Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts

Degree Name

Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

First Advisor

Melissa Bianchi

Second Advisor

Juliette Kitchens


Interactivity, Ethical Behaviors, Transmedia, Video Games, Pokémon, Esports, Play, Uses and Gratifications Theory, Brand Value, Nintendo


Nintendo’s Pokémon is a family-friendly transmedia franchise that recently added esports to its diverse forms of entertainment. This thesis analyzes how the esports practices of Pokémon maintain an inclusive community along with the cultural values and ideology of its company. Elihu Katz et al.’s framing of uses and gratifications theory is used to analyze Pokémon esports practices and its transmediation because it emphasizes the importance of fulfillment and belonging for media consumers based on their needs. By examining Pokémon esports competitions through uses and gratifications theory, I argue Pokémon increases interactivity, promotes ethical behaviors, and expands its brand value across media to address its community’s specific needs. My research furthers the work of media studies scholars Yu-Ling Lin et al., Tanner Higgin, Henry Jenkins, and others. By examining how Pokémon’s gaming franchise is inclusive and accessible to players, the thesis broadens existing scholarship on the social, ethical, and entertainment aspects of esports.