Why We're Obsessed with Pokemon - A Hypno Therapy Session,
Today, we are taking a trip into the subconscious. Lie back, relax, and keep your gaze on Hypno’s slowly-swinging pendant. Breathe deeply, and calm your mind, as we attempt to prod the deepest depths of your being. Today, my friend, we are on a mission to find the root of your obsession…
Collecting and gathering is inherent in most animals. Birds gather seeds and twigs, and squirrels gather nuts. Even ants gather plant material for their colonies. It’s a basic survival instinct that also holds true for humans.
Before the industrial revolution, it was a daily necessity for people to gather supplies – just to survive. Not enough food? Dead. Not enough fire wood? See ya! Ran out of wagon axles? Dysentery. If you weren’t out collecting things, you were as good as dead.
Things are different now. We live in a world full of computerwhatsits, auto-mobeels, and gawdang internets, so collecting the things we need to survive is much easier. Instead of spending your entire week searching for some meat, you can just run down to the Super Wal-Mart, grab the meat, the toilet paper, and the newest Pokémon game. Not all necessary for survival, but you get the point.
And even though we have these modern conveniences, we still have that instinct; that basic, primal drive. There’s something deep in our brains that tell us to collect things, and the people over at GameFreak have tapped into that.
Kim A. Herzinger, an award-winning author and English professor, describes collecting as “…a means by which one relieves a basic sense of incompletion brought on by unfulfilled childhood needs. It functions as a form of wish fulfillment, which eases deep-rooted uncertainties and existential dread.”
She also adds, “Collecting, like most passions, has the capacity to let (the collector) live in another world for a while.”
Now, we may or may not feel incomplete and worthless, but playing Pokémon definitely transports us into another world. We become the protagonist and work our way through a vast adventure. Whether it’s Kanto, Sinnoh, or Unova; we’re all there, battling our hearts out.
There are other theories, as well.
Mark B. McKinly, Ed. D, describes Freud’s theory in his 2007 publication, “The Psychology of Collecting”.
Sigmund Freud… postulated that collecting ties back to the time of toilet training, of course. Freud suggested that the loss of control and what went down the toilet was a traumatic occurrence and that, therefore, the collector is trying to gain back not only control but “possessions” that were lost so many years ago.
McKinley, quite to the contrary, then emphasize that, “some [people] collect for pure enjoyment – it’s fun. Some collect to expand their social lives, attending swap meets and exchanging information with like-minded souls.”
Trading and battling with your friends is one of the highlights of the Pokémon franchise. We love to show off our newest team! We love bragging about our super rare legendaries, and our shiny Ponytas! It’s what makes the game so wonderful!
I’m no psychology major, but am I really going to tell people I play Pokémon because I had dirty diaper issues when I was 3? Heck no! I’m going to tell them I love the battle system, I love collecting them, and I love playing with my friends! The satisfaction we get from playing the game, in my professional opinion, is why we play. It’s the satisfaction, folks.
And the satisfaction of needs and wants is an entirely different issue we can delve into in our next session, for, as you can see, we’re nearly out of time.
Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Concentrate on all that you have learned, for when I count backwards from three and snap my fingers, you will return from your hypnotic state, feeling compelled to share your own thoughts and feelings.
Why are you obsessed with Pokémon? What is your earliest memory? And describe the relationship you have with your mother? (Okay, scratch that last part)
Three… two… one… *SNAP*
Written by Scott
Proofed by Victoria