Logo of the English-language version of Pokémon.
|Country of origin||Japan|
Pokémon is a media franchise published and owned by the video game company Nintendo and created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996. Originally released as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy role-playing video games, Pokémon has since become one of the most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchises in the world. Pokémon properties have been merchandized into anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books, and other media.
The name "Pokémon" is the romanized contraction of the Japanese brand "Pocket Monsters" (Poketto Monsutā), such contractions being very common in Japan. The term "Pokémon", in addition to referring to the Pokémon franchise itself, also collectively refers to the hundreds of fictional species of monster that have made appearances in Pokémon media. (It should be noted that, like the words deer and sheep, the word "Pokémon" is identical in both the singular and plural.)
Players are designated as Pokémon Trainers. One of the goals of a Pokémon game is for the player to train a team of powerful Pokémon from those they have caught to compete against teams owned by other Trainers, in orde eventually to become the strongest Trainer, the "Pokémon Master". In most incarnations of the fictional Pokémon universe, a Trainer that encounters a wild Pokémon is able to capture that Pokémon by throwing a specially designed, mass-producible spherical tool called a Poké Ball at it. If the Pokémon is unable to escape the confines of the Poké Ball, it is officially considered to be under the ownership of that Trainer.
The other general goal in a Pokémon game is for players to complete their Pokédex by collecting all of the available Pokémon species found in the fictional region where the game takes place. The "Pokédex" is a fictional electronic device. In the video games, a Pokémon Trainer is issued a blank device at the start of the journey. Whenever a Pokémon is first captured, its data will be added to the Pokédex. "Pokédex" is also used to refer to a list of Pokémon, usually a list of Pokémon by number.
- Adapted from the Wikipedia article on Pokémon.