by Marlan Moore | staff editor
It’s a double-dose of PokéMonday thanks to the folks at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) who have just released a new flash game called Pokémon Black & Blue, a parody of the ever-popular Pokémon series.
PETA hopes to use their Pokémon parody to bring awareness to real-world animal problems. From the site:
The amount of time that Pokémon spend stuffed in pokéballs is akin to how elephants are chained up in train carts, waiting to be let out to “perform” in circuses. But the difference between real life and this fictional world full of organized animal fighting is that Pokémon games paint rosy pictures of things that are actually horrible.
As great as PETA’s goals are, they’re probably going about it the wrong way. There’s nothing wrong with wanting animals to be treated more ethically, but attacking Pokémon, a game/anime-series about training imaginary monsters? That just seems silly.
Besides, in Pokémon, the “animals” are personified with human emotions and gamers are taught to treat their pokémon with respect. Ash and Pikachu have shown for years the kind of healthy relationship a person can have with their pets. Ash, in fact, doesn’t see Pikachu as a pet, but as a friend. He also treats all his other “animals” with the utmost respect and care. Pokémon training is less like “organized animal fighting” and more like being an MMA fighter’s coach (use some imagination for that one).
If anything, PETA should be applauding Pokémon for teaching children to value and treat animals as well as they do other people.
This kind of parody generally works when the people making it are in on the joke or have a love of the material they’re parodying. This attempt by PETA, as admiral as their reasons may be, reeks of ignorance of the source material.
Calling out Pokémon for cruelty against animals would be like calling out Mario for dressing like a Tanooki. Oh, wait. Nevermind.