06.14.11

Pokemon's "Catch 'Em All" roots in Asberger's, bug-collecting

This is from two weeks ago, but still quite neat. Kotaku looked at the roots of Pokemon through the lens of creator Satoshi Tajiri. Of note, the games “catch ‘em all” ethos stems from Tajiri’s particular psychological diagnosis:

If that sounds a little…different, that’s because Tajiri is unlike most other noted game developers in that he has according to both Western and Japanese reports been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition that can - as seen in first his insect collecting and then fascination with games - lead to incredibly focused activities, often at the expense of other duties (like, in Tajiri’s instance, schoolwork).

Asperger’s syndrome also causes issues with social interaction, which explains why the name Satoshi Tajiri isn’t as well-known as one would expect given the popularity of his creation. Nintendo representatives explained a few years ago that, while Tajiri is incredibly creative, he is also “reclusive” and “eccentric”.

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