Pokemon Yellow

Pokemon Yellow was created in 1998 and is one of the early Pokemon games within the franchise. It was developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. The game is a third person birds eye perspective game in which the player goes on his journey to become a Pokemon master. During the game you have the option to battle wild Pokemon, to catch them, to train them, to evolve them and to battle other peoples Pokemon. You have the ability to give your Pokemon moves and to level them up to become the stronger Pokemon. As you begin to journey through the Kanto region you have the option to fight gym leaders and collect badges in order to progress so that you can defeat the elite four. There are no rules for Pokemon but you should try to progress through the game in order to complete it. You can do this by catching all the available Pokemon types, trading with friends, taking on all the gym leaders and defeating the elite four.

Originally I feel the market for Pokemon was aimed at young children but as the series has grown into what we know today a lot of the adults who had grown up with Pokemon still play Pokemon today. Pokemon Yellow was one of the early Pokemon games so I feel at the time this was marketed for children yet I can see why some teenagers and adults would have played it as the anime was rather catchy and was popular amongst families.

There are many mechanics within Pokemon yellow, these are;

  • Behavioural Momentum – Players would have the strong urge to grind their Pokemon to high levels in order to defeat gym leaders.
  • Blissful Productivity – People would work really hard to try and gain levels etc in order to become more powerful and because of this it becomes a rewarding experience.
  • Community Collaboration – The link cable for the Gameboy gave people the opportunity to trade Pokemon and work together in order for both of you to become a Pokemon master. It was important to trade with each other as the different games had different Pokemon and in order to ‘complete’ the game you must catch all of them.
  • Discovery – Pokemon yellow allowed you to discover new locations and new Pokemon on your journey.
  • Epic meaning – Back when the game was released it was important for every child with a Pokemon game to become the best, this meant that we all watched the television show, bought the Pokemon cards and shirts in order for ourselves to become what we felt was a Pokemon master. I felt as a child by doing all of this we were going to achieve something awe-inspiring and I feel a lot of children back then who were my age felt the same. It was as if the game was a key for us to become something more than just children.
  • Levels – the Pokemon level up after reaching so much experience
  • Lottery – You never knew what Pokemon you were going to find in the wild, it was a lottery and the longer you looked the better and rarer Pokemon you would find.
  • Ownership – You had a duty to raise and level your Pokemon in order to battle others within the Pokemon world or against your friends via Link cable.
  • Progression – this is marked by how many Pokemon you collect but the main progression element within Pokemon was its gym badges. You had 8 to collect and people could work out how far you are through the game by how many badges you had.
  • Status – the higher Pokemon you had, the amount of gym badges and if you had defeated the elite four. Without these things you had low status, the moment you had these things you were considered a master of the game.
  • Virality – If other people didn’t help you gain the Pokemon you could not find then you would be unable to catch them all and would not have completed the game.

This was the first game I had ever owned on a hand held console and considering how old it is I feel as if it has aged rather well. The idea of Pokemon is still very popular today with the television series spinning off into not only the original anime which featured Ash but also an anime about the original console characters ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ which is more focused around the original Pokemon games. Pokemon Yellow was the first game that I ever felt immersion on a level that it had affected my reality as my friends were involved as much as I was. Children would commit many hours to levelling and training their Pokemon so they could battle their friends. The skill required to play Pokemon was rather low yet the challenge and the time needed to commit was enough to push many children into a state of flow in which they would invest most days and nights playing the addictive title. This game offered many elements which suited socialisers, achievers and explorers and thus appealed to a large market of gamers.

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