I argue that Pokémon offers a demonstrative and constitutive moment of the financializaion of contemporary cultural life in ways that signal an intensification of finance, risk, debt and cognitive labour as global imperatives. I suggest that children’s play with Pokémon cards can help us revisit tenacious debates within Cultural Studies over structure and agency by focusing on the social production of value (in this case, the way children produce common forms of value for their card collections) and how this is connected to economic value in an age of speculative capital. In particular, I argue that Pokémon emblematizes emerging trends in the way the financialized economy develops and depends on commodified social practices that offer resources for the development of financialized subjectivities and engineered forms of agency.
I mean you see work like this and it makes you regret just what a liberal non-event BronyCons have become in the post-Libor lowball episteme. I mean are the organizers even identifying as postmarxists anymore? I don’t even think they are. I know right? Seriously, BronyCons have become a bigger letdown than Occupy the Society of Biblical Literature.