Over the past week there has been a very specific game that has certainly stolen my attention. This game belongs to the ever growing family and line of the Pokémon franchise. I have recently started a play through of the classic Pokémon Pearl version as I have not played this particular game for many years now and consider myself to be quite the fan of the main series games. If you have never played a Pokémon series game before then what you can expect is to take part in a journey of you as the player traveling far and wide through a region filled with Pokémon you can catch, battle, and collect. For this version, specifically, which was released back the year 2006, the graphics are almost entirely pixel art with serene forests and mountains to explore in depth as well as very simple game mechanics. All Pokémon main series games are turn based operated and as you venture into new areas some locations or cities may be locked off from your exploration due to certain items or moves being needed. The feel of the game is very easy to pick up on and understand the concept of what you are aiming for.
In accordance with Dovey and Kennedy, when discussing some of the technicities or affordances the game has based on the mechanics and narrative we can start to “understand relationships between media technologies, culture and society” (Game Cultures p.15). In this case, Pokémon Pearl shows a society whose cultural attitudes follow the idea of partnering with Pokémon, growing with Pokémon, and living with Pokémon. This the established narrative and societal norm of the games world. The game also does a good job of capturing the players perception and understanding with its interface and game controls. As I played, the games physics are made very clear within the first 20–30 minutes of play. You encounter objects and items as well as other NPC’s which translated nicely from the games user interface. As you progress through the game you suddenly find yourself conditioned to completely explore every nook and cranny of a new area. At the same time, I found myself sitting nearly the entire time I played through my game. This is how the way works. You find ways to move forward. Nearly every area has tasks to accomplishes such as gym battles and earning badges to ultimately beat the game. Being able to look back and go in-depth with a game that holds a spot near and dear to my heart to better understand the true impact a game can have is something truly incredible.
Dovey, Jon, and Helen W. Kennedy. Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media. Open Univ. Press, 2011.