Given Stories

An off topic discussion on 4chan on one anon’s sale of his childhood Pokemon games results in the following gem on modern media:

This is something I’ve talked about before and will be reiterating here.

given storiesThe worst part of people valuing franchises like Pokémon isn’t so much the games themselves. It’s that people are increasingly defining their present and past enjoyment with elaborate stories and other commodities that were constructed with the ultimate goal to maximize profit. Commodification beyond merely physical goods and services is involved. There’s a significant difference between buying a toy monster and making up your own world and character for it and buying a toy monster that comes with its own world and characterization. The latter is a narrative that was created by someone doing it under the context that there are stockholders who demand that narrative make as much money as possible. Just to be clear, I’m not against the idea of people being given a narrative rather than coming up with one on their own.

Quite the opposite, traditional stories and archetypes are vital to imparting lessons and virtues onto society. Like G.K. Chesterton said, “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” Still, those tales should come from one’s parents and one’s community. Tales that come from corporations are worrisome to say the least. I’m not condemning Pokémon specifically, this concern applies to a lot of franchises.

Speaking personally, subconscious messages I picked up from the old mythology I read as a child had been mostly positive and useful in my adult life – even something simple like “The goddess who made humans really loved them.”  Messages I picked up from the weirdly sanitized cartoon shows I watched as a child, some of which include “The good guys will always win” or “People of X race will never be bad guys” have been blatant lies and useless in my adult life. 

Original screen cap:

given stories


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