I'm inclined to say Pokémon because the impact of SimCity seems largely like an undercurrent; if the question were "which game is more revolutionary?," SimCity all the way, but outside of The Sims (which, in turn, had a larger impact on the industry than SimCity itself) and Farmville I can't say that anything SimCity has led to can really be considered "super-important." That's hard to say for me; I really loved RollerCoaster Tycoon as a kid, and both Animal Crossing and even Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood certainly take elements from The Sims and SimCity.
Pokémon and its surrounding elements were the first game series I can think of in memory with a significant social element. "Trading" and "battling" Pokémon is superbly different from four friends sitting around playing GoldenEye; people were either meeting for the first time in real life in the hopes the other player has that Scyther you've been hunting for, or they're gathering twenty people around three link cables just to get the chance to prove that their Clefable is way better than your Charizard. It provided something almost similar to the arcade experience, except it could be anywhere and convince anyone that you were having more fun than them. Without the social elements of Pokémon, we still would've never had Farmville; without "exclusive" Pokémon, game developers would've never learned that people like to get exclusive stuff (and will pre-order at GameStop for it!)
On top of that, Pokémon and its surrounding elements were the first video-game franchise that were aimed at children and still taught family values (not to mention reading skills.) Anyone in the Pokémon games is either respectful, can be won over through a side quest, or is painted as a "rival," and the TV show obviously painted a lot of parents' perspectives on the games (and games in general.) Obviously, there were those who were never won over because of the "fantasy" violence; those people, in fact, could probably only be won over by SimCity and its ilk, and then they'd still say that games are not for children. I was in elementary school when Pokémon released, and I remember a lot of kids whose parents (who normally did not support video games at all) picked up a Game Boy and a copy of Pokémon Blue.
Before Pokémon, games aimed at youths were just those games not deep enough for adults to play, and kids spent their time playing most of the same games as the adults (maybe not Ninja Gaiden, but Zelda and Mario.) Any RPGs at that point had dark storylines and some intense difficulty, and most other games really just didn't have much text. Thanks to Pokémon, we have the incredibly fleshed-out games for youths, such as Animal Crossing andViva Piñata. Also, there's Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 that owes at least a bit to Pokémon.
EDIT: I FIGURED OUT ANOTHER GAME! PERSONA 4!
Log in to comment