One of the latest sensations to take root in culture is the immensely popular Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go is a mobile game that users across the world are actively playing. Essentially, one downloads the mobile game app on an Android or iPhone and plays the game in the real world through augmented reality. Players travel to different locations, such as a public library, parks, landmarks, and other similar places, to capture Pokemon. The objective is to find, catch, battle, and trade Pokemon with other players. This has created a cultural and social sensation wherein persons work together in groups to find and capture all Pokemon. Additionally, the game has seemingly caused an increase in physical activity and interaction as persons are out walking to catch Pokemon and engage with others in battles and trading. As one interacts with Pokemon Go, it is only natural to wonder where the sensation came from and who the mastermind is that created this success.
Pokemon Go originates from Satoshi Tajiri in 1995 when Game Freak developed a pair of Game Boy video games published by Nintendo. Over time, Pokemon became the second-most successful video game-media franchise in the world. This media franchise is managed by the Pokemon Company, which is a Japanese group including Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. The 20+ year success of Pokemon includes video games, trading cards, card games, animated TV and movies, collectibles, toys, and comic books. In fact, this empire has amassed over $4.5 trillion according to Pokemon Corporations website. The breakdown of these figures includes 45% of monies earned domestically with 55% earned overseas. Further development includes the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon in November, 2016.
Although the game has much recognition, Satoshi Tajiri is quite unknown to most persons. In fact, if one surveyed the players of Pokemon Go, one may discover that very few can identify who created Pokemon. The discouraging part of this reality is that people often miss the inspiration gained by realizing who Tajiri is and what he has accomplished. Tajiri was born in 1965 in Tokyo and became the creator of Pokemon and the founder of Game Freak, which is a video game developer. The inspiration for Pokemon seems to have developed from his fascination with collecting insects as a child and his interest in video games as a teenager. In fact, Tajiri’s apparent obsession with video games caused him to miss classes and almost fail from graduating high school. Clearly, his parents were not pleased. However, Tajiri still “marched to his own beat.”
Over time, Tajiri rejected a job his father attempted to obtain for him and declined attending the university. Rather, he went to a technology school where he studied computer science and electronics. Tajiri continued along the path he envisioned and created a windfall for himself. He is regarded among the top game creators of all time and in the top 10 most influential persons in video gaming. Further, in 2011, he received the Special Award from the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference.
With all this success, one wonders why Tajiri has not been more in the public eye. In response to this question, Nintendo representatives stated that Tajiri is incredibly creative by also tends to be “reclusive” and “eccentric.” Further, persons attribute this reality to the fact that Tajiri has Austim Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This point alone should cause great inspiration to each person as Tajiri displays incredible resilience and success through his courageous self-expression. His continual progression towards his vision coupled with his incredible work ethic resulted in one of the greatest cultural sensations over the last 20 years. In fact, his “fingerprint” is clearly evident in the mobile gaming industry.