Pokemon and slots
Guess what? Apparently gambling isn’t just for adults anymore. Kids can participate too, in a way. For as long as Pokemon games have been around, Game Freak has allowed players to gamble their own in game currency – or sometimes a special currency like with the Game Corner in Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow – for prizes. The prizes you win varies, depending on which generation of Pokemon you are playing, but it is interesting to see how this addictive, adult only idea became a full fledged mini game within a child’s game.
Pokemon Sun and Moon – just recently developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo – has also introduce gambling into it’s title in two very unique ways. The first and most accessible is the lottery ticket booth in the Festival Plaza. Although you are not playing real slot games you are in affect gambling. If you are more interested you can go to an online slots guide to get some basic idea.
Festival coins – which are earned by welcoming people to your plaza and doing trades over the Internet – are used to purchase Lottery Tickets which then get put into a draw. To date, I have received very lousy prizes, the best of which was an Ultra Ball.
Another gamblingesque inclusion in Pokemon Sun and Moon can be found on the first island, called Melemele Island. When visiting one of the buildings in the main city on the Island, players will be able to enter into a random draw for prizes. If the number pulled from the hat matches the Pokemon ID of one of the pocket monsters currently in your party, you will receive a prize.
Nintendo has evolved into a more kid friendly product over the years, shaped considerably by changing social values in the 21st century. 20 years ago, when the company first launched Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow, there was straight up slot machine gambling within the game, using special coins only obtainable in the Game Corner. These coins could then be turned in for special TMs, items, and rare and exclusive Pokemon.
Today, that is all gone. Sure, we still have the gambling idea within the game, but gone is the money exchanging hands. I think this is probably done for obvious reasons, but part of me wishes it was still an active part of the current Pokemon titles. What’s odd about is inclusions in a Nintendo game ever, however, is the family friendly nature of both the Pokemon Company, and Nintendo.
Outside of games rated Teen or Restricted by ESRB, gambling has never been something so blatantly celebrated in games as it was in the original Pokemon releases. These gambling mini games were kept up through the first three generations of Pokemon, with the second generation adding even more gambling games to be plated. Check out Slots Empire as well if You are looking for more options.
Card Flip and Voltorb Flip acted as a stand in for a roulette table at your traditional casino. According to Bulbapedia, “In playing card flip, players place bets on cards that may be flipped over. The deck used contains 24 cards: each one has both a number (between one and six) and a picture of a Pokémon (either Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Oddish, or Poliwag). Once twelve cards have been drawn, the deck will be reshuffled. Bets can be placed on a single card, on a single column, on a single row, on a pair of columns, or on a pair of rows.”
All of the gambling mini games were buried along with the destruction of Team Rocket after Generation 3, but the desire to have these types of mini games within the main release is still there. It is evidenced by the lottery options found within Sun and Moon.
I still wonder today if Nintendo, Game Freak, and the Pokemon Company look back on those mini games with pride, or regret. I suppose we will never know.