With each new piece of news for the upcoming Pokémon X and Y I can’t help but find myself getting excited. One of the major changes that have been announced is the addition of “Mega Evolutions” which I’ve not-so-cleverly named Megavolutions. I have nothing negative to say about it and seeing Ampharos with glorious flowing locks has me very excited. He was and still is one of my favorite Pokémon of all time and he deserved this.
The thing I wanted to talk about was a common (I say common but I’ve only seen it six times or so) complaint about this being a “rip off” of something from Digimon. I found this complaint interesting for a reason that I’ve explained before about the problem with copyright and intellectual property rights.
There is an assertion being made that this idea had to have been stolen to be added to Pokemon. The problem with this is that it means the idea could not spawn from natural thought else one could reasonably and should reasonably assume that someone just thought this up. It’s not a really complex idea and frankly it was in a thousand different things before (just a quick popular example is Super Saiyan’s from Dragonball Z). We then ask the question of who Digimon stole it from? They must have if Pokemon stole it from them.
Naturally it may seem like I’m taking this too far and if someone wrote the entirety of Lord of the Rings again it is unlikely that they did so without influence from the original content. But what is being debated is not a complex collection of names, locations, ideas, and arcs. This is a single simple mechanical concept. Every single person is using the same biology with the same sensory organs on the same planet. Everyone currently inventing things is doing so with roughly the exact same technology.
It is only reasonable that multiple people would come to the same conclusion about something as simple as this. As I’ve mentioned before the telescope was invented in two different places at nearly the same time by people who would have never spoken or even known about one another.
Did Pokemon take this from Digimon? I don’t know and frankly I don’t even care. I’m writing this not because of the invested parties but because of the notion. When people say “X stole Y’s Idea” I’m left a bit disheartened with the linearity of their minds. To boil the entire world down to something so simple is unfair to both others and the self.
More than once I’ve actually stopped a project because I found out something wildly popular had the same themes. I don’t do this any longer (because I can’t be bothered to care) but I know first hand how easy it is for multiple persons to reach the same place.
So the next time you wish to knee jerk about something being a blatant copy of something else take a moment and think about the similarities. Are they fundamental and throughout or is it something as simple as a switch? Does anyone really believe that skipping a rock was thought up by a single person and spread from there? Does anyone really think the idea of writing on paper popped up in a single place? Our ideas are the result of present or theoretical problems we wish to fulfill. To think that billions of people in constant rotation would not overlap in their real or theoretical concerns is something bordering on moronic.
Perhaps even insane.