Dad, political sociologist, local councillor, drummer from Malta

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pokemon!


Pokemon? What does it mean to me.... Well I never played it, so my opinion is that of one who interacts with the game as an outsider. An outsider who reads about it, sees lonely wanderers possibly searching for Pikachiu, groups of people enthusiastically involved in Pokemon rituals, and friends telling me how lovely (or useless) the game is. So here's my two pence. 

On the one hand, Pokemon can be seen as  the latest example of the interaction between social media and one's construction of self-identity through fluid communities. This time it takes pace through the playing of a game with nostalgic features and which incorporates physical interaction with other persons. The divide between the digital and the physical is becoming increasingly blurred. 

On the other hand, Pokemon is an other example of how people of different ages sign up to online seduction, seeing it as a fact of life, and jealously defending it against the invaders  who raise questions on matters such as surveillance, time-wasting and distraction from bread-and-butter issues around us. 

An interesting question which can  only be answered in the future is whether pokemon wanderers represent a temporary fad, or whether will they become permanent pedestrians, possibly with the introduction of other such digital-physical gaming possibilities. 

Pokemon is ultimately what we make it out to be in our everyday life. Personally, I think that the most useful usage of its symbols was when Syrian children used Pikachiu to remind us that they (the children) really exist, in a real world of war and migrants dying at sea.

Extracts of this opinion feature in Malta Today 27 July 2016


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