Wednesday, March 21, 2007


What? Kids still love us?
I work with children in an after school program in East Vancouver and we have been putting on a special camp for Spring break this week (which is partly why I haven't been posting regularly).

I was quite surprised when I saw a bunch of kids pulling out their Pokemon cards so that they could trade and battle. Is Pokemon still popular? Apparently so. Pokemon first aired in North America in 1998 and took the continent by storm. The series is still being made to this day, now pushing 500 episodes, but it is nowhere near as popular as it was at the end of the previous millennium.

But kids are still playing the game. And the really fascinating thing about it was that out of this group of about five boys from camp is only one of them is Asian. The camp has about forty kids and over half of them are Asian (this is Vancouver after all), so to see a Columbian, an Iranian and two Greeks playing Pokemon and totally into it was quite a surprise. What a multi-cultural world we live in!


starlac said...

I think the actual number of episodes of pokemon are somewhat nearer to the thousand mark than 500; especially in Japan. Even when I added the profile to keyframe’s database, last year, there was in excess of 800 episodes. In Japan the cartoon series still draws big business, as does all the related merchandise. True outside of its native country, pokemon has fallen a bit from the public eye, though as you’ve seen, not completely.

It seems that Nintendo’s gold mine of a collective has embedded itself in the hearts of minds of at least some of today’s kids, at least it isn’t as mad as it once was, back at the height of pokemania.

I’m not a huge fan of the anime, have never played the card game and have no intention of learning how to play it. However I’ve actually quite liked the various incarnations of the video games that this whole phenomena centred around, but that’s only because I find them themselves to be fun, solid (if lightweight) RPG’s.

Never mind the kids, I’m 27 and I play pokemon games on my GBA! I'm also waiting for the DS version/s to come out, go figure.

toast said...

Did you know that it was Spongebob that knock the Pokemon popularity back a few knotches?

starlac said...

Nope, that’s news to me, good on Spongebob.

Although in general I don't keep up with how the popularity of any particular show is doing all that much (or at least not all the time), especially when it concerns countries outside my own.

Although saying that, I'd bet that the same thing - Spongebob beating Pikachu - still applied to where I hail; Certainly the later is still airing.