Saturday, January 01, 2005

Po-ket-to Mo-n-su-taa

This is my first post in 2005 and Happy New Year to every one. At SASKEN we have a year end break from Christmas to New Year, so I am visiting my brother’s family in Kurnool this time.

My younger nephew Aditya, who is of Calvin’s age is a great fan of Cartoon Network. His favorite show is Pokemon. I always wondered what is the meaning of Pokemon? This time I asked him what is Pokemon? He said Pokemon means a Pocket Monster. This meaning makes lot of sense but only when you know the actual meaning. Then I asked him what is Pocket Monster? For this he went on length explaining me what is it all about.

Pokemon is very popular among kids in India now, you can see all kinds of merchandise like game trading cards, caps, water bottles (I wonder how many Indian companies actually licensed Pokemon stuff from the copyright holder) etc. every where. Once I listened to Aditya's narration of Pokemon stories I wanted to know its origin.

I always used to think that Pokemon is actually a very popular TV cartoon series, but to my surprise Pokemon is actually a game developed for the famous handheld gaming system Game Boy by Nintendo in Japan during 1996. The Pokemon game designer Satoshi Tajiri based the main theme of the game on his childhood fantasy. His fantasy was to make bugs (which he used catch) fight with each other like the monsters in movies. There the Pokemon a.k.a Pocket Monster (In Japanese Po-ket-to Mo-n-su-taa) is born. Pokemons are little creatures spread across the world, having some individual magic powers. Humans play the role of Pokemon trainers where the aim for them is to catch various Pokemons, train them and to participate in organized Pokemon fights against other Pokemon trainers. There are several other fundas like a pokiball using which a trainer catches pokemons etc.

It is said that initial game was developed for 6 years! and was not successful initially, so Nintendo lost interest in this game. Slowly its popularity rose by the word of mouth. Later Nintendo went for a serial comic based on Pokemon to promote the game. After some time later the TV series began. Pokemon phenomenon hit US later than Japan by 1998 as Nintendo released the game in US only in 1998.

I really don know how many Indian kids have actually seen a Game Boy and played Pokemon on it, but certainly every one enjoys the TV show. When I tried to watch it before knowing what it is all about, it didn't really made sense to me. Now I can fairly understand the concept but it is still not very interesting to me. Pokemon I like in is Pikachu that is because he is really cute.

Aditya cought on camera when he is busy on PC

Cute Pikachu


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