Popular Culture is the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the late 20th and early 21st century. Heavily influenced by mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives of the society.
Popular culture is often viewed as being trivial and dumbed-down in order to find consensual acceptance throughout the mainstream. As a result, it comes under heavy criticism from various non-mainstream sources (most notably religious groups and countercultural groups) which deem it superficial, consumerist, sensationalist, and corrupted.
Pokémon (ポケモン Pokemon , // POH-kay-mon) is a media franchise published and owned by Japanese video game company Nintendo and created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996. Originally released as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy role-playing video games developed by Game Freak, Pokémon has since become the second-most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world, behind only Nintendo's own franchiseMario. Pokémon properties have since been merchandised into anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books, and other media. The franchise celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2006, and as of 28 May 2010 [update], cumulative sales of the video games (including home console versions, such as the "Pikachu" Nintendo 64) have reached more than 200 million copies. In November 2005, 4Kids Entertainment, which had managed the non-game related licensing of Pokémon, announced that it had agreed not to renew the Pokémon representation agreement. Pokémon USA Inc. (now The Pokémon Company International), a subsidiary of Japan's Pokémon Co., now oversees all Pokémon licensing outside of Asia.
The name Pokémon is the romanized contraction of the Japanese brand Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター Poketto Monsutā ). The term Pokémon, in addition to referring to the Pokémon franchise itself, also collectively refers to the 718 known fictional species that have made appearances in Pokémon media as of the release of the sixth generation titles Y and Pokémon X. "Pokémon" is identical in both the singular and plural, as is each individual species name; it is grammatically correct to say "one Pokémon" and "many Pokémon", as well as "one Pikachu" and "many Pikachu".
The Pokémon Trading Card Game (ポケモンカードゲーム Pokemon Kādo Gēmu , "Pokemon Card Game"), abbreviated as PCG or Pokémon TCG is a collectible card game, based on the Pokemon video game series, first published in October 1996 by Media Factory in Japan. In the US, it was initially published by Wizards of the Coast, the company that produces Magic: The Gathering, in December 1998. Nintendo eventually took over publishing the video games in June 2003.
It is one of Nintendo's last remaining strong links to its heritage as a playing card company.
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