On reflection, I feel like I know why I want to catch 'em all. I feel as if I have been programmed from birth to collect, and even more specifically, to associate play and entertainment with collection.
Recently while playing League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena, one of my team’s opponents burst out after making a kill, “GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL!” A short moment afterward a second message issued by him appeared in my chat window, “Man, I miss playing Pokemon.” To which I responded, “You are playing Pokemon. You are grinding to catch ‘em all.”
Now, I’m not a member of the Pokemon generation. While I have dabbled a little bit in collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering, I’m a little too old for Pokemon. My only real familiarity with the Pokemon brand is half watching it with my daughter when she was little. I know that there is a video game in which, as a Pokemon trainer, you collect Pokemon. I know there is a card game in which you buy lots of packs of random cards in the hopes of collecting a variety of Pokemon. I know there is a show about a Pokemon trainer named Ash who, along with his friends, collect Pokemon.
That being said, I get the allure. There are hundreds of these little creatures to catch in digital form and in physical form (as cards or toys), all of which have their own unique look and unique powers. If I had been a little boy during the 1990s, I’m pretty sure I would have wanted to catch ‘em all. Or at least as many of them as I thought were cool and even then I wouldn’t have turned my nose up at those I thought were less exciting.
On reflection, I feel like I know why I would want to catch ‘em all. I feel as if I have been programmed from birth to collect, and even more specifically, to associate play and entertainment with collection.