H20 asks:

What would your dream pokemon region be based off of?

I’ve answered basically this exact question a couple of times before, so I’m going to incorporate it with another question about Pokémon regions and go through some thoughts I have about this:

The Dag asks:

Which region so far do you think has best incorporated the history, mythology, geography, and biosphere of its real-world inspiration?

My traditional standard answer for “where do I want a region based on?” is India, just because it gives you so much to work with, in terms of environment, climate, fauna, history, culture, mythology, everything.  The feel of that region would also be distinctive and recognisable to an international audience, but still leave a lot of room for incorporating material that would be new and interesting to players in both Japan and the Anglophone “West.”  But let’s talk about that second question a bit.

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Ace Trainer Fox asks:

What pokemon do you want to get future regional forms? If you need a basis, for a region based on say, greece?

This is a tricky question to answer, because yeah, it really does kinda depend on the region.  To my mind, the best thing about regional forms is that they illustrate the region’s identity and culture, or the way Pokémon have adapted to the particular challenges of living there.  There are no Pokémon that I think should get regional forms, because that’s the opposite of how I think about the question.  But then again, despite being an archaeologist who works in Greece, I’ve also never been enthusiastic about the idea of a Pokémon region based on Greece, either; I just think there are other choices that would be more interesting.  When people ask, I usually say that I’d like a region based on India.  There are a few obvious choices for regional variants there that could incorporate references to Indian history and culture into their designs, although I don’t have any specific ideas for how to do that off the top of my head: Arbok, because cobras are Indian.  Copperajah, because elephants are Indian.  Medicham, because Buddhism started in India.  Raikou, because tigers are Indian (and we may as well drag Suicune and Entei into it).  Machamp, because divine beings in Indian art are so often human-shaped with extra pairs of arms.  Miltank, because cows are symbolically important in Hinduism.  Do something with Claydol that uses motifs from the Bronze Age Indus Valley civilisation.  You get the idea.

Anonymous asks:

So where would you like to see a region based on? Greece? Italy? Pre-columbian America? (or have you already answered this in your “if i was in charge” stuff?)

You know, I think it came up in the Disqus comments to… something… once… somewhere… which I really can’t be bothered looking for…

I think as a classicist I’m “supposed” to say, like, “ancient Greece!” or “the Aegean!” or “the Mediterranean!” which, you know, don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy and all, and I know a lot of people are really positive about the idea of doing something along those lines, but to be honest, meh?  Do we really need Pokémon to pander to “the West” and its collective fangasm over classical Greek and Roman civilisation like that?  Actually, if I could pick the next Pokémon region, I would almost certainly go for something based on India.  India has a distinctive, recognisable culture, an ancient and glorious history, and an important place in the economy and politics of the modern world, which plays into what I’ve taken to calling Pokémon’s “international spirit.”  The huge variety of climates and terrain types – deserts, mountains, jungles, plains, rivers, swamps, you name it – is the icing on the cake; you can fit almost any damn Pokémon you like in there.  I think an Indian Pokémon region could turn out really cool.