Difference between revisions of "Can we catch 'em all?: Generation III"

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“…New versions appear less as enhanced or definitive statements. Rather, they represent the current best attempt to realize the vision…The ‘game’ is at once fluid and elusive, with only specific implementations or attempts to realize and capture it being fixed.”- James Newman, ''Best Before: Videogames, Supersession and Obsolescence''<ref name="Newman,''Best Before''"> James Newman, ''Best Before: Videogames, Supersession and ObsolecenceObsolescence'' (London: Routledge, 2012)</ref>
{{bp|Game Boy Advance}} was no technical innovation, but it did improve upon its predecessor’s technical specifications. Most obvious to the player were graphical additions including higher color pixel resolution and simple 3D effects. Less obvious to the player, but critical from a media archaeology perspective, was the complete overhaul of the core processing unit. This resulted in radically different data architectures in games produced for the handheld. The system might have been backwards compatible to {{bp|Game Boy}} and {{bp|Game Boy Color}}, but its workings were far ahead of its origins.”<ref name="Forster,’’Game Machines 1972-2012’’" > Winnie Forster, ''Game Machines 1972-2012: The Encyclopedia of Consoles, Handhelds & Home Computers'' (Utting, Germany: Gameplan, 2011)</ref>
Though {{bp|Generation I}} was developed late in the {{bp|Game Boy}} lifecycle, Nintendo dangled {{bp|Generation II}} in front of players as an incentive to purchase the improved {{bp|Game Boy Color}}. A similar policy would only benefit sales of the {{bp|Game Boy Advance}}.
The definition of a video game is a surprisingly debated topic,<ref> http://tay.kotaku.com/what-is-a-video-game-1573864350</ref> but one thing that all can agree on is the distinction between video games and more passive forms of media such as films or television. A video game is an audiovisual and software object that comes to life as a result of player interaction. For a player to interact with a game, a user interface is required. Despite continued arguments, it is difficult to believe that a video game can possibly be separated from a user interface. More to the point, if a video game was designed for one specific user interface, then that interface becomes a portal into understanding developer decisions. This understanding is the core of media archaeology.
{{bp|Pokémon Red and Blue Versions}} as well as {{bp|Pokémon Red and Green Versions|Pocket Monsters: Red and Green}} as well as {{bp|Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)|Pocket Monsters: Blue}} are not audiovisual artifacts that exist in some nameless space accessible by whatever technology is compatible. These video games came about as a result of the {{bp|Game Boy}} system. They exist in a historically specific time. {{bp|Satoshi Tajiri}} himself has repeatedly stated the purpose of {{bp|Generation I}} {{bp|core series}} games was to demonstrate the {{bp|Link cable|Game Boy Link Cable}} was usable as a form of communication rather than battle.<ref> Anne Allison, Anne. ''Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination'' (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006).</ref> By remaking {{bp|Generation I}}into {{bp|Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions}}, to paraphrase James Newman, {{bp|Generation I}} is decoupled from the {{bp|Game Boy}}. It becomes ahistorical, technologically unspecific, and just another Japanese roleplaying game rather than the artistic, cultural, and technical marvel its media specific context provides.
What the player can learn from {{bp|Generation III}} is both the promise and caution of an endlessly upgraded technology. Fans will always play older games, but with new fans born everyday, a remake becomes more than a single object in the lineage of Pokémon. That remake becomes representative of all the experiences that came before.