Ignoring all the times the server crashes, my screen freezes, or I run out of battery, I adore Pokemon Go!
It’s fun, interactive, inclusive, healthy (Be honest, you’re probably walking a lot more!) and free! Yes, okay they have a store, but I don’t think you can buy anything that you can’t also get for free in the game.
That’s a lot for a game to achieve, but especially so when you consider what the game actually is!
Pokemon! *Squeee* I can’t quite believe it. I wish I could tell my 10-year-old Closet-Pokemon fan self that one day everyone would be playing Pokemon, so don’t worry, all this PokeKnowledge will come in useful!
I loved the show as a kid, and played on the Gameboy game whenever I could. I’m not sure when I started, but I was collecting as many Pokemon cards as I could. I loved going to car boot sales really early in the morning with my mum and they’d always have big packs for sale.
The show was what it was all about though.
It’s the show that actually prompted me to write this blog. I’ve read a few times recently online, a friend’s status, a random tweet, people contemplating the morality of the game. Wondering whether or not they were okay with capturing creatures and commanding them to battle with other creatures.
And, actually, if Pokemon Go is your only experience of Pokemon, then I can’t blame you for thinking that.
The game wasn’t built for you though, it was built for the people who already liked Pokemon and therefore would likely have seen the show. The show is the context that makes it humane.
So if by chance you are one of those people, then let me give you just a brief over view:
Pokemon inhabit the world. Every single part. There are fossil Pokemon and Pokemon from outer space, plus everything in between. Pokemon each have abilities, some of which may be unique to them, or their group. Some of these live wild, in colonies, in habitats most suited to their needs, others join trainers to enter contests and better themselves. Some live in beautiful Pokemon centres, usually operated by a Professor, who studies the Pokemon in their ‘natural’ environments, and protects them from poachers.
Over the years people and Pokemon have worked together to establish boundaries, and worked together to deal with adverse situations. There are also ancient legends of legendary Pokemon, so whole villages worship a particular one. But then, there are also evil ‘corporations’ which extort Pokemon, mass breeding, inhumane battles, inhuman experiments, awful, awful things. But equally there are groups working to stop them.
Most people live with their Pokemon, doing professions suited to their Pokemon. They work together.
Also, there is a different emphasise on ownership in the show. The ‘good’ guys always strive to do what is best by that Pokemon, even if it means letting them go to join a heard or even another gym or trainer.
That is also because it is understand that if a Pokemon engages you in a fight then it is willing to be caught as it wishes to train with you to become a better skilled Pokemon. It’s like joining a personal fitness group.
The ‘fight’ is like the wild Pokemon testing you, to see whether you are worthy enough of training with. Unless you can beat it, why should it come with you? You obviously have nothing you can Teach it. So when they battle, they are battling to better themselves, because they are sentient beings, trying to be the best!
A close bond is formed between the trainer and Pokemon, like the will have likely actively trained together for years, possibly their whole lives. If a Pokemon is fighting for someone they either want to, or their trainer is a really bad person.
Plus there is the really big part of sentient beings having these extraordinary abilities. Abilities that can develop and grow. Imagine, for a moment, that you are a fuzzy wee Evvee hopping about in the forest doing whatever wild Evvees do, but you’ve done that for a while now, and you know that you have the ability to become another version of yourself, to become your next evolution, wouldn’t you want to experience that?
Most Pokemon only evolve when it is right for them. Some trainers force it, and yeah, they are bad trainers. For most Pokemon it is just a natural progression once they get strong enough, but some chose not to, and others strive to. Inclusiveness, and accepting yourself for who you are, has always seemed to me to be at the core of the show, and I hope that new Pokemon fans embrace the game’s story enough to keep that message going.
Also, they have better health care for Pokemon than we do right now.
In essence it’s a show about friendship, and monsters you can fit in your pocket, and walking…they do a lot of walking.