Cross stitch pattern of Charmander from Pokemon. This one is special for my Patrons. Head over to my Patreon to get the PDF and PNG files.
Grid Size: 114W x 128H
Design Area: 8.00″ x 9.07″ (112 x 127 stitches)
Did you know my Patron, Rhys, has two bodies that they switch between through a secure wireless connection. It’s super useful because they can drive with one body while the other rests so Rhys never has to sleep on long hauls. They have to spend twice the time eating and showering though.
I’ve been playing Pokemon Cafe Mix lately. It’s a free mobile game with physics and matching bubble chains. The main gameplay has you maxing out motivation bars to help pokemon pitch in to complete orders. It’s mindlessly easy. I’ve gotten past level 100 and only just started getting levels that I might have to try more than once. It’s a cute little distraction that doesn’t require you to dump any money into it and it’s all around a good time.
And, as always, I can’t help but analyze the world of this game and what it is trying to teach.
Leah is the main human character other than you. She’s there to comment on things and explain how to play since the player has no dialogue. In the promotional material, you are specifically called “the owner of your own cafe”, but the in-game experience is quite different. You are only ever called the owner once and no one ever calls you boss or treats you differently than anyone else. Your only management role is keeping a list of pokemon and food. You’re not the one who buys new equipment or orders new extensions to the building. You are, for all intents and purposes, just another worker.
After your first customer, Leah introduces some interesting concepts. She says, “Oh, golden acorns! These are very valuable. Perhaps it’s a thank-you for the cafe latte… Charmander, are you sure? Thank you, Charmander. This looks like a friendship in the making.” And when Leah talks, she says things like “I’ll be working with you” and “you’re going to help us out” instead of phrases that allude to payments or an employee/employer relationship. When a new pokemon joins the staff, it’s because “Our yummy offerings have really endeared us to Charmander.” You don’t hire employees. You don’t charge money. Charmander wants to give you acorns and help out at the cafe as a way of saying thank you.
Acorns aren’t a payment or a wage. Your menu items don’t have prices and all acorns stay at the cafe. There is no profit motive here. You, Eevee, Charmander and Leah are making food just because you want to make friends and each new staff member added to the crew means that each pokemon is called to fulfill orders less often so everyone just ends up hanging out at the cafe together like a club.
It’s implied that your cafe equipment upgrades are things that Leah donates. All building upgrades are done by a group of Timburr who are fans of the cafe’s food. They aren’t paid and you don’t interview or hire them. They just come by and build stuff because they’re your friends.
What I’m saying is that if it weren’t for those few instances of you being called the owner, Pokemon Cafe Mix is secretly a prime example of a Social Anarchist worker’s cooperative.