Pokémon has been around for twenty years now, in several different formats, so you’d think Nintendo would have ironed out any major issues within the fictional universe but sadly, this has not been the case. The current problems with Pokémon Go‘s tracking feature is just the tip of a very large iceberg, and, when we chip away, we can unearth a slew of issues that really should have been resolved by now.
A recent video by Grade A Under A aptly highlights many of these issues in a compelling exposé that raises many, many questions about the ethics of the Pokémon world (watch it, above, it’s well worth it). Case in point; Ash’s mom’s lax approach to caring for her offspring. He’s eleven years old, trekking about through various districts, making friends with random strangers and catching wild creatures. And his mom is okay with this? Maybe Ash is where Dora the Explorer gets her inspiration from.
Then, of course, there’s the whole issue surrounding the capture of wild Pokémon in the first place. Is it really entirely ethical? Has anyone considered the animal’s feelings when they’re captured in Pokéballs where they basically stay for all eternity, unless they’re evolved and trained for barbaric sport? As the (completely insane) narrator points out, all anyone wants to do in Pokémon land, is fight Pokémon. It is, after all, the main purpose of the game, after fulfilling the catchphrase “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”
Such a violent society can only result in building a community rife with social issues, such as the other character’s difficulties in making small talk. All they really want to do is fight, so some random, ill-thought out line, such as “I like shorts, they’re comfy and easy to wear,” followed by challenging your character to a Pokémon battle is entirely normal, to them. It’s just that it’s not normal to anyone else.
At least Professor Oak is around to keep things sane…only, can he really be trusted? He’s Gary’s granddad, let us not forget and yet, as Grade A points out, he can’t even remember his own grandson’s name! What kind of world is this? Some weird dystopian alternative universe where children wander the streets, animals are kept in cages and trained for sport, and no one seems to place any emphasis on family values, that’s what it is.
Should such a game even be allowed to be marketed? And what of Pokémon Go? Well, Grade A doesn’t touch on that in this video, but he does promise a second video to come, with a more in depth analysis of the problems with Pokémon, so we can only hope Pokémon Go will be one of the subjects of discussion. Why can you catch a wide variety of Pokémon in the cities, but if you happen to live in the suburbs or worse, the countryside, you’re lucky if you see a Rattata or a Pidgey passing through once every few days? And why do we have to walk so damn far to a Pokéstop and then feel bitter when we read smug people’s tweets about how there’s a Pokéstop right outside their office window? Want to know why we’re only level 9? Because we seemingly live in Narnia, that’s why.
Source: Grade A Under A