Pokémon Fandom as a Religion : Construction of Identity and Cultural Consumption in Hong Kong

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)Not applicablepeer-review

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Author(s)

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on the Impact of Fandom in Society and Consumerism
EditorsCheng Lu Wang
Place of PublicationHershey PA, USA
PublisherIGI Global
Chapter22
Pages460-479
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781799810490
ISBN (Print)9781799810483
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, and E-Services (AMCRMES)
ISSN (Print)2327-5502
ISSN (Electronic)2327-5529

Abstract

This chapter examines the fandom of Nintendo Switch's Pokémon video game and its association with religion and identity-building. By means of semiotic analysis of the game's content and in-depth interviews with Hong Kong fans, the study examines the game's narrative and its role in the construction of players' social and religious identities. Using the functional framework of religion, it explores three major elements of the story: myth, ritual, and community. These three elements strengthen players' investment with the game by projecting the animistic attachment towards Pokémon characters and imbuing them with a sense of spirit or anima. The chapter argues that the game's animism is rooted in commodity-consumerism which uses emotive ties between people and things to encourage capitalist drives and encourage the sale of products. At the same time, by allowing its fans to create meaning and build a sense of connection with imaginary beings and likeminded fans, the game grants an escape from Hong Kong's urban alienation and approaches a functional view of religion.

Research Area(s)

  • fandom studies, Gaming, Religion, Consumerism

Citation Format(s)

Pokémon Fandom as a Religion : Construction of Identity and Cultural Consumption in Hong Kong. / Lovric, Bruno.

Handbook of Research on the Impact of Fandom in Society and Consumerism. ed. / Cheng Lu Wang. Hershey PA, USA : IGI Global, 2020. p. 460-479 (Advances in Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, and E-Services (AMCRMES)).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)Not applicablepeer-review