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I just read about a new release by Wizards of the Coast: Pokemon Jr. Adventure Game. Read about it here:

Then, read this review of the actual game itself at

Now, what does the development of the role-playing game for kids and parents mean? It means an increased market of well-primed kids, ready for more adventures later. And who's going to sell the adventures to them? Wizards of the Coast, of course.

This is WotC's initiative (and they have a LOT of initiative; if they were by themselves, they'd easily be a Rule Breaker). They're trying to introduce kids and parents at an early age to the concepts behind the products they sell. Get the kids hooked, then show them the good stuff (Magic: the Gathering for Pokemon, Dungeons & Dragons for Pokemon Jr.).

Now, Guy's comment is important. Will parents actually sit with their kids to play? That's the big risk in this strategy. Come to think of it, parental apathy is part of the driving force of Pokemon. Parents "don't get it," but sometimes I think it's because they're not willing to try to "get it." Of course, some ambitious kid will realize that the parent isn't really necessary. Then again, that sort of kid will probably be drawn to RPGs anyway.

Still, I think Pokemon Jr. is a logical step to take in WotC's and Hasbro's strategy. By making their games and toys more accepted by the mainstream, it's just a small step to the industry in which WotC and Hasbro dominate.
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