Pokémon: The Power of Transmedia in a Globalized Culture

Pokémon, a video game known throughout the world, has a whole company dedicated to toys and games worth billions. Pokémon, which is available to wide audiences due to being accessible through video games and anime, is associated with the growing capacity to produce and consume articles in society. Not being an avid fan of Pokémon as a child, I faced the game as a new experience as I played it for this course, and I knew most characters even though I have never played it much. This shows that Pokémon has successfully attained people who don’t even play the game itself, a goal that is aimed for in any large organization in a globalized society.

Pokémon is a product originating from Japan that imitates consumption and the globalized society in which we live in today. Through transmedia, Pokémon has reproduced the consuming society in the game and has applied it via its fan base, by creating a powerful enterprise. According to Thomas Apperley’s text entitled “Citizenship and Consumption: Convergence Culture, Transmedia Narratives and the Digital Divide,” in Super Mario Bros: Mario Madness, the “… empowerment -and transformation- within the game is always through consumption” (2). This analysis can be applied to Pokémon, since one must train to become the ‘best’ and catch all the Pokémons available. The Pokémons’ species show their continuous growth, which can be closely connected to the growth of the society’s continuous investments. The Pokémons’ evolution is tied to the progress of marketing: it starts out small, multiplies and becomes a bigger, stronger corporation. Multi-national corporations are spreading all over the world and trying to possess the most businesses they can. The connection between Pokémon and imperialism is clear: the game is centred on gaining the most and consuming endlessly.

Convergence culture allows the participation of the consumers according to Apperley. Therefore, consumers can interact with Pokémon and support globalization in society by simply purchasing any item with the game’s brand name. Transmedia allows for different stories to be created through different platforms. These different versions create a story that merges together and empowers the player by displaying multiple options that the player can consume. Pokémon creates empowerment to the player by allowing the option to grow stronger and to consume more with the shops in the towns. Media consumption is re-enacted through Pokémon’s interactions with the countless items that can be purchased and stored, including the Pokémon characters that can be caught. For example, potions can be bought to heal, bring back to life and other actions. Attaining higher levels allow strength and other skills to be gained.

The presence of transmedia is everywhere with Pokémon: there are cards, toys, clothes, and other items sold with its brand name. The consumption of such products demonstrates the strong connection with the game and the power of convergence culture itself, allowing for Pokémon to become known on an international level. Therefore, convergence culture strengthens the bond between Pokémon and the power of transmedia through a globalized lens.

Written by: Ariane Arsenault

Works Cited

Apperley, Thomas. “Citizenship and Consumption: Convergence Culture, Transmedia Narratives and the Digital Divide.” IE ’07 Proceedings of the 4th Australasian conference on Interactive entertainment. Eds. Martin Gibbs and Yusuf Pisan. RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, 2007.

Pokemon Red or Blue (Nintendo 1998).

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The Stanley Parable: A Story of Choice

Ariane Arsenault

Professor Carolyn Jong

ENGL 398

February 20, 2015

The Stanley Parable: A Story of Choice

The Stanley Parable mainly focuses on capitalism and the option of choices and freedom in video games. The game, which is very thought-provoking, represents an ironic commentary on capitalism and attempts to break the fourth wall by offering interactive fiction.

The irony in the game is that it focuses on choices, but it still restricts the player due to the reduced controls. Even though there are many possibilities in the game, there is a suggested route explained by the narrator of the story, however, it is allowed not to do as said, but the narrator will try to make the player act otherwise. The narrator often says “let’s get out of here” in the demonstration of the game and includes himself, which shows the impact in which it implicates the player in the game. There are often paths that get barred after a decision is taken, which demonstrate the game deciding for the player, like for example, doors closing making it impossible to go back. The full game has more than one ending, and this creates more than one possibility for the player. This helps the gamer by choosing his own path and allowing him to have options. The suggested decisions are not forced, but they are highly influential, which may cause restrictions.

In the demonstration of the game, the player does not get to play the actual game. Instead, it is explained by the narrator how the game process was created. It often notes how irritating it must be for the player since it will give a bad reputation to the game. It critiques capitalism by showing that society is not interested when it comes to buying something that is unknown. There is also a play with the player’s expectations, and this shows that the game will be unexpected as well. The narrator often stresses on how it is important that the game pleases the gamer and that he gets his money’s worth. Porpentine mentions in “Creation under Capitalism and the Twine Revolution” that “our world where the average person is separated from their natural creativity and artistic agency isn’t an accident. It’s been carefully, deliberately engineered that way, not just by Apple, but by our entire capitalist society” (Porpentine). This can be closely connected to the Stanley Parable, where the main character in the game only presses buttons at work and receives orders every day. The game shows what there is beyond the office room, and it shows that it is important to question things instead of simply accepting them.

The interactive fiction in the demo provides insight on how capitalism interferes with the Stanley Parable, and the freedom associated with interactive fiction provides more decision-making with different endings. The irony embedded in the text and location is prevalent, which shows a critique on capitalism, freedom, and even video games.

Works Cited

Galactic Café. The Stanley Parable. 2013. PC.

Porpentine. “Creation Under Capitalism and the Twine Revolution.” Nightmare Mode. 25 November 2012. http://nightmaremode.thegamerstrust.com/2012/11/25/creation-under-capitalism/