Saturday, March 13, 2010

I choose you!

It's hard to believe that it's been 12 years since the first Pokemon game was released here in the US. The amount of hype surrounding the video games, the collectible card game, the TV show, and the toys was pretty crazy. Everything was constantly selling out. The funny bit was all the pundits commenting on how it would be a quick to fade fad. Nothing of such magnitude could be sustained in an ongoing manner. Kids would burn out on it. The shelves would be littered with the skeletal remains of the toys. Everyone would move on to something new.

Tomorrow marks the release of Pokemon Heart Gold & Soul Silver. If you want to count every game, there have been well over 40 Pokemon games released in the last 12 years -- and, these two will be one of the best sellers of March, if not THE best sellers. We're four generations into different Pokemon games, and the fifth is going to be released later this year. I'm picking up the games; my girlfriend enjoyed the last one, so we trade and play together. I have a nephew in college who will be getting it, and I have a nephew in grade school that will be getting it.

This one small window shows you exactly why Pokemon survives. It doesn't have an age group. There is something appealing about it to almost everyone that plays. Is it the spunky character you play? Collecting all the Pokemon? The battles? The story? Everyone finds something to enjoy.

If you've got to give a kid a game, Pokemon is an awesome choice. They have to read some, consider strategy, plan ahead, solve puzzles, explore -- I mean, it really works so many mental aspects, I can't see how anyone would find it objectionable. Now the game is going to come with a Pokewalker! You can add exercise to what the game promotes. You can download a Pokemon of your choice into a pedometer, and every step you take gives it a little experience and makes it stronger.

The longevity of this game completely fascinates me. I also know that I'm going to be in good company when I pick up my copies tomorrow. Here's a trailer for those of you not familiar with the the updated game:

Back to my writing. I'm still a bit confused as to what to write next. I thought I'd had it figured out, but one of my characters is pissed at being perpetually tortured in the limbo of unwritten novels and wants out. She's very pig-headed and hard to deal with, so I may have to let her out.

However, I think it'll be the least marketable of all the stories I want to write, but I may not have a choice. Sometimes, writing is a compulsion. If you don't acquiesce to the muse, your life becomes miserable. It's so weird, but anyone that has ever written, painted, or composed music because of a calling will understand what I mean. The rest of you are just going to assume I'm insane, which I'm not sure I could argue.

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