Where I Go: Becoming a Pokémon Champion

For the Last 15 Years, These Cute Digital Creatures Have Helped Remind Me That I Can Overcome Any Challenge That May Come My Way

Most kids are obsessed with things—fantasies, foods, films—that they eventually outgrow.

It’s only natural. Our taste ages as we do.

But for me, it’s been 15 years since my parents got me my very first video game, Pokémon Platinum. I’m 22 years old now, and I’m as obsessed as I’ve ever been with the elemental creatures that I first met on a Nintendo DS screen in second grade.

Since then, the franchise has provided me with a place to go to find stability when my life has felt most chaotic—whether that happened to …

How Mahjong Laid Tiles for Chinese America | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Mahjong Laid Tiles for Chinese America

The Popular Game Helped Forge a New Identity as it Crossed Classes, Genders, and Generations

The rumble of shuffling mahjong tiles filled the air in Chinatowns across the United States in the 1920s. Before even seeing the game, you could hear it being played in …

Before Wordle, There Was Cross-Word Mania | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Before Wordle, There Was Cross-Word Mania

In the 1920s, Puzzling Inspired a Broadway Musical, Built a Publishing House, and Counted the Queen of England as a Fan

In its short lifespan, Wordle has already made the tricky transition from cult phenomenon to established part of our daily lives.

Created by a software engineer in Brooklyn for his partner …

The Anti-Capitalist Woman Who Created Monopoly—Before Others Cashed In

The Beloved Board Game’s Long-Hidden Origin Story Debunks the Myth of Male Lone Genius

For decades, the story of Monopoly’s invention was a warm, inspiring, Horatio Alger narrative. A version of it, tucked into countless game boxes, told the tale of an unemployed …

Will Pokemon Go Put an End to Gamer Stereotypes?

The Wildly Popular Augmented Reality Game Brings Players Into Their Communities and Helps Them Connect

The sensation that is Pokemon Go has gotten millions of players off the couch and into their neighborhoods. The game’s artful use of augmented reality (AR) has demonstrated perhaps more …

The Game of Non Existence

Did you ever play at non-existence?

My brother and I taught ourselves to play the game
no one else would’ve shown two kids:

how to lean forward under the counter,
under our …