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Thread: The "genwunner" situation

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    Default The "genwunner" situation

    So ever since coming back into the Pokémon fandom in the last few months (mostly in regards to getting back into the main series games, as well as due to playing Pokémon Go), I've been reading about this phenomenon called "genwunners". Now, to be honest, I'm not too surprised by this - every fandom seems to have these purist-type figures - but so far, it doesn't seem like it's become a major problem for the Pokémon fanbase.

    That said, it's been a couple of years that I've been away from the Pokémon scene, about 11+ years (before playing X and OR, the last Pokémon game I owed was the original Pokémon Ruby on GBA, though I did own Gen 1 and 2 games; I also stopped watching the anime), but this was more due to starting college, getting involved in other things, and just a general sense of growing out of the Pokémon franchise as a whole than anything else (and before anyone says anything, no, I don't consider myself a genwunner - more on that below). So being away from the scene for quite a while, I've missed things here and there and with one of them being this "genwunners" situation, I was wondering if someone whose been continuously following Pokémon for years since can fill me in regards to any possible effects that genwunners have had over the years. Has it become a significant problem? How significant has the fanbase been negatively affected by it?

    I'm curious as to how adverse the effects (if any) have genwunners have had on the franchise in the past 11+ years that I've been away (besides dropping off from the franchise and whatnot, which can easily be replaced by younger fans). On the one hand, it's not like new Pokémon weren't getting introduced every couple of years in the last 20 years, not to mention, technological and mechanical upgrades (a sign that there's constant change in lineup and stories, even if some elements sometimes feel a little repetitive, ex: win 8 badges from gyms, battle an Elite 4 + champ, evil organization); on the other hand, for Gen 6, only 72 Pokémon were introduced (which was a criticism of Gen 6 in and of itself), and a lot of focus in the Gen 6 games was on Mega Evolutions with a lot of them going towards Gen 1 Pokémon, not to mention the inclusion of a lot of Gen 1 Pokémon in X/Yand OR/AS and also how Pokémon Sun and Moon introduces Alola forms for Gen 1 Pokémon mostly, features that basically invoke nostalgia (also, Pokémon Go only has Gen 1 Pokémon that can be captured, but IMO I think that's more due to the game just starting out and the app creators probably didn't want to overwhelm consumers as they continue to work out kinks and add/improve more features than anything else). Overall, even though I've been away from the franchise for many years, I kind of feel that there hasn't been such significant impact from this genwunners phenomenon - I suspect that they're essentially a minority (despite some being loud and vocal) - but I'm curious on what fans' thoughts are on this.

    Please note that I'm using the word "genwunner" not a a descriptor of someone who has Gen 1 simply as their favorite but more so describing those that have the attitude and mindset that Gen 1 (many 2, possibly 3 as well) is the best and everything else after that is crap, from the new Pokémon each generation brings to the storylines of the games and anime, characters, etc. I want to be clear that this "genwunner" label isn't something that I'm just giving to people who simply like Gen 1 above the others (a lot of people were introduced to Pokémon with Gen 1 so it's natural to have the Gen that was established when they came into the fandom be their favorite, this goes for any other Gen as well, particularly for the younger folks); it's for those who essentially feel that Gen 1 is perfect and flawless and everything else after it is terrible and not "real Pokémon" and carry this mindset with them, constantly voicing their opinions about this and trying to make others feel bad if they like other Gens as well (particularly making kids feel bad by telling them "I feel sorry for you for not growing up with 'real Pokemon' and instead growing up with low-quality, watered-down crap that happens to be called Pokémon" or something to this effect). I actually wrote about this in my intro post:

    "From looking at YouTube videos online and from reading in various parts on the Internet, it has come to my attention that there's this phenomenon called "Genwunners". Now, I know what that means now and quite frankly, from my impression of things, it seems that many of these people, particularly the ones that continuously boast about how Gen 1 is the best and all other generations suck and are bad (definitely not true by the way), they seem both delusional and hypocritical to me. No generation is perfect, every generation has both its positives and negatives and this condescending attitude that one is much better than the rest is preposterous to me. This doesn't mean that one can't have a favorite generation, but we shouldn't let nostalgia blind and misguide us; there are many new kids that come to play these games (after all, Pokemon caters to them the most - that's Pokemon's target market - regardless of how some older fans feel when some generations and games don't "grow with them/appeal to them"). I may have first come into the Pokemon fanbase when Gen 1 started coming out, but that doesn't mean I'm going to condescendingly boast about how much better it was "back in the day" much less tell today's youth about how "their Pokemon" sucks compared to what it was when my age group came into the fandom because 1) that's not right and 2) every person that comes into the fandom (whether kid or adult) comes into it at different points. This doesn't mean that we have to look down on them, especially if their favorite Pokemon/generation are different than mine or others. It's unfortunate that almost every long-running entertainment fandom tends to have these purist-type of individuals; personally, I fell that it's best not to devolve into one. After all, a franchise like Pokemon is going to keep going regardless how one feels about the direction the franchise goes (in regards to the ever-increasing addition of generations and Pokemon characters)."

    By the way, who and how (and when) was this "genwunner" phrase coined in the 1st place?
    Last edited by SWMegaFan; 20th September 2016 at 4:58 AM.

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    Genwunners are ultimately people, many of which are no longer fans of the franchise, who claim the first generation to be superior, discrediting all following installments.

    However, this position derives more from nostalgia than anything, and in terms of development, Gen 1 is could easily be considered the worst of all generations.

    In spite of this, GAME FREAK in recent years has attempted to recollect old or 'former' fans by incorporating Gen 1 into subsequent projects, such as including the Kanto starters in X & Y, or giving Alolan forms to Gen 1 pokemon in Sun and Moon.

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    It's like you said really, every fanbase has them in some form or another. We just have to put up it.

    Personally I think it's due to how long the Pokčmon franchise has lasted and how diverse it has become. Take the main games as an example. New Pokčmon, moves, items, abilities, types combinations, mechanics, etc are introduced with each new generation which has a huge effect on the competitive scene. New teams, movesets and roles are formed and older ones can become viable again. Pokčmon that are considered some of the best around can suddenly become useless and vice versa. It's makes it rather complex and it can be hard to keep up.

    I think that's why there's 'Genwunners', they find it too hard and struggle to keep up with the change.

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    For the most part I don't care. They're entitled to their opinion, I'm entitled to mine.

    I don't really get what they want to accomplish though. Do they want Nintendo to purge everything from the 2nd Generation and beyond from existence? They don't seem to have a realistic goal in mind, and complaining about something which has no feasible solution is useless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceOfFacade View Post
    In spite of this, GAME FREAK in recent years has attempted to recollect old or 'former' fans by incorporating Gen 1 into subsequent projects, such as including the Kanto starters in X & Y, or giving Alolan forms to Gen 1 pokemon in Sun and Moon.
    I don't consider myself a 'genwunner', but I do miss the Gen 1 days cuz that's when the franchise felt more exciting and vibrant to me. That being said, I think Gamefreak has focused too much on Gen 1 nostalgia ever since XY came out and I'm ready for them to ditch that and just keep moving forward. :3


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    I think its just Nintendo being obsessed with nostalgia for the 20th anniversary, which is why Kanto Pokemon are getting the Alolan Forms
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    The Genwunners are not real fans.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWMegaFan View Post
    Has it become a significant problem? How significant has the fanbase been negatively affected by it?
    1. No.
    2. No.

    If I still like/enjoy it, I'll still buy it.
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    Genwunners haven't been vocal since Black and White, and didn't try to make a comeback until GO came. The only game the vast majority of them ever played since the originals.

    And now that it's mostly died off as a fad, they've all gone away again.

    I don't see them as a huge issue anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Oreo View Post
    I don't consider myself a 'genwunner', but I do miss the Gen 1 days cuz that's when the franchise felt more exciting and vibrant to me. That being said, I think Gamefreak has focused too much on Gen 1 nostalgia ever since XY came out and I'm ready for them to ditch that and just keep moving forward. :3
    I don't think that they have really focused on Gen 1 that much. I think the reason that Gens 1 - 3 have gotten so many Megas is do to the fact that these Generations have gotten their remakes already. I think they are saving megas for Gens IV - VI until these games get their remakes. It makes sense from a marketing standpoint. It will give the fans a reason to buy the new games when they come out. As far as Alolan forms go we have no clue whether or not Gen 1 is the only gen getting any. For all we know all the Gens could be represented and they are just showing the ones for Gen 1 and keeping the rest for a surprise.

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    I would like to make a distinction with the term "genwunner".

    I have a friend IRL where he only likes the first generation. I even tease him with Mega Mewtwo Y and Alolan formes. What makes him different from the typical picture of genwunners is that he is not argumentative (like, at all).

    In short, I don't really care what people's opinions are. It is the arrogance and disrespect from certain areas of the fanbase that bother me more than others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Oreo View Post
    I don't consider myself a 'genwunner', but I do miss the Gen 1 days cuz that's when the franchise felt more exciting and vibrant to me. That being said, I think Gamefreak has focused too much on Gen 1 nostalgia ever since XY came out and I'm ready for them to ditch that and just keep moving forward. :3
    imagine if we still had only gen 1? it definitely wouldn't be exciting or vibrant :P

    pokemon would not be anywhere near as popular if they kept it at one gen

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    The genwunners are the reason I hate the "don't like, don't watch/play" argument. Their whole basis for any argument sits solely on stock phrases like "They look like Digimon" or "They're running out of ideas." Newsflash, if you say they're running out of ideas and they manage to last 20 years, your argument loses any water it holds.

    There is a huge difference between liking the first gen and being a genwunner. A fan of the first gen sees the flaws and enjoys the games anyways. A genwunner refuses to see the flaws and worships the games.
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    My BF only really cares for the first two gens which is his preference, but he does not poke fun at me for continuing to purchase/play them. Everybody is entilted to their opinions though I don't think anybody can say a person who only likes old generations not a 'real fan' is rather harsh. We are both 90s kids and that statement bothers me quite a bit. We both know the old gens have their flaws, and some designs old/new are uninspired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by U.N. Owen View Post
    The genwunners are the reason I hate the "don't like, don't watch/play" argument. Their whole basis for any argument sits solely on stock phrases like "They look like Digimon" or "They're running out of ideas." Newsflash, if you say they're running out of ideas and they manage to last 20 years, your argument loses any water it holds.

    There is a huge difference between liking the first gen and being a genwunner. A fan of the first gen sees the flaws and enjoys the games anyways. A genwunner refuses to see the flaws and worships the games.
    What...? The "don't like, don't watch/play" argument rests on the idea that if you don't enjoy something because it doesn't happen to fit your personal tastes, you simply shouldn't engage in that activity. I don't necessarily agree with it but if you're going to criticize it, maybe you should criticize the actual argument instead of making up some BS about their entire argument resting on Pokemon looking like Digimon.

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    From what I understand, the term of "Genwunner" comes from the Transformers fandom, where they have a similar issue and those people are considered to be "Geewunners" (as in G1, they go by "G", we go by "Gen").
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    Quote Originally Posted by scififan21 View Post
    My BF only really cares for the first two gens which is his preference, but he does not poke fun at me for continuing to purchase/play them. Everybody is entilted to their opinions though I don't think anybody can say a person who only likes old generations not a 'real fan' is rather harsh. We are both 90s kids and that statement bothers me quite a bit. We both know the old gens have their flaws, and some designs old/new are uninspired.
    This is actually the crux of my argument. I really don't care which people like which generation (although I would like some relevant traders). If people only like Generation 1 and nothing else, yet they are respectful and not belligerent to my own opinion, then I don't care.

    It's when people just want to raise an argument that they assure that they are right is when they bother me.

    Also, take these statements below:
    1. I only like the first Generation of Pokemon.
    2. The first generation of Pokemon are the only good ones.
    3. Gamefreak ran out of ideas.
    4. People should realize that new Pokemon suck.

    The first statement is a simple expression of one's opinion.
    The second statement comes across as asinine, though it isn't necessarily a rude statement.
    The third statement is a projected argument with no foundation. It plays like a broken record.
    The fourth statement is actively trying to put other people's opinion down.

    So in descending order, the statements get more intolerable. People can have whatever opinions, but they shouldn't use them to put down other opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auraninja View Post
    3. Gamefreak ran out of ideas.
    Is your signature supposed to be ironic, then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    Is your signature supposed to be ironic, then?
    The joke was in regards of Type: Null being called out for having a "bad name".
    Similarly, Red XIII was not a descriptive name, and like Type: Null, he has been used for science (though Red XIII isn't a chimera I don't think).

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlorgesPower2 View Post
    Genwunners haven't been vocal since Black and White, and didn't try to make a comeback until GO came. The only game the vast majority of them ever played since the originals.

    And now that it's mostly died off as a fad, they've all gone away again.

    I don't see them as a huge issue anymore.
    I'm curious as to what happened in regards to genwunners during Black/White's release. I wasn't playing Pokémon games during that time but from what I've read, although they game itself was great, all the Pokémon from the past generations before Gen V were not catchable in this game (they were non-native in Unova) until receiving the National Pokedex (and beating the Elite 4), though Pokémon from past games were transferable to Black/White. Some fans didn't like that though so for Black 2/ White 2, Gamefreak remedied that by including from past Gens from the get-go. Of course, someone correct me if I'm wrong on all of this.

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    I think the biggest place Genwunners impact is in merch. Look at what counts as a big Pokémon toy selection outside Japan and it's all generation 1. If there's anything later it's either Greninja or Eeveelutions. If you like anything between 2 and 5 then you're screwed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scififan21 View Post
    We both know the old gens have their flaws, and some designs old/new are uninspired.
    Even as a Gen 1 fan myself, I'll be honest and say that Gen 1 had some of my least favourite pokemon designs of all time ha ha. I'd estimate that I only really like around 15%-20% of Gen 1's pokemon and my nostalgia for that era of the franchise is more due to memories of playing the games with my friends than of the pokemon themselves.


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    I think a chunk of genwunners are those who got into Pokémon during it's initial craze just because everyone was getting into it and lost interest. And because the craze was so huge, most if not all Gen 1 Pokémon are iconic. If several Gen 1 Pokémon came out in a later Gen they would be way more hated. I think Mewtwo would be way more hated if it came out in a different Gen because it has a complex design as well as the inanimate objects like Voltorb. I think most genwunners aren't fans of Pokémon, they are just fans of nostalgia.

    With Black & White it was a complete reboot without any nostalgia which alienated some fans but I thought it was a bold move for them to do that to make the series feel fresh. And while many of the Pokémon designs are considered to be "Kanto homages" or "ugly/weird" I think they are still worth being in the series. Just because the Unova Pokémon look too different from other Pokémon doesn't make them bad, it means they are exotic. A Pokémon can look like anything and every Gen has it's own unique flavor to it. I think all Pokémon are interesting in their own ways. I think the amount of Kanto references in X and Y was partially due to the criticism Gen 5 got.

    Let me honestly say I have a really hard time enjoying Gen 1 games anymore partially due to genwunners. (And also because they are really dated) I feel like they suck the fun out of Gen 1. And because of that I'm not as fond about Gen 1 as other people are. I don't think Gen 1 was the best of the series but it was a good beginning. IMO Gen 1 feels like a prototype or tech demo for the series and every other Gen improves upon it.

    So if you see genwunners around their opinions don't matter to you. The ones that matter the most are the ones who enjoy the franchise as a whole and not just 1 Generation. There is actually not a single Pokémon I hate, I think they are all interesting. It's possible there will be less genwunners as time goes on since there are already people nostalgic over Gen 3 and 4 so the other Gens will get nostalgia too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJLeeTeam View Post
    With Black & White it was a complete reboot without any nostalgia which alienated some fans but I thought it was a bold move for them to do that to make the series feel fresh. And while many of the Pokémon designs are considered to be "Kanto homages" or "ugly/weird" I think they are still worth being in the series. Just because the Unova Pokémon look too different from other Pokémon doesn't make them bad, it means they are exotic. A Pokémon can look like anything and every Gen has it's own unique flavor to it. I think all Pokémon are interesting in their own ways. I think the amount of Kanto references in X and Y was partially due to the criticism Gen 5 got.
    I agree. Different doesn't necessarily mean bad. Black/White actually sold pretty well (according to some figures I've read) - and when it comes to the games as a whole (and at least from a gameplay perspective), they were also pretty highly rated. And for Black 2/White 2, they did try to help in alleviate those who didn't like that the Gen V games didn't have Pokémon from previous generations (at least before beating the game). By the way, I stumbled upon this video on YT that talks about why Black/White felt a bit different from the previous Gens' games: https://youtu.be/JFFn13l3efQ . I think some of these criticisms Gen 5 got are probably also age-depended, meaning that they criticisms mostly came from the older Pokémon fans as opposed to the newer ones that may have come into the fanbase in later Gens post-Gen 1 (or perhaps even came into the fanbase right when the Gen 5 games came out).

    In regards to Gen 6 having Kanto references, based on things I've read, those games also had received their fair share of criticism as well. In trying to invoke nostalgia, there were only 72 new Pokémon for that Gen (69 that are actually available in-game); that received its fair share of complaints. Combined that with the fact that a lot Pokémon from Gen 1 got mega evolutions as opposed to those of later generations, well, that's how we get complains from some who say that Gen 6 tried to do too much fan service.

    I don't think a complex-designed Pokémon necessarily means it's bad. I think someone like Mewtwo introduced in a later generation would still be popular. Likewise for Pokémon like Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem (and some of the other legendaries and mythical Pokémon in Gen 5); they're complex but still look cool IMO (and I believe some are popular as well); heck, there was this poll done on a Japanese Pokémon site a while back and some of these Pokémon (along with some others in Gen 5) were ranked pretty high on the list of favorite/popular Pokémon (that said, this was in Japan so I'm not sure about the rest of the world): http://www.pokemon-movie.jp/election/index.php
    Last edited by SWMegaFan; 24th September 2016 at 12:27 PM.

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    Whoooo boy, genwunners.

    I definitely agree with a lot of the points that have been put forward so far. While the resurgence of genwunners was caused by Pokemon GO, I think it's beginning to die down. It might come back if Niantic releases updates that introduce the other generations, but I can't say for sure until/if they actually add more Pokemon in.
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    Funny thing is I think a lot of the genwunners that came about because of Pokemon GO didn't even realise they were being genwunners. As in they had been out of touch with the fandom for so long they were totally unaware that they were falling into an established group complete with its own nickname.

    I found it quite interesting seeing all these people in there mid 20's to early 30's so perfectly conforming to stereotype that they didn't even know existed.

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