The Great Debate:Is PETA’s portrayal of Pokémon unfair?

That’s a pun not a typo on that sign there. Yeah, I didn’t see it until Will told me either. It’s great otherwise though. My thanks to Will for drawing this. I still think my version would have been better though, did you see how good that Pikachu I drew before was?

Following my recent article about the current status of the Pokémon games Will and I had a discussion (via Facebook, which is why we sometimes seem to be having two conversations at once) about my comments about their portrayal of animal violence and, more importantly, about PETA’s. The debate is copied and pasted (with some major spelling and capitalisation alterations) below for your viewing pleasure.

Will Piddington

I don’t like that bit about trainers beating their Pokémon to near death. You should have seen me with PETA

Jim Huxter

You’re twisting my words! I didn’t say ‘near-death’, I said ‘to unconsciousness’.

Will Piddington

Sorry. Still, PETA’s points were terribly thought out and misinformed. I was screaming at their game at one point.

Jim Huxter

I suppose the vivisection part is an overreaction. Especially since I believe that in the real world stuff like that is sometimes necessary.

Will Piddington

The part I was screaming at was where they attacked Ash and his relationship with Pikachu.

Jim Huxter

Well it is kind of stupid. He forces it to fight, and it loves him.

Will Piddington

He risked his life for the stupid rat in the very first episode when all Pikachu had given him was cold looks. He uses his body as a human shield to protect the Pikachu from a swarm of spearow that attack them then Pikachu in turn protects Ash.

Jim Huxter

PETA could have put it more reasonably, I’ll admit, but I still think people are getting way too worked up and ignoring the potential important messages hidden behind the silliness.

PETA’s parody flash game caused a massive stir online.

Jim Huxter

Try letting a kid do that with a wild animal though.

Will Piddington

It’s not a wild animal though it’s an already trained Pokémon from oak, the equivalent of a house-trained cat or dog.

I’m sure any kid who loved his dog enough would protect it from danger.

Jim Huxter

The same things happen with wild Pokémon.

And they wouldn’t get it to fight a bear though.

Will Piddington

No, but most dogs don’t have the power to control pure electricity

Jim Huxter

But if they did think of the poor bear!

Will Piddington

But it seems in most episodes of Pokémon THE ANIMÉ the only Pokémon that get badly hurt in a battle are ones controlled by, say, Team Rocket

Pokémon isn’t about animal fighting at all, really.

It’s a bug catching sim…

Jim Huxter

The games (what matters) are certainly about it.

Will Piddington

…with the added feature that the bugs can breathe fire and be compared in a battle.

Although I do agree with you that the games have been the same shtick since the Gameboy.

Jim Huxter

Like I say, I wouldn’t have a problem with this alternate reality where wild animals enjoy becoming pets and fighting each other if Nintendo acknowledged that it’s not like real life, or something.

Will Piddington

I think that’s a given seeing as in real life the world isn’t structured like that, with 10 year olds leaving home to fight heads of towns.

Jim Huxter

Obvious for us, but not necessarily for children, who the story parts of the game are aimed at.

Will Piddington

Well, it can’t be taken like that by children or there’d be many cases of kids stuffing wild animals into vending machine capsules and throwing them at each other.

Jim Huxter

Now you’re just turning this debate into sarcasm.

Will Piddington

Well, no, but there would have been lots of cases of kids trying to copy the games if this were true.

There haven’t been.

So it must not be taken like that.

Jim Huxter

This has been an interesting debate. I might post it on the site, demonstrate to the people that Strode Ledger is entirely anti-animal abuse.J*

You must agree that the way they handle the topic in Black and White is silly though?

Will Piddington

Oh God, yes!

But Nintendo aren’t known for their plot writing skills.

They hire Square Enix for that.

Jim Huxter

Shh! The fanfolk will kill you!

Will Piddington

XD

Nintendo are known for making games that just give you this feeling… It can only be described as childlike wonder.

I think the adult fanbase for Pokémon is great, look at all the fan games and artwork and the like that comes out of it.

Jim Huxter

Indeed. I love parts of it too. Nintendo have me in their grasp.

Will Piddington

XD

I just hate it when PETA aim their guns at something that really isn’t meant to be taken that seriously.

Were you riled up by our discussion? Why not give your own thoughts in the comments below?

In hindsight, I probably should have mentioned that I think the game is, in part, a method for PETA to vent their concern about wider issues that are irrelevant to the games, such as vivisection and tail-docking.

*Emoticons are a rare thing for me, just so you know.

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One thought on “The Great Debate:Is PETA’s portrayal of Pokémon unfair?

  1. Pingback: A Pokémoan-A review and analysis of Pokémon’s current state of affairs | Strode Ledger

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