Essay Writing Samples

Pokémon GO: A Model MLA Essay

In this digital world in which we live, it is hard to get away from cell phones, tablets, and other portable digital devices. Within these devices we find entertainment, connectivity to friends and family, and tools valuable to business interactions. Here at Ultius, we’ve published numerous sample essays, case studies and research papers on technology and gaming, and related orders from our clients continue to pour in every day. Although more typical prompts would be ordering a sample essay on technology and children or video games and education, research on gaming applications is growing in popularity as well. It is definitely safe to assume that most people who own digital devices have played games on them and that lately, most of them seen to be playing Pokemon Go. But that’s not the only one, some of the more popular mobile games currently riveting the masses include:

  1. Doodle Jump
  2. Minecraft Pocket
  3. Tetris
  4. Temple Run
  5. Fruit Ninja (Lynch)

But what happens when you mix this mobile game boom with one of the world’s most beloved trading card games? The answer to this question is Pokémon Go. Millions are traipsing across the globe chasing after their favorite Pokémon characters and the growing popularity is nothing short of astonishing.

Trading card games

According to The Guinness Book of World Records, Magic: The Gathering was the first trading card game ever published.

On 2 September 1997, Richard Garfield, inventor of the Magic: The Gathering trading card game, was awarded US patent 5,662,332 (A) for “the trading card game method of play.” This was the first trading card game patent ever awarded. The patent defines the TCG as “a novel method of game play and game components that in one embodiment are in the form of trading cards (10, 12, 40, 42, 44, 48, 54, 60, 64).” (Guinness World Records)

It was the first of its kind to offer people intense gaming, with the option to collect cards that began to generate tremendous monetary value. Since then, there has been an uprising of trading card games that have caused people around the world to flock to comic stores, game tables, and other venues in order to pull out their dice and cards and play hard. Some of the top trading card games to date include:

  1. Netrunner
  2. Star Wars: Customizable Card Game
  3. Legend of the Five Rings
  4. World of Warcraft Trading Card Game
  5. Pokémon (Ledford)

The original Pokémon

In order to better understand Pokémon Go, a look into the history of the original Pokémon trading card game will provide some basic information on the game.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game was originally published in Japan in 1996 by Media Factory. While other Pokémon card series existed in the past, this was the first card game based on the Pokémon series. The first Pokémon TCG sets took inspiration from the then released Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue video games and initially featured illustrations by Ken Sugimori, Mitsuhiro Arita and Keiji Kinebuchi. Soon new expansions began to release with many new artists contributing artwork. Three years later in 1999, Pokémon TCG was introduced in North America by Wizards of the Coast with the Base Set, and worldwide soon after. (Bulbapedia)

In light of children’s access to violent video games, parents and teachers didn’t discourage the trading card game. There have been thousands of cards developed since the games inception, which include a vast array of characters. There were 150 of these original characters to be precise. These characters include:

  • Bulbasaur
  • Pidgeotto
  • Pikachu
  • Clefairy
  • Poliwhirl
  • Geodude
  • Drowzee (Wakka)

Pokémon as a video game

Before Pokémon Go entered the picture, it was released as a franchise of video games.

The Pokémon franchise has grown from pocket-sized to monstrously huge since its 1996 debut. Twenty years after the first pair of Game Boy games launched, Pokémon has graced consoles and handhelds alike with a variety of role-playing games and other titles big and small. (Polygon)

A historical timeline of the Pokémon video game franchise looks like this:

  • 1996: Nintendo releases Pokémon Red and Green for Game Boy in Japan.
  • 1998: Nintendo releases Red and Blue for Game Boy in the United States.
  • 1999: The first Pokémon game is released in 3D on Nintendo 64.
  • 2003: Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire is released for Game Boy Advance with improved graphics.
  • 2003: The Pokémon Channel is released on Nintendo Game Cube, which combines TV and gaming.
  • 2007: Wii receives its first Pokémon game.
  • 2014: Pokémon Art Academy brings fanart to the 3DS.
  • 2016: Pokémon Go is released for Android and iOS. (Polygon)

Pokémon Go

Now that we have a clearer understanding of what Pokémon is, how it began, and how popular it is it’s time to dive into Pokémon Go. Alex Abad-Santos of tells us some important things everyone who is interested in the game should know.

1. What is Pokémon Go?

The new game, Pokémon Go, was released on July 5. It’s specifically a mobile game, a celebration of Tajiri’s initial idea and the original 151 Pokémon. Available for both Android and iPhone operating systems, Pokémon Go uses your device’s ability to track time and your location, and allows you to catch Pokémon the same way as in the original game — by virtually launching red and white “Poké Balls” at them. (Abad-Santos)

2. Is the game any good?

Even with its faults, I can see why people enjoy Pokémon Go — it’s cute and nostalgic (if I ever get a Psyduck, I might have a meltdown), and it prods you to leave your house and go out into the world (Tajiri’s fundamental plan). I also appreciate that the game is reportedly helping people with their mental health by encouraging them to spend time outside and be more social. (Abad-Santos)

3. Is Pokémon Go dangerous?

As with any digital activity these days, there is always, of course, the risk of cyber crime. For example the recent security breaches at Spotify and other media streaming sites immediately comes to mind, but there is really little to worry about when it comes to playing Pokemon Go.  On safety, Abad-Santos conveyed the following:

Pokémon Go is a lot like texting. Its augmented reality setting that uses your smartphone camera is distracting; even though you’re theoretically paying close attention to your surroundings, you’re doing so through a camera lens with the aim of spotting and catching Pokémon all around you. The physical activity of Pokémon Go is definitely a plus in the eyes of those concerned about the effects of video games on children’s health, but remember, crossing the street into traffic or walking into the ocean are both distinct possibilities with this game. Getting lost is a risk too. (Abad-Santos)

4. Is it possible to cheat in Pokémon Go?

Though it’s not technically cheating, the app offers in-game purchases that allow you to spend real money on items like lures and incense that will help you catch more Pokémon more often. These purchases can enhance your gaming experience and increase your chances of procuring a desired Pokémon, giving you an advantage over people who are just playing the game for free. (Abad-Santos)

So, there you have it. Pokémon Go in a nutshell. And remember, as pointed out by another Ultius freelance writer in a blog we published for those interested in buying a sample case study, the average gaming age is 31 and climbing (Ultius)!

Pros and cons of Pokémon Go

Even though most people view Pokémon Go as just a game, there have been some concerns and praises that have been expressed in regards to game play. Psychology Today reveals that:

Amid the game craze, there have also been suggestions that the app can help people with depression and social anxiety. While it’s too early in the game to know whether Pokémon Go will help long-term with the treatment of anxiety or depression, the game has been able to encourage people to go outside, walk, and interact more socially. The app has the potential to benefit people who would not otherwise be motivated or able to leave the house due to fear or anxiety. (Wei)

Pros of Pokemon Go

Some of the pros of the game include:

  • It’s fun, so it provides a positive reward unto itself.
  • The game is structured with clearly defined goals and step-wise levels.
  • The app is an easy conversation starter and can help ease social anxiety.
  • The app encourages going outside and walking. (Wei)

Cons of Pokemon Go

There do seem to be concerns that should be mentioned as well. They include:

  • The app gets you outside, but you’re still on your phone.
  • The game puts you in a heightened “stressed” state.
  • The game could cause you to spend more time on your phone and make you less social.
  • The game could exacerbate symptoms in people who have difficulty with separating reality and fantasy. (Wei)

Click here to read more on technology and social media addictions and afflictions.


Pokémon has more than proven itself in the world of entertainment and gaming. The Pokémon franchise started out as an outlet for trading card game gurus and video game enthusiasts has evolved into a way for many to become more connected with the world and people around them. While Pokémon Go is a fun and interactive game, it does have many positive and negative benefits to those who play. It is safe to say that the game is getting people off the couch, out from under their television sets, and making them take more notice to their environments. Caution should always be taken when keeping such a close eye on your cell phone when out on the street. Respect the rules of the different places you visit on your journey. Keeping those things in mind:

Ready, Set, Pokémon Go!

Works Cited

Abad-Santos, Alex. “9 Questions about Pokémon Go You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask.” Vox. N.p., 14 July 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.

Bulbapedia. “Pokémon Trading Card Game.” Bulbapedia, the Community-driven Pokémon Encyclopedia. N.p., 7 July 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.

Guinness World Records. “First Trading Card Game Patent.” Guinness World Records. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.

Ledford, Jon. “10 Best Trading Card Games.” Arcade Sushi. N.p., 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 15 July 2016.

Lynch, Gerald. “Top 10 Most Addictive Mobile Phone Games – Minecraft, Doodle Jump and More! – Tech Digest.” Tech Digest. N.p., 08 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 July 2016.

Polygon. “A Chronological History of Pokémon Games.” Vox Media. N.p., 26 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.

Ultius. “Sample Case Study: Gaming and Gambling Online.” Ultius Blog. 15 April 2016. Web. 17 July 2016.

Wakka. “The 150 Original Pokemon.” The 150 Original Pokemon. CBS Interactive Inc. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.

Wei, Marlynn. “The Psychological Pros and Cons of Pokémon Go.” Psychology Today. N.p., 12 June 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.

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