The analog roots of the mobile game craze

Are mobile games endless fun for billions of people around the world or are they a total waste of time? It is a heated debate that will never end but it’s probably safe to say mobile games are a bit more than just a passing fad! It’s really about evolution, how mobile games have grown and used augmented reality to build on their original simplicity, like the eternal Pokemon Go craze. Among its many variations is one of the true gold standards, mobile pokies at

A Sense of Control

Psychologists say the secret to the success of Pokemon is primarily due to the fact it is a learning game and appeals to players of all ages, especially a younger crowd that feels a sense of control over the knowledge they are absorbing. It’s hard to believe but the game still going strong almost 35 years after debuting as an analog, card-collecting game. Pretty incredible considering the number of games being constantly being pumped out.

Tried and True Massive Multi-media Attack

And don’t believe rumors of Pokemon Go’s death. Despite what all the Pokemon detractors have to say, it consistently remains at or near the top of the worldwide mobile gaming heap. Having earned over $45 billion since it began, including revenue from movies and all kinds of merchandise, it’s safe to say the Pokemon Go franchise still has a little bit of life left in it. When it first debuted, Pokémon was one of the biggest media launches in decades — especially in the United States. Nintendo and partners used a tried and true massive multimedia attack that copied the super successful Star Wars promotion. In 1977, Star Wars director George Lucas and Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox pumped big money into a marketing blitzkrieg that included toys, posters, lunchboxes, and lots more. The genius of it was that not only did this promote the film but the products made huge money on their own, and still remain major players in today’s collectible scene.

Strategy was an Incredible Success

The people behind Pokémon saw how the Star Wars strategy was an incredible success, prompting them to launch their game everywhere at once. It worked and became all things to all players. Pikachu, the official mascot character of the franchise, was showing up in every possible setting, whether as cards, toys, accessories, dolls, you name it. Today, original cards and other merchandise in mint condition fetch huge prices at auctions, often in the six figure range.

A Global Wave that Kept Getting Bigger and Bigger

Yes, Pokemon designers basically copied the Star Wars formula but took it several steps further, trying out countless sessions of audience testing, along with many variations of characters before settling on Pikachu the mascot. But it was youngsters that broke the dam. Kids flocked to the Pokemon go world like wildfire. They couldn’t get enough and it was soon a global wave that kept getting bigger and bigger. The result was that Pokémon had become much more than just a brand. It was something like a social movement and was covered by mainstream media. There were some unfortunate incidents of people having accidents while hunting for characters and they made headlines but also provoked some very emotional defenses.

A Kind of Complex Parallel Reality

The combination of learning, growing and relating to others in the same universe turned Pokémon into a phenomenon. Even today the game, the television show, and the cards still have a huge audience. Psychologists say the success is at least partly based on the fact that becoming part of the world of pocket monsters gives fans the opportunity to specialize in what is really a kind of complex parallel reality.

Foundations of Their own Personality

So underneath all the marketing, Pokémon isn’t just a game about funny little characters doing battle. However, that cute factor does gives it a kind of innocent appeal that draws in many first-time players. Researchers have found that one of the most appealing things about Pokémon for kids is the chance to know more about something complex. Child psychologists say this gives kids a powerful sense of independence that not only allows them to distinguish themselves from others but at the same time helps them create the foundations of their own personality.