Monday, November 29, 2010
The Science of Pokémon: How Far Off Is It?
As far as the science in Pokémon, it is pretty simplified, but as a game that was simply meant to be entertainment it does a decent job. The main problem is the slight misuse of terms, however I believe this to be a matter of preference on part of the programmers. Evolution is a very snazzy buzz word sometimes, whereas metamorphosis isn't. Pokémon isn't the first game to use evolution incorrectly, many games which involve one creature changing to another have used it (for example Digimon "digivolve", an obvious play on evolve). However, it can be used for an introduction to science, if not at least to spark conversation about the use of terms. Additionally, it introduces children to ecology (certain pokémon only appear in certain habitats) and the concept of scientific field work in the form of collecting specimens (capturing pokémon) for study. So, is the science in pokémon decent, just entertainment, or something in between? I think it's best descibed as somewhere in between. In fact, I'm surprised that the game covers as much introductory science as it does. The topics I discussed here are tip of the iceberg. There is also sexual dimorphism (male and female differences), predator/prey relationships, and allopatric speciation (which is when two very similar species which have evolved slight differences brought on by being seperated geographically). The list goes on!