The Politics of Pokémon. Socialized Gaming, Religious Themes and the Construction of Communal Narratives
Twitch Plays Pokémon presented a unique opportunity: sixty to one hundred twenty thousand players aimed to complete a single run of Pokémon: Red Version. Oppositional identities, based on differences in strategy were created, and a player-driven narrative began to form, codified by specific Pokémon and items. Rather than employing a secular theme to navigate a secular space, the moment of confrontation was imbibed with religiosity.
This paper seeks to account for the construction of a communal narrative, revolving around the alignment of religious themes with Pokémon through two sources: the transcript of the chat where religious identities were assigned to Pokémon; and the subreddit of the same. The framework of this paper combines threads of research on social media, seriality, anthropology of globalized phenomenon and the specifics of internet gaming and connectivity to analyze the primary sources of this phenomenon.