Mr F asks:

Do you think the Pokémon games would be well-received in the Pokémon world?

Y’know, I think they would be.  The real world has plenty of very popular and successful video games that simulate real sports: soccer, American football, basketball, wrestling, golf, skateboarding.  Most people can, in principle, learn to do those things for real, but very few can learn all of them, and very few can do them at the highest levels of skill.  Even people who are top-tier professionals sometimes enjoy relaxing with a simulated version of their sport.  I think the same would probably apply to Pokémon training and Pokémon battles.  Not every Youngster Joey with a Rattata can travel the region, earn eight badges, meet legendary Pokémon, defeat Team Badguy and become a League Champion, y’know?  I think it would be a compelling experience for people who are too young to become trainers for real, or don’t have the time to give to a pro battling career, or just don’t like the idea of their Pokémon getting hurt.

4 thoughts on “Mr F asks:

  1. Okay, that’d actually be adorable. I love to imagine what’d change from our games to theirs.

    Version exclusives would go down plat. They’re odd even in our world, and it’d be weird as hell for a kantonian to consider playing not seeing either caterpie or weedle, when both are dirt common and emblematic. Likewise, the leveling system, “base stats” and “IVs” would probably be quite different, with less mathematically perfect ways of measuring athletic prowess.

    I also think catching legendaries and defeating team evil- maybe even having a rival- would disappear, because that level of dramatic storytelling doesn’t really fit in something that’s meant to be a sports simulator. Hell, quite a bit of the storylines past Gen 2 would probably qualify as literal heresy, and the games as we have them’d be more than a little culturally insensitive. A rival is plausible if we take into account how SwSh seems to portray them as A Thing -maybe just in Galar?- but how the character design process would work is liable to change drastically, with your rival being maybe as custom as your character…

    Another point of interest is Gym Leaders, the Elite 4, and even the cities you visit- those would all likely get in as branding, much like actual sports sims. Professional trainers would likely get more screentime and more “rule of cool” portrayals, and you might even unlock them being playable in something like Alola’s title defense- again, just like sports games let people play Messi or Maradona or whoever they want. Cities are also interesting- the gym challenge IRL would also be tourism- and getting in such things as furfrou trimming shops, ragecandybars, or Unova’s bridges would all be points of attention.

    I wonder how many people would try to beat these games still using rattata, goldeen, and such staples, mimicking their companions like many people make Sims copies of their family & friends- after all, in a game, every rattata is top percentage, and maybe yours is a good friend but sedentary and with a bit of a bum leg.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t necessarily think a lot would need to change, to be honest. We have all degrees of fantasy in our video games, with plenty of games using the real word as a basis but adding in mechanics like levels and turn based gameplay, or even changing lore or adding fictional villains. Version exclusives don’t make much less sense there (whether they’d pick the same mons, who knows), as they already don’t make sense and are a cash grab – the Pokemon world could have cash grabs too. Basically, I wouldn’t necessarily lump this in with sports games in terms of execution, I think that was just used as a “look, we have video games based on real world things, so why couldn’t they?” I think the same applies to racing games, or life sim games, or farming games, or city management games… plenty of these add fictional layers for the sake of gameplay and fictional characters for the sake of story. Logically the Big Bads wouldn’t be based on “real” people… unless the “real” person was universally agreed to be evil (I mean, how many WWII sims do we have where we take down Hitler?)

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      1. Fair point with the racing games, life sim games, etc. But here’s the thing- games tend to apply “like reality unless noted” logic, and only do said noted exceptions for purposeful theming.

        There’s a market of people who want to vicariously live a trainer’s experience without being a professional athlete- which is why you make something like a sports game. And you have to be careful not to add in stuff that doesn’t quite fit, as it doesn’t add much but alienates the playerbase. If you want to see yourself beat the gym challenge, you’ll find it odd for the mafia to waltz in halfway through. Team Evils exist to fulfill a need for a highly ficticious prompt to have drama and narrative structure which isn’t there anymore. Having version exclusives would absolutely be way weirder- in our world, pokémon are mere elements of pop culture, tropes to be applied in whichever way enhances gameplay and marketing. In the pokémon world, they’re what you wake up to every day.

        You can only really mess with things a lot if you’re planning a different market- one that’s heavily gamified or ficticious and doesn’t feel real enough to fall into the uncanny valley of worldbuilding, intentionally being pastiche. Mario Kart takes place in a fully ficticious world and has draws entirely separate from actual racing, Overcooked makes cooking ridiculous, etc. But those are about subverting the real world, not emulating it. A game where you half try to make a normal gym challenge and half do these ficticious things would be whiplash. It’s one or the other, I think, and I think focusing on the first was more fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Pokémon games in the Pokémon world would be more like Second Life, , or one of the many defunct Pokémon MMORPGs, with a bit of nintendogs thrown in.

    Liked by 1 person

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