Video games can take us on grand adventures to new worlds, new time periods, and new characters that change our lives and ways of thinking. For over 30 years, video games have also been making an impact on pop culture. There have been many popular TV shows that have whole episodes centered around video games such as Community, Futurama, Seinfeld, The X-Files, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, to name a few. There have also been remakes of some of your favorite video games into movies … to varying degrees of success. Like it or not, video games have made a significant impact on pop culture and our lives. The three huge video game franchises that I will discuss are Legend Of Zelda, Pokemon, and Super Mario.
Article by Rebecca Fultz
Legend of Zelda
Legend of Zelda was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It was mainly inspired by Miyamoto’s childhood explorations as a child of the land surrounding his childhood home of Sonobe, Japan. Legend of Zelda has been mentioned in Adventure Time, Rick and Morty, Gravity Falls, How I Met Your Mother, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, The X-Files, and Psych. The popular game follows Link, the main protagonist and bearer of the Triforce of Courage from the land of Hyrule. He has appeared as a child, teenager, adult, and wolf in the franchise. He is often found with the Master Sword in hand as he battles the main antagonist Ganon (a.k.a. Ganondorf.) Other villains appear such as Major, Zant, and Ghirahim. In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you are paired with one of the most annoying companions in the series in my opinion. She is sent to you from the Great Deku Tree to help you save Hyrule. Her main catchphrase is “Hey, Listen!” which gets old very fast. Legendary comedian Robin Williams was a huge fan of Legend of Zelda and makes an appearance in the latest installment in the beloved franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. The franchise also has its own manga and animated TV show titled The Legend of Zelda, which lasted 13 episodes and aired from Sept. 8, 1989 to Dec. 1, 1989.
Pokemon was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995. The idea came from the hobby of bug collecting that Tajiri did as a child. It is owned by three companies, Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. The story revolves around fictional creatures called pokemon, who are caught by humans who refer to themselves as pokemon trainers. It has spanned from video games to a trading card game, animated TV shows, movies, toys, manga, and even the popular mobile app Pokemon Go. In the animated series we follow Ash Ketchum as he attempts to be the very best by catching all 151 pokemon. The franchise copyright is owned by all the companies but, Nintendo has sole ownership of the trademark. Pokemon is the second best selling game franchise of all time. It has been mentioned in shows such as 30 Rock, Adventure Time, The Big Bang Theory, Bob’s Burgers, Community, Doctor Who, The Flash, and Modern Family, just to name a few.
There have since been hundreds more pokemon added to the franchise. There are many teams that show up throughout the series, each with a unique style and some that only appear to thwart your progress, to no avail. The teams include Team Rocket, Team Aqua, Team Magma, Team Galactic, Team Plasma, Team Flare, Team Skull, and Team Rainbow Rocket. In Pokemon Snap, you are tasked with taking pictures of pokemon and are also graded on their quality.
This franchise is the best-selling franchise of all time. It was created in 1981 by Shigeru Miyamoto while he was developing Donkey Kong. Originally named “Jumpman,” Mario started as a protagonist who mistreats his pet ape and must rescue Pauline from the escaped Donkey Kong. The character we now know as Mario is a Italian-American plumber who is always out to save Princess Peach from Bowser, the leader of a turtle-like Koopa race. Bowsers’ goals are to kidnap Princess Peach, rule Mushroom Kingdom, and defeat Mario. Super Mario has been mentioned in The Amazing World of Gumball, Bob’s Burgers, Batman: The Animated Series, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chalkzone, Danny Phantom, and Ducktales to name a few. In Super Mario 64, Mario is tasked with, yet again, saving Princess Peach. Mario explores Princess Peach’s castle, collecting stars to reach the 70 he needs in order to defeat Bowser. In order to get the stars, Mario enters paintings and beats the courses stored inside. Super Mario 64 was a trailblazer in 3D game design and made a lasting impression on the industry.
Video games have changed my life for the better. They help me cope with pain, fear, loneliness, and hopelessness. Video games have opened my eyes to new worlds and to characters I can relate too. They taught me to not be afraid to explore my imagination and create my own new worlds as well. Video games will always have a special place in my life and my heart. If you learn one thing from this article other than the fact that I am a Nintendo fangirl, it is don’t be afraid to start a new adventure wherever or whenever it may take you.
Featured image credit: Nintendo