Pokémon. It’s the biggest multimedia franchise on the planet. Everyone knows what a Pikachu is. The Pokéball, a red-and-white sphere bisected by a black line, is immediately recognizable to even your most out-of-touch aunts and uncles. But it all started with a game: 1996’s Pokémon Red and Blue versions, for Nintendo’s original Game Boy.
One of my favorite ways to relax in the evenings is to watch this Twitch channel that streams subtitled episodes of the Japanese TV series Game Center CX. If you’re not familiar with the show, most episodes focus on comedian Shinya Arino’s desperate struggles to beat old console games. (It was recently announced that now even the PlayStation 2 is old enough to fit the show’s retro format. Excuse me while I crumble into dust.) However, when I tuned in the other night, I caught part of a special episode from 2004 in which Arino spends a great deal of…
There’s elaborate performance art, and then there’s what renowned Twitch jester Jerma did over the weekend. In a truly inspired stream, he parodied the recent Pokémon booster pack craze by going out into the Nevada desert and pretending to excavate a chest seemingly full of unopened Pokémon cards from 1997. They turned out to be something different: Grotto Beasts. Spoiler: Grotto Beasts is not and never has been a real series, but that hasn’t stopped Jerma’s community from taking the joke and running with it to the furthest ends of the internet.