Pokémon is really messed up

Discussion in 'Off-topic Discussion' started by upendo, Jun 2, 2022.

  1. As a kid I played Pokémon Blue and Red. And I had fun. But even though I'm a big fan of all things Nintendo, I haven't been able to bring myself to play any of the new Pokémon games. And its not just because these games- from what I heard- are extremely cheaply made and unpolished for a AAA game series. It's because the WHOLE PREMISE behind Pokémon is COMPLETELY MESSED UP.

    Think about it. These games have you running around as a human with Pokémon trapped in pokeballs. These Pokémon don't see the light of the sun except very briefly when you let them out to engage in terrifying combat with other enslaved Pokémon. And why do you do this? To beat up other Pokémon so you can enslave them too and build a team of enslaved Pokémon to engage in bloodsport with other teams of enslaved Pokémon for your own personal glory. That's SO MESSED UP. That's ANIMAL CRUELTY. Dogfighting and cockfighting are illegal in most places on earth for a reason.

    And yeah I know Pokémon are fictional. They aren't really alive. But these are games MARKETED TOWARDS CHILDREN for gosh sake. And I don't think it's okay teaching kids that having animals fight other animals for their personal pleasure is okay.

    Nintendo puts a lot of effort into making sure you know that the Pokémon actually like having their lives disrupted, brought into captivity and forced to engage in bloody combat with other captive Pokémon. They have to do that to make the games palatable to players. But obviously though no animal would prefer a free life in the wild to a captive, violent life with a Pokémon trainer. It's so messed up to suggest that any animal would like what the Pokémon trainers routinely do to them.

    So yeah. That's why I haven't played a Pokémon game since I was a kid and didn't know any better. But what's your thoughts? Is Pokémon capturing and training justifiable? Am I just making a big thing out of nothing? Am I getting too worked up about something that is, after all, only a game?
     
  2. Mazda647

    Mazda647 Fapstronaut

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    I can see your view. Seems like games like Pokémon are a great opportunity for parents to teach their children about the differences between fantasy and reality and the moral dilemmas we may face in our lives.
     
  3. ShadyPerson

    ShadyPerson Fapstronaut

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    I do think so. To me it seems that most kids can tell the difference between making fictional superpowered animals fight and making actual real life animals fight. As such there aren't to my knowledge any cases of kids actually pitting real life animals against each other in an attempt to play pokemon in real life. Therefore even though the concept of pokemon is inarguably morally questionable, it doesn't seem to result in bad consequences in real life and is as such mostly harmless.
     
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  4. onceaking

    onceaking Fapstronaut

    I think you are. I used to play Pokémon Go and the thought of animal cruelty never crossed my mind.
     
  5. Well I've heard that if they have the technology to "catch" them, that the inside of the pokeball may be some kind of relaxation station since they seem to battle a lot. Or if you can imagine some other other world in there? I think it may be being blown out of proportion here. I haven't the faintest idea, watching the show Ash always seem to have a closer bond with his pokemon vs. others so there is that. But if you're talking about the games I have no real perspective.
     
  6. onceaking

    onceaking Fapstronaut

    I think there are worse games out there. I mean what about the games where you kill people like Grand Theft Auto?
     
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  7. I haven't heard of any cases either, but I'm not going to discount the possibility just because I haven't heard it. I can well imagine a kid with psychological issues and a tendency towards cruelty doing just that. I agree, most kids know Pokémon is not real, and that you shouldn't do what you do with Pokémon with real animals. That doesn't justify it all though. By creating this world for children to engage in you are implicitly endorsing the concept of animal fighting, even if most children don't end up following through with it and doing it themselves.

    Stockholm syndrome. An animal will naturally display affection even for a person that abuses them because it depends on them entirely. Such displays of affection don't justify the abuse. And like I said, Nintendo had to portray the Pokémon as liking it to make it palatable for people. But do dogs like being forced to fight each other? I think not.

    It's no surprise that no blood or guts is ever shown, like in a real fight.

    Sure. GTA is a game for adults though. It's not marketed towards kids. That's where the rub is. You have this insanely popular game series that allows kids to capture animals and make them fight each other. That's not cool in book.
     
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  8. ShadyPerson

    ShadyPerson Fapstronaut

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    It's an almost 30-year-old franchise. I think that if it's themes were irresponsible enough to provoke kids to animal cruelty, it would have done that already and there would have been news articles and maybe even lawsuits over it.
     
  9. Be the exception

    Be the exception Fapstronaut

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    I sincerely hope this is satire.
     
  10. But kids do play GTA though, I would think more than they would play Pokemon frankly. So in an unintended way you have made me more concerned for kids playing grand theft auto (where violence isn't the only thing portrayed). And stockholm syndrome???? I didn't know this concept applied to animals?
     
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  11. The difference is that Pokémon is intended to be a kid's game. While GTA is not. GTA clears says that the game is not intended for children. So if a kids gets exposed to problematic content in these games, that wasn't the developers intention because they clearly did not make the game for kids.

    The Pokémon series are all intended for kids though. And that's why it's troublesome that the whole series is based on animal fighting. Legitimizing animal fighting.
     
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  12. But they're not animals... they are some other kind of fictional creature called pokemon. Right?

    I'm not at all familiar with pokemon lore, but to me calling them animals would be like calling Bowser an animal. Or calling Bowser a human. He's neither... he's some kind of fictional creature.

    I see your point, but I think you're way overthinking things. I think this is an example of adults projecting their own complex thoughts about something onto kids who would never be making that connection. Reminds me of when my parents would decide I'm not allowed to watch a movie that I've already seen tons of times, and I didn't realize until I was older that the reason I wasn't allowed to watch it anymore is because there was tons of sexual innuendo that I wouldn't have understood at all as a small child, but as I got older it was no longer appropriate for me.
     
  13. +Masculinity

    +Masculinity Fapstronaut

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    I like the concept of hyperreality to explain situations like this. Essentially a hyperreality is created when images of something become as (or even more) real than reality. Pokemon are images of real animals that have taken on a life of their own to become a real thing. The issue comes when hyperreality bleeds back into reality and defines how people relate to reality (think porn influencing sex).

    So @mumchance, it seems like you're questioning whether or not the hyperreality of Pokemon has begun to bleed into reality. I think this could be possible. However, I think we already live in a society in which we believe animals are less than human beings. I'm not here to put any sort of vegan ideology on anyone, but you can't deny that we view animals as a resource. They are living beings and yet we think it's okay to mine them as we would any other inanimate resource and often times it is done in an incredibly cruel way. Most people don't even think this is a problem and even thinks arguing against the eating of meat is the real problem.

    Again, my point is not to demonize people who eat meat. It's just to call attention to the fact that we already live in a society that turns a blind eye to animal cruelty and categorizes it as normal, natural, and often times, moral. Pokemon is not a hyperreality that influences reality, it is a hyperreality that is emerges out of an already cruel reality.
     
  14. shamrock19

    shamrock19 Fapstronaut

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    I always assumed the pokeball was a bit like the cupboard in narnia … they’re just in there chilling in their own little world/dimension but I suppose that’s the beauty of fiction , it’s whatever you want it to be
     
  15. Shotgun response here, not anymore I'd say pokemon is gauged for all sorts of audiences now.
     
  16. Whew... time to get quite nerdy.

    There's a YouTuber I like a lot, a very popular one at that. His name is Markiplier, you may have heard of him. In this video: (warning, thumbnail might be a tad spooky to some)


    At 25:25, he begins telling a story where when he first played DOOM as a kid, if you look at the detail on the walls of that game, you see horrible things like distorted screaming faces or skulls and the like. But as a kid, it never clicked for him that he was looking at a horrible image or bodies on the walls or guts on the ceiling or what have you. With Pokemon, the comparison is relatively similar except what you say is horrible isn't something very obvious in the games/shows/movies to begin with, especially to a kid. When I was a kid and I played/watched Pokemon, I was fascinated with their designs and abilities, I did not notice and currently could not care less they were being "forced" into battle since not every depiction of Pokemon shows them as forced animal cruelty.

    In the shows and movies, Ash and his usual friends have a very close relationship with their Pokemon, more so than our own pets because of how intelligent they are and were often more than willing to participate in battle. Characters like Paul (Google him) who abuse their Pokemon are often shown as bad and someone to root against.

    Making this:

    Overdramatic. (and there's no blood in Pokemon either, it's a kid's franchise) Pokemon are not forced to stay in Pokeballs. That's kind of the point of Pikachu. He hates Pokeballs and refuses to stay in one. There are numerous scenes of Pokemon exiting Pokeballs all on their own (Team Rocket's Wobbafett, for example). Pokemon battles are used to demonstrate the bond trainers have with their Pokemon and that through hard work and nurturing, their Pokemon could become extremely powerful. (See Ash & Greninja). Because Pokemon can leave a Pokeball by themselves, when they stay in it, they're essentially choosing to stay with that trainer.

    While cock and dogfights can end with the death of either side, Pokemon battles never do. It's always depicted as just passing out. Pokemon Blue and Red, being from 1996, I'm going to guess they don't have much depth to them. And they hardly tell the entire story of Pokemon anyways, even if they do have depth.

    In short, the franchise actually promotes the healthy relationship between a person and their animal partner, the appreciation of nature and its diversity, as well as using strategy, creativity, and teamwork to overcome challenges. The interpretation of Pokemon being about animal cruelty is a knee-jerk reaction from someone who never got into the franchise past a game or two. So yes. :emoji_sweat_smile: Your assertions are wildly impractical and lack information and context. And worrying so much about what a kid's franchise is attempting to teach children, an extremely successful franchise when most people who grew up playing/watching Pokemon are still pretty normal anyways (like me, lol), may be a waste of energy. :p

    If most children don't end up following through with it based on viewing Pokemon, then that kills the entire point of your post. Improbability doesn't equal impossibility, sure, but like all rational human beings, we have to go with the most likely scenario. Which is the average person does not come to the conclusion of wishing harm for animals solely or even partially based on Pokemon.

    ??? Uh, if Nintendo portrays Pokemon as liking battle, they like to battle.
    Pokemon are not dogs. This is like saying Bojack Horseman is an actual horse.

    Pokemon do have an innate desire to battle and fight against each other, they enjoy it (think Klingons or Orcs or Uruks, but as a creature with superpowers) and some Pokemon species heavily vary in intelligence, but most are still more intelligent than the average animal. Slowpoke is, well... slow. But Dragonite is as intelligent as a person and so are numerous Psychic types. Alakazam supposedly has an IQ of 5,000. MewTwo was intelligent enough to be a villain in a movie. (you see the absurdity of this topic, yes?) Many of them can understand full sentences very easily. Team Rocket's Meowth learned how to talk like a person and evidently, he thinks like one. Ergo, they're not animals we know. They don't exist. They're an animal completely different to the ones we know and therefore are subject to different rules.

    The problem with this entire argument is arguments not based in reality are fine. (Superman vs Goku) They're pointless to me, but fine. But this argument of yours is attempting to use the rules of our reality on a reality that doesn't exist. Mice can shoot lightning out of their ass in this world. The rules are thrown out of the window from that point on.

    And the above sentence is summed up in the word "disbelief". Which you're not using here. This topic is about as rational as being concerned that Sonic the Hedgehog is teaching children that anthropomorphic talking animals exist. And by the way, most of the nuance of Pokemon getting "animals" to fight is something along the lines of "Pikachu, use Thunderbolt!". In real life, teaching a dog to fight is a very specific skill that no kid could do easily nor would the average kid even want to because dogs are cute and no kid would want to see them get hurt. If they did, that is a very problematic exception and not a rule. Or dogs are too scary and said kid wouldn't want to be near them.

    It's a little strange, you admit numerous times that your stance has no leg to stand on (Pokemon don't exist and most children and people don't end up being cruel to animals anyway based on Pokemon), but you continued to argue in favor of your stance anyways. If you admit these two things, which you have, you've chopped at the legs of your own point. Add onto the fact that you seemed open to being told you were making a big deal out of nothing in the last paragraph of your initial post, but have argued with everyone who has disagreed with you thus far, I am quite confused why you're still arguing at all.

    TLDR:
    • Pokemon are not trapped inside Pokeballs. They can exit whenever they want. Hell, some episodes of the anime suggest they're not even forced inside one. And when it resists capture, it's testing the trainer's strength and determination to capture it as well as said trainer's compassion to avoid making the Pokemon faint. There's also more evidence to suggest that being inside a Pokeball is enjoyable for the Pokemon. Pikachu is just an odd exception. Ergo, there is nothing to suggest that a Pokemon could not just leave its trainer whenever it wanted. In the show, they can and have. They don't in the games because that's awful game design. Imagine working to get that ideal Pokemon and it suddenly just up and leaves.
    • Pokemon enjoy combat and freely choose to partake. That's why they let themselves be caught. So they can be trained to become stronger. Most Pokemon want to become stronger, but they need a human to help them do that.
    • Pokemon are much more intelligent than animals of our world, many of them having human-level intellect or higher.
    • You cannot use the rules of our reality on one that doesn't exist. Pokemon are not like our animals, evidently by the points listed above and that they don't exist.
    • Pokemon promotes teamwork, forming bonds with both people and animals, and using strategy and creativity to solve problems or obstacles. It also promotes celebrating nature and its complexity and diversity.
    • Characters who are depicted treating Pokemon like tools or resources are shown in a negative light.
    • Pokemon get stronger when properly trained, nurtured, and have a strong bond with their trainer.
    • Combat in Pokemon is never bloody and none of them die. Defeat is caused by passing out.
    • Remember, they are actually called "pocket monsters". It's not a stretch to think that a monster would like fighting. And by that name, they're certainly not animals.

    Phew, that was a lot, but meh. It was fun to write out. Plus, I got to remember some old memories, so there's that. XD
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2022
  17. Dizzy Lotus

    Dizzy Lotus Fapstronaut

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    Interesting topic, thanks for sharing your thoughts. [​IMG]
    I don't think this is an issue, personally, although the Pokémon Legends: Arceus trailer made me feel sad for the Pokémon. Other people have made good points about why it is not an issue.

    What I'm personally more concerned with is that Pokémon games have got way too expensive. [​IMG] I recently found out that they are a lot cheaper in Japan, but if I were to import those (or ask an acquaintance to buy them there, if and when Japan exits the COVID-19 epidemic) I would like to be able to fluently read hiragana first. [​IMG]
     
  18. Lol that line made me smile :emoji_laughing:
     
  19. onceaking

    onceaking Fapstronaut

    You're right you got super nerdy. Lol!

    It was a bit creepy. For some reason, it reminded me of a time I was on YouTube and I started watching this video of this
    girl stripping, just when she gets down to her underwear she goes off-camera for a few seconds and when she returns to camera she's transformed into something like the demon possed girl in The Exorcist.
    It scared the shit out of me because I hate horror movies. I stopped watching porn for a few days cause I was scared I would come across the video again. Lol!
     
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  20. WalkingForward

    WalkingForward Fapstronaut

    I remember that one of the Pokémon movies, the one with Meow and Meowtoo, dealt with this topic. All the Pokémon went to an island to fight. The conclusion was that the fighting shouldn't be too intense, just for fun, then they had some spell to forget about everything that had happened.

    Also, isn't Misty portrayed in a disturbing way? She's supposed to be like 10...

    I was into Pokémon when I was a kid in the early 2000s, not sure it was very good for me...
     

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