Aug. 21st, 2017

rynling: (Terra Branford)
"Everyone's smiles shine so brightly. Those smiles led us to so many other people. And those meetings will lead us to a bright future. I'm so glad I got to meet everyone. I'm so glad I got to meet you."

- Lillie

Pokémon Sun is such a sweet and gentle game. It only took me about 45 hours to finish it, but I spread it out over ten months because the world of the game was a surefire source of happiness and joy. Breath of the Wild was a lot of fun, but Pokémon Sun healed me.

As I wrote when I started the game (link), Pokémon Sun is an unapologetically positive model of what a postcapitalist utopia might look like. Money isn't much more than a game token, everyone's needs are met, and there is no scarcity; jobs pay well, leisure is abundant, and volunteerism is common. There is a state, but it only exists to provide basic services. The villains in the game are aberrations that have to be tolerated as a byproduct of the functioning of the local market system, which is driven by individual interests. Basically, even in a postcapitalist system with no scarcity, some people will still insist on behaving according to capitalist ideology, and those people will create problems for everyone else if someone doesn't talk sense into them.

What I especially appreciate about Pokémon Sun is that it repeatedly emphasizes the message that everyone's talents are valuable. Success is achieved through cooperation and mutual support, and the goal is not to "get stronger" but to develop one's unique strengths. The character Lillie is a good example of this value system. She wants to get stronger at the beginning of the story, but gradually she finds the courage to resist the expectation (enforced by one of the game's villains, who happens to be her gorgeous and fascinating mother) that there is an absolute standard to which she should aspire. That being said, Lillie isn't content to "be herself," as she acknowledges that change isn't something to be afraid of, and she makes a firm decision to direct her own character evolution by setting her own challenges.

If you choose to play as the female protagonist, the relationship between this protagonist and Lillie is the most pure and perfect thing I have ever seen in a mainstream game. I'm actually really surprised that Nintendo allowed this, considering how gay it is.

The people who wrote the entries in the pokédex are complete savages, though. That shit is dark, and whoever is responsible for it needs to reflect on their life choices and think about what they've done.

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