Gotta Compute ‘Em All!—Wolfram|Alpha’s New Data about Pokémon
Psst! Wolfram|Alpha has updated its Pokémon data to include Generation VI. Check it out here.
It’s not all abstract algebra and organic chemistry here at Wolfram HQ. From time to time, we like to take a piece of pop culture and put our own spin on the subject. We’ve seen from our server logs that our Pokémon plane curves are pretty popular. Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, the latest installments in the long-running video game series, will be released on October 12. Given those two facts, we thought it was a good time to add data about Pokémon to Wolfram|Alpha. In many ways, Pokémon are an ideal subject for a computable knowledge engine. They have a set of well-defined characteristics with lots of numbers to which we can apply our analytic capabilities. Heck, Pokémon come complete with their own unique identifiers from the game’s internal database, the Pokémon Index, or Pokédex.
Satoshi Tajiri came up with the initial idea for Pokémon in 1990. As a young man growing up on the outskirts of Tokyo, he loved hunting for insects as well as the burgeoning culture of anime, manga, and video games. He put these passions together to create an imaginary world of wild creatures with a wide array of powers that could be collected and trained by humans to compete in duels. With his colleague Ken Sugimori, who drew the visual art for the original 151 Pocket Monsters, Tajiri created the first two video games, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue. They were a big hit, starting a worldwide franchise that extended into comic books, collectible card games, television, and movies. In addition to adding information about the various Pokémon species, we’ve also added data about the video games, the shows, and some of the Pokémon and human characters that have appeared in them.
Pokémon have six statistics that form the basis for how they perform in battle: hit points, attack, defense, special attack, special defense, and speed. As with other numerical values in Wolfram|Alpha, you can refer to them by name in equations or query them with conditions or with ordinals.
In addition to their basic stats, Pokémon have abilities and properties that affect how well they match up against their opponents. We’ve grouped the Pokémon according to their abilities, their type, their generation, and their color. These collections are linked in the main display, so you can simply click them to see other Pokémon that share that characteristic. You can also ask about properties in conjunction with these groups. Let’s say your collection is weak in flyers and that you also need to train up a Pokémon with a strong special attack. Wolfram|Alpha can help you assess your options.
One of the key drivers of the game’s action is the evolution of Pokémon. When a Pokémon has accumulated enough experience and, in some cases, has a specific item or is in a specific location, it will transform into a more powerful Pokémon. We link these predecessor and successor forms in the physical characteristics pod along with other information like the Pokémon’s height and weight and the gender distribution in its population.
We will add the new Pokémon from X & Y soon. There’s a great deal more that we can do with Pokémon, so let us know what you would be interested in.