Pairing: Pokémon and Phones


I am the kind of person who will read an advice column, not just because this is a blog that has one, but because I like to see what people are trying to figure out about their lives. It is possible that I am looking for solutions for my own problems, or that I just enjoy hearing that other people are having them. So it was reading the latest installment of The Blunt Instrument, Elisa Gabbert's writing craft advice column on Electric Literature, which answered a question about writing to trends, that immediately made me want to pair Pokémon and phones.

Pokémon are great. You have got to catch them all. There is no way out of this. It is like a contract. They are heavily associated with millennials and millennial culture, which is a thing you may have heard about in other news trend pieces on the internet. Pokémon are also Japanese. Like animals, Pokémon evolve, but only by gaining experience points, not through the mechanisms of natural selection: sex and death. This probably means that Pokémon do not fuck, and also that they never die.

Phones are better now than ever. Phones used to be attached to walls, until they became cordless, allowing you to walk around and pretend you were on a cell phone, as long as you never got too far away from the wall, which the other part of the phone was still attached to. With the advent of cellphones you could walk anywhere with your phone, and sometimes even have coverage. It was a real advance over the beeper. With smartphones, everything has changed. You can walk anywhere you like and also take pictures, as long as you have enough battery. Sometimes, if you are running the right app, you can even see Pokémon on your phone's screen.

The evolution of phones turning into Pokémon capturing devices was the obvious next step in the evolution of the technology. The pairing brings out the latest features in phone technology including internal video recording, data mining, and security vulnerabilities. Pokémon gets a real boost by migrating to the mobile market by reinvigorating legacy fans and introducing a new generation to a brand that—let's be honest —after 20 years was getting kind of stale. Now they can live forever, or for as long as you are allowed to, whichever comes first.

Top image: "Danshui" by Flickr user Laika ac found on Wikimedia Commons, used and altered under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Phones image public domain.

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