The release of Pokémon Go has been a global phenomenon and one that doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. However, the impact Pokémon Go is having on society is said to be huge, with new parents now naming their children after popular Pokémon from the mobile game. Crazy parenting trends are known to come and go, but when you consider the Pokémon names parents are giving their children, this is particularly absurd.
According to BuzzFeed, recent research into baby name trends by Babycenter has found a sudden spike in Pokémon-related baby names since Pokémon Go was released earlier this month. Babycenter asks new and expecting parents what they have called or plan to call their newborn. However, Pokémon Go players will be more than aware that the names of the 151 Pokémon in Pokémon Go are less than fit to give to a newborn baby. That being said, the fact that this is happening goes a good way to demonstrate the dominance of Pokémon Go right now.
The pregnancy research website says that over half of its users are now playing Pokémon Go, which would suggest why many have been inspired to name their newborn children after characters from the game.
According to BBC Newsbeat, Eevee is becoming a particularly common name for young girls, rising 1,377 spots on the website’s top list of baby names in the last year alone. However, the considerably more obscure Onyx has also seen a spike on the girls’ list, rising an incredible 2,184 spots. The name Onyx has been on the list for a good while, however. It was virtually unheard of before the original Pokémon games were released in the 1990s, recently seeing a resurgence in baby namings since the release of Pokémon Go this month.
That being said, not all new parents are naming their children after Pokémon directly, with many instead deciding to make a subtle reference to their favourite pocket monster. The names Star and Ivy have seen something of a rise over the past few weeks, likely inspired by the Pokémon Starmie and Ivysaur.
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In reaction to the spike in Pokémon-related baby names, Babycenter editor in chief Linda Murray isn’t surprised by the news, saying “We see babies named after TV show characters, celebrities, and even Instagram filters. Millennials are particularly attracted to technology and ’90s nostalgia, which is one of the reasons we think Pokémon Go is already having an impact on baby naming trends among pregnant women.”
As aforementioned, pop culture is known to influence new parents when it comes to baby names. HBO’s fantasy drama TV show Game of Thrones caused a spike in Westerosi-named babies making their way into the real world last year. Younger parents, in particular, were found to be naming their children after some of the most iconic figures in the Game of Thrones universe, including Tyrion, Cersei and Sansa. It remains to be seen whether or not Pokémon Go will have a similarly lasting effect on baby naming in years to come.
It’s definitely hard to imagine a whole generation of children growing up with names taken directly out of the worlds of Pokémon and Game of Thrones. However, pop culture is now having a very real influence on parenting, with some of the most popular baby names of 2016 being taken directly from Pokémon Go.
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