Coming of Age in the Financialized Pokéconomy

In recognition of the Pokémon franchise with the release of the augmented reality game Pokémon Go, I thought I’d share “Play: Coming of Age in the Speculative Pokéconomy,” a chapter from my 2014 book Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life. Here’s the abstract:

Traces of financialization—the intertwined economic, political social and cultural resonances of financial capitalism—can be found in children’s play. This demonstrates both the saturation of society with the ethos of speculative accumulation and the dependence of financialization on that saturation. Examining the case of children’s play with Pokémon cards (a globally popular collectable card game) Haiven argues that children use these artifacts to gain the skills, competencies and forms of subjectivity germane to a financialized society. He posits that Pokémon card play and trading allows children to develop skills in navigating a world of rapidly shifting, relational values, all within and as part of a broader paradigm of capitalist financialization.

To read a PDF of the chapter, click on the link below:

I’ll also shorty record and post an audio version of this chapter, along with the others in Cultures of Financialization on Soundcloud at