Here at the Soton Tab, we love societies. On our quest to catch them all we got in touch with Charlotte Howard, President of the newly founded PokéSoc, to find out more about the society and the Pokémon franchise.
For those who’ve never played or watched Pokémon, summarise it in one sentence.
It’s the second most successful game franchise in the world, played and watched by millions on every continent.
When did you first realise that you’d become a PokéFan?
I always watched the anime and collected the trading cards as a kid, but I first realised I’d become a genuine PokéFan when I got my first Pokémon game, the original Pokémon Sapphire for Game Boy Advanced , when I was 6/7. I then began to play some of the older games such as Yellow and Silver. People stereotype the games as being childish, but they involve a lot of strategy and when I play the games today, I sometimes wonder how I worked some of it out as a 6 year old child.
Why do you feel Pokémon needs its own dedicated society?
Pokémon is a big franchise. It has a huge fan base and can’t be properly covered by more general gaming societies. It’s similar to saying that football should be covered by a ‘Sports society’, it wouldn’t do it justice. We gathered a large number of members within the first 12 hours and we are already organising socials and other events. A society that is based on one thing, rather than a number of things, brings people with very similar interests together and people have already made new friends as a result of our currently unofficial society.
Do you need any experience with the franchise to join?
Not at all, it is open to anyone, whether they are just a general fan of the anime, a dedicated game player or if they’ve never heard of Pokémon before in their life. Anyone is more than welcome to join and try anything related to the franchise. At the moment, while the society is unaffiliated, you can be a part of it by joining the ‘Pokésoc Southampton’ group on Facebook.
What is your all-time favourite Pokémon, and why?
That’s a difficult question. It has to be Charizard. Firstly because it was always my favourite as a child because I was obsessed with dragons (even though it’s technically not a dragon type Pokémon) , and secondly because of how powerful it is when mega evolved in the latest games. When Charizard is ‘Mega Evolved into Mega Charizard Y it can even use Solarbeam in one turn and wipe out water type Pokémon.
What will a typical PokeSoc social be like?
I want socials to be formed around what everybody wants, so we’re always open to people’s suggestions. Ideas so far include nights out, game tournaments for both the video game and the card game, and a trip to Comic Con in October has also been mentioned. At the moment we’re in the process of organising a themed social after exams, possibly a ‘Safari Zone’ bar crawl. Our first social will be towards the end of May.
Charmander, Bulbasaur or Squirtle?
The question about my favourite Pokémon pretty much answers this, it has to be Charmander. However, just because my Generation One choice of starter is fire type, doesn’t mean I choose fire type starters for other generations.
If you would like to get involved with the Pokémon Society, you can join their Facebook group .