Pokemon GO

Pokémon GO will encourage players to visit museums and art installations

As a series that has been primarily confined to handhelds since its inception, Pokémon has always encouraged a certain amount of “go” from its audience. For instance, its commercials frequently feature players wandering through forests and cityscapes, getting to know their hometowns better and meeting new friends along the way. Yet, as much as these games want me to take them to the park or the museum and collaborate with others, I’ve mostly always played them by myself while huddled around a power outlet in my bedroom. And given consistent cries from fans for a main series Pokémon game to…


Pokkén Tournament is killing my Pokémon vibe

“Kids play inside their homes now, and a lot had forgotten about catching insects. So had I. When I was making games, something clicked and I decided to make a game with that concept. Everything I did as a kid is kind of rolled into one—that’s what Pokémon is. Playing video games, watching TV, Ultraman with his capsule monsters—they all became ingredients for the game.” – Satoshi Tajiri in an interview with TIME Magazine, 1999 It’s a fun bit of trivia now, but Pokémon originally grew out of its creator’s simple, childlike sense of awe toward the bugs in his backyard. At…

lavender town

The lingering appeal of Pokémon’s greatest ghost story

The myth goes that when the first Pokémon games came out in Japan back in 1996, over 100 children who played it committed suicide. Others suffered nosebleeds or brutal headaches, or became irrationally angry when their parents asked them to take a break. Eventually, a commonality between the incidents was established—players started feeling the effects when they reached Lavender Town, home of the Pokémon graveyard, and the one dark segment in an otherwise light-hearted game. Furthermore, most of those affected had been wearing headphones instead of relying on the Game Boy’s tiny little speaker. It was eventually determined that Lavender…


Let’s Play Snake brings the classic arcade hit to Twitter

With visuals that can be easily represented using only a line and a dot, and rules no more complex than “get to point b without hitting anything along the way,” classic arcade game Snake has become renowned for its simplicity and elegant design. This, in turn, has lead to its prevalence among a number of platforms, especially those that struggle for visual fidelity, such as graphing calculators and early cell phones. There’s even a version of it that can be played over your favorite YouTube videos. Now, thanks to web developer Yannick Rochat, Snake has been adapted for Twitter. Rochat’s…


Train digital pets to eat eggplant in this cute game

Digital pets used to be the big craze. The late 1990s and early 2000s flourished with numerous digital pet-raising simulators. From the ubiquitous monster-collector RPG Pokémon, the digi-pet raiser website Neopets, the weird creatures within Tamagotchis, the loving pups of Nintendogs on the DS, as well as a slew of others—digital pets were everywhere. As time passed on, the digital pet raising fad mostly faded away (my rare Snow Cybunny on Neopets probably starving to death to this very day). In a modern day effort to reinvigorate the digital pet genre, smartphone game Pakka Pets was born. Pakka Pets bustles…


To catch ’em all in Pokémon GO you’ll need to explore the world around you

Pokémon GO is a videogame that—get this—sees Pokémon invading “the real world.” Yep, you don’t have to sit in a stuffy room by yourself staring at a grey and green screen of mere inches in size to play Pokémon any longer, as I did for hours as a child. You can go outside and find a Pikachu poking its head out of a shrub through your phone’s screen, throw a (pretend) Poké Ball at it, and then trade or battle it with whoever else is around.  This is all possible due to the technology that Niantic Labs (which has just…


This is a command: you have to play Sonic Dreams Collection

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Sonic Dreams Collection (PC, Mac)  BY Arcane Kids One of the most unwieldy videogame fanbases has met its match in Sonic Dreams Collection. Building upon the classic franchise’s already sky-high fan-made mythology, Sonic Dreams Collection claims to be the leaked files from never-before-seen Sonic SEGA games. Created by Arcane Kids, the same group who brought you the hellish delights of Pokémon Millennial Edition, these hot new “leaks” include a Sonic body distorter, a sexually disturbed movie maker, a torrid Sonic lover affair/roommate simulator, and an Eggman game you can only play…


Pokémon as slavery

It took 15 years for the Pokémon series to start looking inwardly at itself and question its own ethics. By then, it comprised videogames, anime, trading cards, toys, a whole damn franchise that might—it just might—have advocated slavery and/or animal blood sports. This isn’t meant to be one of those “24 Facts That Will Ruin Your Childhood” type of articles but it might have the same effect if you haven’t put any thought into the Pokémon series beyond whether to have your Rattata attack with a Tail Whip or a Bite. Pokémon with the faces of wearisome middle-aged men  The…