introduction of Pokémon to casual gamers vs. hardcore gamers

IV:

"Individual Values, IVs for short (or Deter Values and DVs) are in simple words the "genes" of a Pokémon. An IV in the Advanced Generation have 32 possible values; 0 is the minimum IV a stat can have and 31 is the maximum. The IVs are generated randomly upon the encountering a Pokémon or the creation of an egg (not the hatch). A Pokémon's IVs are fixed and there is no way to modify them. IVs are Pokémon dependant and not species dependant. For example you can have a Pikachu with an Attack IV of 28, a Pikachu with an Attack IV of 5, a Bulbasaur with an Attack IV of 5 and so on. IVs are really important since they can make the difference between victory and loss in a battle. For example, a Pikachu at level 100 with an IV of 28, neutral nature and 253 Effort Points in Attack, will have an Attack of 206, whilst a Pikachu at level 100 with an IV of 5, neutral nature and 253 Effort Points in Attack will have an Attack of only 183. This means there's a difference of 23 points in Attack which can be critical. However, getting a Pokémon with an IV of 31 in one or more stats is extremely difficult. You have 1 chance in 32 to get a an IV of 31 in one stat, 1 in 1.024 to get a max IV in two stats and 1 chance in 1.073.741.824 to find a Pokémon with max IV in all 6 stats. Obviously, the best way to get a Pokémon with good IVs is making eggs, lots of eggs unless the Pokémon you want is genderless or a legendary; in that case your only option is to try and find the best."

[75] 

EV:

"Effort Points or Battle Experience and Effort Values, EPs and EPVs accordingly, are the ones that make the difference between untrained and trained Pokémon. All Pokémon have six Effort Values: Hit Points, Attack, Defence, Special Attack, Special Defence, Speed and when they are first obtained their Effort Values are zero. When a Pokémon defeats an enemy Pokémon in a battle, it gets a certain amount of Effort Points for a certain stat, depending on the enemy Pokémon's species (defeating a Pikachu for example provides 2 Effort Points in Speed). Exp.Share makes Pokémon that hold it not only share experience points with the battlers but also gives them exactly the same number of Effort Points. A Pokémon can only get 510 Effort Points, and the maximum Effort Points a stat can get (or the maximum an Effort Value can reach) is 255 which means only two stats can reach their maximum. Therefore it is impossible to reach the maximum potential of a Pokémon. However, since the formula that calculates the stats of a Pokémon uses an "Effort Level", which equals with (Effort Points)/4 rounded down and since "Effort Level's" maximum is 63 (255/4 rounded down), having 252, or more Effort Points in a stat is exactly the same. Obviously 6 Effort Points don't bonus up anything unless you use the to raise another stat's "Effort Level" by 1 (6/4 rounded down) but that is a very small change and practically effectless. Finally, when a Pokémon gains all 510 Effort Points it can get, you can go to Slateport and give it an Effort Ribbon to show that it is trained."

[76]

 

 

Fourth Generation (Sinnoh)

Pokemon Diamond/Pearl

[77] 

"In 2007, the franchise entered its 4th Generation with the release of Pokémon Diamond/Pearl for Nintendo DS. The fourth generation introduces another 107 new species of Pokémon (starting with Turtwig and ending with Arceus), bringing the total of Pokémon species to 493. New gameplay concepts include a restructured move-classification system, online multiplayer trading and battling via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the return (and expansion) of the second generation's day-and-night system, and the expansion of the third generation's Pokémon Contests into Super Contests. The new region of Sinnoh also has an underground component for multiplayer gameplay in addition to the main overworld. Pokémon Platinum - the enhanced version of Diamond/Pearl much like Yellow, Crystal and Emerald - was later released to western countries in 2009.

Later on March 14, 2010, Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver was released, a remake of the Johto adventures Gold/Silver/Crystal. It implements many features from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, such as the Global Trading Station (GTS), due to the use of the same engine. It also showed the lead Pokémon following the Trainer, a concept not reused in the later games."

[78]

 

Fifth Generation (Unova)

[79]

Pokemon Black/White

"The 5th Generation of games was first announced in 2010, with Pokemon Black/White for the Nintendo DS arriving in America in March 6, 2011. This generation added another 156 Pokémon to the series, and featured more dynamic camera angles and fully animated Pokémon sprites, last seen in Crystal. It is the first game in the series to not use any of the older Pokémon within the main story arc, only appearing after beating the Elite Four. It also introduced the Pokémon Global Link, the successor to the GTS, and allowed access to the Dream World, a special website that allowed players to find Pokémon with special abilities not usually found in game.

In October 7, 2012, a direct sequel to Black/White, Black/White Version 2, was released again for the DS. It is the first time a Pokémon game had a direct sequel set in the same region, being set 2 years after the first games. Many of the older characters return in this game, but the player plays a new character starting out in a new town. All the features of Black/White returned, with no major changes to the formula."

[80]

[81]

 

Sixth Generation (Kalos)

Pokemon X/Y  

"The 6th Generation of games was announced on January 8, 2013 during a Pokémon Direct press event, the first of its kind.Pokémon X/Y for the Nintendo 3DS will be the first generation of main Pokémon games to see a simultaneous worldwide release, which will take place on October 18th 2013. These games will introduce new Pokémon, a fully 3D world, a lower camera angle, and a new battle system, which will be more like a mix of the old system and the stadium games."

[82]

 

Pokemon Bank

"Pokémon Bank is an application and service for Pokémon Xand Pokémon Y that will allow you to deposit, store, and manage your Pokémon in private Boxes on the Internet!Pokémon Bank is a paid service, with an annual charge for usage."

[83] 

"Pokémon Bank will be a powerful resource for players who like to obtain many different kinds of Pokémon, or for those who like to raise many Pokémon in preparation for battles and competitions!"

[84]

 


 

Pokémon's role in popularizing previous innovations

[85] 

Hand held devices 

                                                                                 [86]

The Pokémon franchise has redefined social interaction between gamers through its complex customized gameplay allowing the video game industry as a whole to innovate and challenge itself to incorporate cooperative and versus game play using a personalized set of avatars during game play. The Pokémon franchise popularized the hand held devices: specifically the Nintendo Gameboy and the Nintendo D.S. The Gameboy was popularizing the use of hand held gaming devices by providing "portable power" to people all around the world.

 

"The Game Boy's popularity waned slowly over the course of the next few years, with the release of games slowing to an absolute crawl by the mid-'90s. Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket to revitalize hardware sales, and in Japan, they released the Game Boy Light with an illuminated screen, but software sales continued to decline."

[87]

"The conventional wisdom in the world of console gaming is that systems sharply decline in their fifth year, and new ones must replace them shortly thereafter. The Game Boy's software sales had been in decline practically since the system's launch, but no contender could take it down. Sega hoped to topple the Game Boy at its weakest in the mid-'90s, but the only 16-bit handheld they actually released was a portable Genesis with even worse battery life than Game Gear. It seemed as if the handheld market itself was simply drying up."

[88]

"It wasn't until 1996, seven years after the original Game Boy was released and two past the system's expected life, that Satoshi Tajiri found an entirely new way to exploit the handheld medium. The Game Boy had link cables for competitive play for years, but it was nothing unique from the home experience. Tajiri imagined creating a truly social game, where players would have their own personal collection to share, trade, and compete with friends. This meant real life bartering, school yard discussions about the finer aspects of collecting, and myths about secrets no one had found yet. It was something that only Nintendo's ubiquitous handheld could do, and it would quickly have all of Japan talking."

[89]

"The game, of course, was Pocket Monsters, a clever RPG where players explore the wilderness hunting for their favorite Pokémon. Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto suggested to Tajiri that the game be released in different versions with different Pokémon to force players to trade and socialize in order to complete their collections. It wasn't an overnight success, but it was a game built around word of mouth, and before long, any kids who weren't trying to catch 'em all felt left out. In 1997, an anime series propelled the series to even greater success, and the first wave of Pokémon games sold over 10 million copies in Japan."

[90][91]  [92]

       [93]          

"Alas, this didn't seem to help the Game Boy much abroad. RPGs were still relegated to a fairly small niche market and could hardly spark the kind of phenomenon as their Japanese counterparts – or so they thought. Square proved the world wrong in 1997 with the release of Final Fantasy VII. The epic RPG was the tool of Nintendo's undoing in the new console generation, and it made everyone who doubted the genre's potential look downright foolish. In late 1998, Nintendo ate a bit of crow and released Pokémon in North America, alongside the anime and a heavy marketing push."

[94]

"The collect 'em up hadn't aged a day in the two and a half years since its Japanese debut. Once again, it built slowly at first, but before long it was everywhere. Sales of the Game Boy hardware spiked, and old green-screened bricks were dusted off once again. It was the first platinum selling game on the system since Kirby's Dream Land 2. The Game Boy was back. Second chances are hard to come by, and Nintendo knew they needed to keep the ball rolling or Pokémon would be little more than a swan song. Aside from shrinking in size, the Game Boy hardware hadn't changed since 1989, and it wasn't even all that impressive back then. The time had finally come to move forward, and they answered with the feature every Game Boy owner wanted most of all: color."

[95]

[96][97]

"The Game Boy Color was a modest upgrade. It wasn't really a true next generation, with color operations tacked on over top of the four-shade tiles of the original, so games could be easily programmed with dual compatibility. The CPU was cranked up to twice the original speed, and the system's memory was quadrupled, making life easier for programmers, but leaving games that looked like bigger, smoother versions of the same thing. To capitalize on the Pokémon phenomenon, they also added an infrared communications port that allowed for wireless trading and multiplayer. It wasn't anything mind blowing, but it did give players a reason to buy a Game Boy again, and they did so by the millions. Eventually, the Game Boy Color would go on to nearly match the original Game Boy's sales – and in only a small fraction of the time."

[98] 

[99]     [100]

"Initially, most games were made to work on both systems, and Nintendo even re-released color-enabled versions of Wario Land II, Tetris, and Link's Awakening to capitalize on the platform's second life (the latter selling an additional 2 million copies). Before long, the Color had grown so popular that companies gave up supporting the monochrome systems altogether."

[101]

"The Game Boy Color's life was relatively brief, but in that time it built up a small library of excellent games. Nintendo's Wario series continued with the superb Wario Land 3, bringing a return to the ove rworld map, and a Metroid-like progression where Wario could earn new abilities to reach unseen areas of previous stages. The Pokémon series continued to dominate all else, and even without true color support Pokémon Gold and Silver managed to sell 15 million copies."

[102]

"What made the Game Boy Color's library most unique, however, was the previously unheard of success of third-party games. While Nintendo carried the original Game Boy almost by itself in the mid-to-late '90s, the Game Boy Color audience was far more receptive non-Nintendo offerings. Enix's Pokémon competitor Dragon Warrior Monsters proved to be a multi-million seller, and Konami even managed to squeeze a critically acclaimed Metal Gear Solid onto the tiny GBC screen. The card-game inspired Yu-Gi-Oh first broke into the video game market on the Game Boy as well, and sold by the millions."

[103]

[104]

 

"The stars had aligned. The Game Boy Color bought Nintendo the extra time they needed. The brand was back, newcomers from Bandai and SNK were already on the ropes, and a true next-gen handheld would deliver the knock out blow."

[105]

 

[106][107]

"A link cable is a cable used to transfer data between two Nintendo consoles, such as the Game BoyGame Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. They can also connect Game Boy consoles with other devices, including the Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer." "The link cable was part of Satoshi Tajiri's original concept for the Pokémon games. He said early on that he imagined his creatures crawling through the cable from one game to another. With technological developments, including wireless technology, link cables have become obsolete on newer consoles."

[108][109]

The portable atmosphere of the Nintendo Gameboy brought players in to a more social generation. Pokemon assisted in popularizing the mobile nature of the video game industry and while doing so laid the social ground work for the social impact of the Pokemon franchise. The handheld device allowed players of all kinds to work together or against one another in various contexts all around the world. Over time, Bluetooth and online gaming took over and link cables ceased to exist. Now players are able to trade and battle other people that are thousands of miles away. The Pokemon franchise has opened the door for online gaming and multiplayer conjectures in the video game industry. This all began with the Pokemon franchise and their strong appearance in the handheld world of gaming. 

[110]           [111]          [112]          [113]

            


How the Pokémon Franchise was pivotal to the larger growth of the video game industry Overall


 

 

 

 

[114] 

 

[115] 

Social Interaction

 

The Relationship between Pokémon and People

 [116] 

The Pokémon industry was pivotal to the larger growth of the industry because of its introduction to the social gaming experience. BEFORE the video game industry was directly influenced by the idea behind a single player campaigns linked directly to a singular set tasks with a common goal, to win the game. With multiple tasks in a multilevel role playing game, Pokémon was able to provide gamers with a common single player campaign beat various gym leaders and gain badges or achievements afterwards to advance to higher level gym leaders. Ultimately, players would be facing the elite leaders with higher level Pokémon and become a Pokémon master with their own select chosen Pokémon team. Everyone's team had the potential to be different to "ultimately win the game."

 

But it didn't stop there. The whole idea behind the Pokémon franchise is to "catch 'em all!" A task invented by the Pokémon franchise creator Satoshi himself. In each of the Pokémon video games, players are given a device known as a pokédex which allows them to track which Pokémon they have seen and caught. Players can locate various types of Pokémon all over the map with random locations of various types of Pokémon popping up out of nowhere. It is then the players choice if they want to capture the monster with the various pokéballs they own or attempt to run away. Players would also be challenged by other minor characters throughout the game who if you walked in to their line of site would challenge you immediately. This challenge brought forth a larger growth of the video game industry overall. Because of Pokémon's combination of the singular player campaign and common challenge for player's to "catch 'em all!" there were new innovations in the video game industry that developed and added to the larger growth of the industry overall. [117]

 

The social aspect of Pokémon allowed players to use the link cable to both battle their select pokémon against their friend's pokémon as well as trade their pokémon back and forth via the gameboy link cable as well. This customization and link to pokémon's social structure opened the doors of the video game industry to new multiplayer innovations that they never saw possible. Pokémon laid the groundwork for incorporating two player dimensions on hand held devices while making the first step in achieving a powerful social gaming experience to gamers all around the world. The Pokémon franchise demonstrated that games could still include a significant common player end result while still allowing for the breakthrough impact of player and player gaming. Specifically the Pokémon franchise included a few select types of Pokémon that could only be caught in certain games. The only way to obtain these various pokémon was through the trading between other players who had the different key game with the Pokémon desired within it. Thus forcing players to socialize with other users or pay the price for another device and game cartridge if the wanted to complete the challenge of "catching 'em all!"

 

BEFORE the Pokémon franchise was developed, video games were still roughly following a single path to success (winning the game) But AFTER the release of some of the earliest Pokémon games, the whole video game industry was faced with new challenges/innovative ideas for revolutionizing gamer's social experience. A breakthrough that still continues today through the franchise and has affected other aspects of the video game industry as well.

 [118]

NOW: Players all around the world can battle, trade, and even hang out with other people's Pokémon. The innovation that Pokémon brought to the video game industry overall has had a tremendous ripple effect when it comes to looking at the pivotal movement of the social aspect in the larger growth of the industry itself.

[119]

"The power of Pokémon’s impact can be traced back to the children who connected their link cables to each other’s games and played just as Satoshi Tajiri imagined. Pokémon fosters ideas of sharing, collaborating, and working in harmony with others. Pokémon brought Japanese media into the mainstream American culture of the late nineties and paved the way for new Japanese media to shape American pop culture in the way that American culture shaped Japan. The Pokémon series began in 1996 and now in 2012 it still remains strong. With over 200 million units sold and still growing, Pokémon will likely never leave pop culture and will be one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises for generations to come. Nintendo is very careful with the Pokémon series today, with the only recent controversy being the PETA campaign, Nintendo is also careful to preserve the spirit of the series and yet also consider its future. In Japan Pokémon extended, for the first time, to non-Nintendo platforms with the release of a spin-off game for the extremely popular iOS game platform for mobile devices. Nintendo also plans to release and official Pokedex app for the iOS store allowing users to be connected with Pokémon even on their smartphones or tablets (Drake, 2012). Nintendo also has their own systems to consider. The Nintendo 3DS, released in 2011, has seen a small taste of Pokémon’s potential on a new platform. The recent release of Pokédex 3D Pro, an application designed to show off the entire spectrum of Pokémon in 3D graphics. Nintendo also released on November 18th, the Wii U. As the successor to the worldwide phenomenon, the Wii, the Wii U has an all- new interface and social connectivity capabilities and how Nintendo will use them to further Pokémon is unknown. Nintendo works to ensure that all the iterations of the series carry the same ideals as the main series games by GameFreak, connectivity between players being the most important of all."

[120]

[121]

"The Pokémon games are very complex under the surface. Being a Japanese role playing game, a great deal of detail was put into gameplay mechanics and the development of a highly intricate system statistics and information. Despite the game’s complexities, the base mechanics of leveling up, locations of Pokémon in the wild, battle strategies, and trading can be understood by children. Anyone who plays a Pokémon game can quickly grasp the base mechanics and learn to capture and battle Pokémon easily. The children playing the games for the first time in 1998 were introduced to these mechanics and gained a set of knowledge and facts that could only be understood by those who played the games. Children playing the Pokémon games, trading card game, or even just discussing the anime series had a set of knowledge not imparted to them by established institutions (Buchanan, 2007). Children are used to receiving information from adults and adult institutions including primarily parents, school, or church. Pokémon was something so wildly different that adults at the time could not relate to whatsoever and thus children had knowledge to share and impart from each other to their peers. The shared culture between Pokémon fans, the ability to share their favorite Pokémon strategies and discoveries among each other are primarily the reasons Pokémon has had such staying power."

[122]

[123]

"One could argue that other similar fads or any shared interest creates the same effect, however the depth of the Pokémon gameplay and the sheer amount of information one can memorize and share within the Pokémon franchise is quite unlike any other series (Bloomfield, 1999). Nintendo and GameFreak caught on to this phenomenon and in subsequent releases of the Pokémon franchise, particularly new generations of the series, added new creatures, moves, and gameplay mechanics as well as entirely new settings and stories for Pokémon fans to pore over and analyze. Years after the initial phenomenon, when many fans of the series took to the Internet, numerous fansites began recording vast catalogues of information about the series. Fansites such as Bulbapedia, a wiki style fansite, and PokeBeach, a massive compendium of all the Pokémon trading cards, surfaced in the early to mid-2000s and have since become popular destinations for any Internet savvy Pokémon fan. Nintendo themselves recognized this sense of community among the Pokémon fan base and in 2007, starting with the Pokémon Diamond version and Pearl version games for the dual screened handheld, the Nintendo DS, GameFreak and Nintendo introduced internet connectivity for Pokémon battles and trades on the “Global Trade Station”. The series took further steps to accommodate the growing Pokémon community with the fifth generation titles Pokémon Black version and White version by establishing an entire website called the Pokémon Global Link, which enables players to enter online tournaments and participate in a global Pokémon community. Few other franchises unite their communities in such a way. Pokémon’s impact on popular culture is perpetuated by an ever growing community of fans worldwide. Whereas in 1998 fans would use the GameBoy link cables and share experiences orally on the playground now, in 2012, Pokémon fans are everywhere, on those playgrounds and on Internet forums and fan sites."

[124]                                                                   [125]

"However, with Pokémon being a culture understood only by its fans, miscommunication has arisen, especially in Pokémon’s early incarnations. Pokémon, this mysterious new craze that appeared from Japan, sucking in the youth and capturing the minds of children, was an enigma to adults of the 1990s. Concerned parents who failed to understand the franchise, alongside with misguided religious groups, would claim the series is corrupting its fans. Incidents and misunderstandings as well as controversy were no strangers to Pokémon, and even today some groups are still calling Pokémon as a series into question. Elements of the series such as Ghost-type Pokémon, pitting Pokémon against each other in battle, capturing Pokémon, and the collection of Pokémon cards are the subjects of heated discussion. Nintendo and GameFreak were quite unprepared for the surprising amount of backlash the series received and still endures from some organizations. Pokémon’s impact on popular culture has not been without some missteps, whether they were unintentional or the fault of GameFreak themselves. All great works are not without their detractors; Pokémon with all its universal appeal cannot capture the hearts of everyone and many of the religious fanatics proclaiming Pokémon is the spawn of Satan (Around the states, 1999), or overly concerned parents decrying the Pokémon obsession simply fail to understand the series. However, others who claim Pokémon may harbor racist images or that Pokémon collection is having a negative impact on children may have some ground (Cook, 2001). Pokémon has endured to this day, but even still organizations such as PETA are just now crying foul (Ewalt, 2012)."

[126]

Also the Pokémon franchise has grown so culturally immense in the country of Japan, that the country iis home to the largest Pokémon center in the world. A Building dedicated soleley to everything Pokémon from video games to stuffed animals and countless other items

 [127][128]

 

[129][130]

What did the Pokémon Franchise bring to the table that pushed the industry in a new way?

 

The Pokémon Franchise Continues to Impact The Video Game Industry Today

 

How the Pokémon Industry has advanced the industry overall.

 

Both the cultural and technological impacts that the Pokémon franchise has created have grown up with their initial generations and developed as the game changed course over time. Integrating new game play dynamics with each passing generation of Pokémon video game series. The lasting impacts have ripple effected many other innovations within the video game industry and truly explored new ideas of game play that will impact future generations presently and to come in the future. The Pokémon franchise has revolutionized new aspects of role playing games forever by incorporating multiple layered gaming techniques and their specialization/customization capabilities.

 

The Pokémon franchise has advanced the industry overall by its commitment to popularizing the handheld gaming device. The Nintendo Game Boy sales really took off from a slippery slope of decline after the Pokemon video game series was released. By their incorporation of social interactions with other players, the Pokémon franchise opened the door for endless possibilities by their multiplayer attributes to the Video Game Industry.

[131] 

Overall, the Pokemon Franchise has incorporated a storytelling method that has expanded the industry all together. Gathering a number of different ideas from its proceeders and developing their own concepts allowing a more free and limitless game play throughout the whole industry.

[132]

 

"Pokémon, being the most popular children’s craze of the late nineties would often come under fire for many reasons, whether it is the aforementioned controversies or sometimes simply that Pokémon is bad for children. Arguments against the popular series ranged from fights over rare Pokémon cards, or that Pokémon in general was rotting children’s brains and making them addicted to Pokémon collecting. However, in the years that followed some began to see the merits of Pokémon as a tool of learning. While media such as Pokémon isn’t an adequate substitute for actual school based teaching, some people believe that appealing to children using their favorite medium is positive for learning. David C. Bloomfield, a professor at Brooklyn College suggests that Pokémon’s unique peer education has a positive outcome with teaching children. He argues that Pokémon gamers must “master an amazing array of mathematical relationships” and that “the game’s complexities are self-taught over weeks and months” what he specifically refers to is the in-game attributes of each individual Pokémon and the relationship of their individual statistics of “Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, Hit Points, and Speed” and how each statistic interacts with each other. He also refers to the fact that the game never actually explains what each statistic means and how they relate with one another, and that gamers must understand the advantages and tradeoffs that each Pokémon has in relation to the statistics. Professor Bloomfield also discusses how teachers could benefit by learning from Pokémon’s message of interdependence and cooperation (Bloomfield, 1999). However this is contrasted with one of the biggest incidents of the early Pokémon craze, the widespread and rampant crime associated with the Pokémon Trading Card Game."

[133]     [134]

            "The Pokémon Trading Card Game debuted in Japan in 1996, the same year that the original Pokémon Red and Green versions debuted. The Pokémon Trading Card Game would come to America in 1999 published by Wizards of the Coast, known for their popularMagic: The Gathering card game. The Pokémon Trading Card game was extremely popular in America and remains highly popular today as one of the most competitive elements of the Pokémon franchise. The card game’s beginnings could be called competitive as well, but in a different, more sinister way. A father who wrote for the Baltimore Sun described the drama of Pokémon cards by using his eight year old son as an example: ““Oh, he’s downstairs with his friends. They’re playing with their Pokémon cards. To me, this is like hearing: “Oh, he’s downstairs with his friends. They’re playing with some nail-bombs. Because right away I know one thing: Somebody’s going to end up crying.” What this means is that the Pokémon TCG received a rotten reputation in its early days because those who collected would argue and fight over the rarest and best cards (Cook, 2001). Trades would turn sour as one child would scam another out of a rare card. Children would even commit crimes and steal from one another just to claim a pack or the rarest cards. Adults would even manufacture fake Pokémon cards and other products just to make money by scamming children who couldn’t tell the difference. The Pokémon Trading Card Game quickly degraded into schoolyard fights and parents became distressed over the new Pokémon craze. It would be foolhardy to say that these sorts of things do not happen today, or that other card games and collectible crazes are immune to these sorts of behaviors. However, as Pokémon is one of the most prevalent and recognizable franchises the term “Pokémon Cards” became synonymous with trouble among some circles of parents. Daniel Thomas Cook in his article “Exchange Value as Pedagogy in Children’s Leisure: Moral Panics in Children’s Culture at Century’s End” discusses this in depth. He concludes that while parents may cry foul against the behaviors committed by these children, they often learn lessons about the cruelty of the capitalist markets and says that children must learn the value of cards and be able to manage their trades accordingly. Much like in any economic market, knowing and understanding value will give you an advantage over others. A more positive outlook to hold would be to hope that by gaining an understanding of value early on, one could gain an advantage in real-world situations. While the crime is certainly not condonable, the Pokémon Trading Card Game could be viewed as a microcosm of capitalism in itself. A mark of a truly successful and prolific pop culture icon could be the establishing an entire culture within itself (Cook, 2001). Through the games and trading card game, Pokémon creates an entire culture of value and knowledge understood only by those involved. While a holographic Charizard Card may have no meaning to an adult in 1999 to a child it is priceless. Even today, the Pokémon Trading Card game continues reiterate on these ideas. The TCG is now owned and operated by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company and they continue to foster competitive elements and metagame strategies that make the Pokémon TCG one of the most highly competitive trading card games ever (Ito, 2010)."

[135]                                                  [136]


The Pokemon Franchise's Connection to Mass Communication and Storytelling

[137]  

 

"Pokémon’s popularity, both positive and negative is ubiquitous throughout American and Japanese pop culture. One of the most prevalent elements of Pokémon’s popularity is, without a doubt the anime series. Anime is one of Japan’s most popular forms of entertainment overseas and among the first anime to become popular in America were Robotech, Dragon Ball, and Sailor Moon. Pokémon however, is responsible for further popularizing the media form and showing that television can be an essential medium in creating a pop culture craze. The Pokémon anime has nearly 800 episodes and is one of the most popular and longest-running anime series. While, there are many series with more episodes than Pokémon, the Pokémon anime has run from 1997 to now with no signs of slowing down(McCormick, 2000).. The Pokémon anime has over 13 movies which have all seen theatrical releases in Japan The anime is one of the most well-known elements of the Pokémon series and many people can remember the adventures of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu from seeing the original anime season that aired in syndication in America. The series was instrumental in propelling Pokémon into American pop culture as it aired its first episode weeks before the American release of Pokémon Red version and Blue version. The anime could then be seen as an extended commercial for the Pokémon merchandise (Buckingham, 2007). Much of Pokémon’s merchandise has been oriented around the Pokémon anime with its central character, Ash Ketchum, who has been the protagonist of the series in every season being one of the mascots of the franchise alongside Pikachu, his loyal Pokémon. The merchandise of the series iterates alongside the main series games. Every facet of the franchise is dependent on the main series “versions” that are produced by GameFreak. Each time GameFreak introduces a new set of Pokémon, the franchise enters a new “generation” and each generation influences all branches of the franchise. The anime will enter new seasons and follow new story lines alongside the new games. The Trading Card Game will enter a new era, and introduce new game mechanics and cards. Toys and other products of the franchise also iterate, with new toys and items being produced that feature the new Pokémon and characters. The current generation is the fifth, which is considered by Nintendo to be the first “reboot” of the franchise. The series still encompasses the 493 creatures introduced before, but special focus is given to the new 156 that were added in 2010’s Pokémon Black version and White version. The series’ ability to iterate in this way is what keeps the franchise interesting and appealing for new Pokémon fans, while keeping the series fresh for old ones. The series focuses on the new, while integrating it with the old. Pokémon expands its reach with new generations of Pokémon to appeal to new generations of children."

[138]

[139] 

 

"New seasons of the Pokémon anime don’t require any prior knowledge of the series, and new mechanics in the card game are simplified for new players. The games themselves very rarely introduce mechanics with a heavy learning curve; instead the core gameplay of Pokémon hasn’t changed drastically since the third generation. Rather, installments of the main series “versions” focus on refining gameplay and adding mechanics that appeal to new generations of children. Nintendo and GameFreak recognize trends in social communication among young people and integrate these into the Pokémon experience. The fourth generation Pokémon games introduced internet trading and battling and the fifth generation games expanded on these ideas to allow entire tournaments and social environments of Pokémon fans to thrive online. In the same way that Pokémon iterates for the purposes of merchandising, it also iterates for the sake of allowing new fans to explore the world of Pokémon on the terms that they understand. It is for this reason that Pokémon main series games have remained on Nintendo handheld systems such as the GameBoy and the Nintendo DS instead of expanding to Nintendo home consoles. GameFreak believes that Pokémon should be something a player carries with them, to foster social bonds between players who cross paths. GameFreak integrates technology with real-life networking to carry gameplay. The most recent installments of the Pokémon series were released in America on October 7th 2012, titled Pokémon Black version 2 and Pokémon White version 2. They are the first numbered sequels to a Pokémon “version.”  Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 follow the ideas of Pokémon Black and White by offering internet connectivity alongside local connectivity. These new games allow players to trade and battle with each other instantaneously using infrared technology, and also use wireless communication to offer co-operative missions and tasks to reward players for interacting with one another (Mlot, 2012). The ideas of peer learning and communication have been expanded on greatly since the original Pokémon games and GameFreak now wants these ideas to be seamlessly incorporated into regular gameplay, rather than be a side effect of early gameplay mechanics. The limited number of Pokémon per version remains, but with a greatly expanded Pokedex and total number of Pokémon, GameFreak allows online trading to be easy and efficient allowing players to trade across the globe and across Pokémon versions. The integration of these mechanics allows players to form relationships across language barriers and nations to tighten the Pokémon community and in essence, expand that playground culture that first developed in 1998. With players sharing communities and cultures across the world, it’s hard to argue that Pokémon’s impact on pop culture is confined to one nation. Pokémon games are often the best-selling games for Nintendo’s popular handheld systems, and spin-off material as well as other merchandise remains popular today. In all, the Pokémon franchise has countless elements that are interconnected, much like the Pokémon community itself."

[140]                                                                 

[141]

 

[142]

 

 

"The themes of the series that have been expanded upon since Pokémon Red and Blue version largely focus on connections between people and Pokémon (Ewalt, 2012). Yet, the theme of the franchise at large may be not just connections between people and Pokémon, or between the player and the game, but between the player and other players. Pokémon was based on the idea of an insect crawling from one game to another, two games connected by the GameBoy link cable. Two games that shared information are connected forever. In each game a Pokémon remembers the “original trainer” that captured and raised it. That Pokémon forever bears the stamp of the player regardless of whom it’s traded to. Satoshi Tajiri and his team at GameFreak wanted to create a game in which players would create bonds and memories that would last. Pokémon aims to encourage cooperation, competition, and connectivity. The success and impact of the franchise could be attributed to GameFreak’s insistence that players collaborate with one another, and thus they become invested in the series. The Pokémon games themselves carry this theme in the stories they tell, the latest games in the series Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 impart this idea with simple elegance by pitting the players against an organization dedicated to separating humans from Pokémon. The series teaches that Pokémon and humans work together and can accomplish more alongside each other than apart. While you could equate Pokémon to animals and say that the series promotes harmony with the natural world, one could also say that the idea is to encourage harmony with other people. The Black and White games focus on truth versus ideals, and the middle ground on which they come together. GameFreak’s truth is that people are apart, separated by countless reasons. GameFreak’s ideal is that people can be brought together under one idea or culture. Pokémon is seen as a children’s game, but in reality like all ideas under the umbrella of Nintendo, Pokémon is for everyone. The fans who dedicate themselves to Pokémon all share something in common no matter where they are from, and that is why we see commercial airlines flying a Pokémon jet, that is why we see Pikachu hovering over the streets of New York City on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and that is why Pokémon is an integral part of pop culture because Pokémon goes far beyond the merchandise and the trading cards, and it transcends the controversies, rather than letting the controversies define it."

[143]

[144]

 

 

"Pokémon has grown into one of the largest media franchises of all time, and the reach of the series is global. Pokémon is no longer confined to Japan, and the craze has spread far outside of America.  The cultural impact of Pokémon, whether it be in video games, anime, controversy, education, children’s culture or simply in the hearts of fans is enormous. There are 649 Pokémon now, and there will likely be hundreds if not thousands to come. So long as there are people to connect, Nintendo and GameFreak will always try to connect them with a Pokémon game."

[145]                                                                                                                                                       [146]


The Pokemon franchise brought forth endless Notions that brought new Life and Innovation to the Industry

 

The Relationship Between People and their Pokemon 

 

"There is no singular answer. Some fans are completionists, addicted to the challenge of collecting an ever increasing roster of monsters, others enjoy merely progressing through the main story, building a loyal team of Pokemon along the way. If you like a challenge, you can play through the entire game using a single Rattata, a Pokemon notorious for being pretty useless, or build a team of your preferred elemental type. There are those who get in deep, raising meticulously trained Pokemon with a genetic pedigree you can only attain from hours of mind-numbing selective breeding in order to compete with the best in competitive battle."

[147]

"There is something uniquely satisfying in being able to create whatever experience you want out of the game with whichever Pokemon you want. Pokemon is so attractive to such a diverse fan base because it offers the player choice and, with its ever increasing diversity of monsters and teachable moves, embraces creativity."

[148] 

[149]

 


"An understanding of Pokémon’s ‘social effects’ is necessary before one can meaningfully textually analyse a given product. Furthermore, the very ‘franchise’ model propagated by Pokémon  wherein one can consume the Pokémon universe through not only film but also animated television series, video games, comics, trading card games, theme parks, merchandise and a plethora of other Poké-paraphernalia – means that any attempt to usefully separate one medium from the rest remains a futile endeavor that does not benefit any serious study." [150]

"Henry Jenkins postulates that the Pokémon franchise adheres to what he terms the ‘convergence culture’ model (2006:133)." [151]

"In other words, the various avenues through which one may encounter Pokémon influence each other to such an extent that one cannot truly comprehend any given individual element in isolation, but rather as part of a larger ‘supersystem’ (Iwabuchi 2004:64)." [152] 

"Pokémon is the most successful computer game ever made, the top globally selling trading-card game of all time, one of the most successful children’s television programs ever broadcast, the top-grossing movie ever released in Japan, and among the five top earners in the history of films worldwide."[153]  

"Even though these figures do not hold as true in 2014 as they did in 2004, one can still appreciate the significant success Pokémon has achieved during its lifespan, a feat even more impressive when one considers the vast array of media covered by the franchise. From the very early days of its appearance on the marketplace it proved to be almost instantly profitable."[154]

"In its first year, the Pokémon franchise generated $5 billion, almost as much as the whole U.S. games industry in 1998. Pokémon was the top-selling Game Boy game and the top-selling trading-card game; and the TV cartoon was the top-rated show on the Warner Brothers network." [155]

"One can appreciate the sheer volume of income that the franchise created; after only seven years on the global marketplace, the first two of which centered almost entirely within the domestic market of Japan, Pokémon had, by some estimates, garnered as much as $15 billion in sales worldwide by 2003." [156]

[157]



History of the Pokémon Franchise Impact of the Pokémon Franchise Case Study of the Pokémon Franchise

 

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Comments (10)

Zachary Larson said

at 11:43 pm on May 4, 2014

Alright crew! Almost done with impact, I highlighted the remaining items on diigo I plan to use in the Wiki. I will be adding images starting tomorrow throughout the week as we prepare for presentation on the 14th!
Lookin' good! See you all tomo!

Zachary Larson said

at 11:43 am on May 5, 2014

Remaining Impact Citations: MLA
Big Bomb Wiki:

Bigbomb, Editors. "Pokémon." Pokémon Franchise. Giant Bomb, Apr. 2014. Web. 05 May 2014.

Zachary Larson said

at 11:47 am on May 5, 2014

Metagross. "The Cultural Impact of the Pokemon Series from 1996 to 2012." The Cultural Impact of the Pokemon Series from 1996 to 2012. Facebook, 18 Nov. 2012. Web. 05 May 2014.

Zachary Larson said

at 11:33 pm on May 5, 2014

Impact page is pretty well done. Give me lots of image ideas in diigo. Lets make this page purdy!

Zachary Larson said

at 12:05 pm on May 6, 2014

Parker, Seb. "Pokemon: A Sales History." VGChartz. VG Chartz, 3 July 2011. Web. 05 May 2014.

Zachary Larson said

at 12:09 pm on May 6, 2014

Mmramd. "Dancing Squirtle." Tumblr. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2014.

Zachary Larson said

at 12:09 pm on May 6, 2014

Mmramd. "Dancing Pikachu." Tumblr. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2014.

Zachary Larson said

at 12:29 pm on May 6, 2014

Australia, Wordpress. "Pokémon Australia." Pokmon Australia. Pokémon Australia, 6 Aug. 2012. Web. 06 May 2014.

Amy Newman said

at 7:21 pm on May 10, 2014

This looks really great Zach!! :)

Zachary Larson said

at 12:11 am on May 12, 2014

DONE

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