Thursday, 14 June 2012

Pokemon: A Better Reality?

Could he take your job?
by Tom Harper

When pondering what to base this article upon, I was faced with all-too-numerous options: politics, current affairs, reviews, creative writing, even poetry became possibilities! I wanted to find something intriguing: the answer to a question that has boggled many minds for decades, perhaps? Again, this came as a challenge for me, until, fortunately, the childish nature of my younger brother once again saved me from the merciless abyss of the writer’s block:
“I wonder what it would be like if Pokémon actually existed?”

Perhaps not the most profound question. However, it does stimulate many more: what if one could battle one's friends with tiny Japanese creatures consisting of varying special abilities? Would it result in a more peaceful, friendly and accepting world than the politically-struggling, economically-troubled, crises-ridden one we live in today? Or is there a darker side to this Pokemon fantasy that has been overlooked? Let us explore how society would change if Pokémon were a reality...

1. Transport and Environment

Cars? What cars? Cars would never have been invented in the Pokémon world, nor would boats nor planes nor trains nor trams! There's no reason to invent any vehicles when Pidgeots can fly at Mach 2, and all Abra come with Teleport as their first default move. The moment that Pokémon were domesticated and trained, all human ingenuity and invention would come to a grinding halt, and Pokémon would simply do everything for us. Although bicycles are frequently shown in the Pokémon world, surely its inhabitants realize that they are not necessary? A useful Pokémon every now and again could essentially get a person anywhere --- whether it be to the bottom of the ocean or potentially into the safe of a bank --- although transport via Pokémon would considerably lower, if not obliterate, CO2 emissions, thus putting an end to climate change and global warming. However, the prospect of getting anyone anywhere at any time could have potentially questionable side-effects: could people feel safe in their own homes?

2. Crime and War

The world of Pokémon has always been portrayed as a crime-free paradise, where the worst a person can do is be a member of a rogue gang that steals them, which in retrospect really isn’t that bad. However, I believe that a world in which such creatures, with arguably God-like abilities, exist would encourage people to go further than just petty thefts. What most people fail to realise is Pokémon can cause catastrophic devastation; putting that kind of power into anyone's hands is insane. Giving a child a Pokémon is worse than giving him a loaded gun --- it's like giving him a nuclear weapon! If Pokémon were not outlawed altogether, their usage would have to be heavily regulated. At the very least, giant Pokémon such as Wailord should be outlawed, as should any Pokémon who can use devastating attacks such as Earthquake or Surf, as it would take just one criminal to threaten a tsunami, and entire countries would be at their mercy. In other words, Pokémon would bring the world of crime to an all-new, rather horrific scale.

Encouraging children to get their pets to fire lethal bolts of electricity at each other is bad enough, but what if these battles were taken more seriously? What if an intercontinental war developed, with each side being able to destroy the other one a hundred times over in a matter of seconds? A world of Pokémon wouldn’t last very long. An ignorant or driven person could make a Muk spew poison into a city's water supply, or use Flamethrower to start a forest fire, or cause a rock slide that crushes a mountainside town, killing thousands, millions, even billions of people! So many disasters could be brought about by Pokémon that it would be absolute insanity to give anyone that responsibility, even the law or the army. Chaos would soon ensue, creating a worldwide power struggle. There would be a mad rush to find the legendary Pokémon just to get an advantage over the enemy, and, when found, their power would very quickly tear all of society apart!

3. Work and Employment

Pokémon have so many advantages that they would probably be used for every aspect of life. I just discussed the reasons why it's foolish to allow anyone to own a Pokémon, but I also have to examine the useful properties of Pokémon. Almost every form of work or labour can be completely bypassed by a Pokémon. There's at least one type of Pokémon to serve the purpose of every tool that mankind has ever invented. If we had Pokémon at our disposal, no human would ever do manual labour again --- not with Machamps at our fingertips! There's at least one type of Pokémon that can produce any kind of energy, so forget about engines, generators, or any man-made energy producers, just use an army of Pikachu to do the job. People could use Pokémon for everything, for every aspect of life where Pokémon apply.

Gym Leaders
However, is that really a good thing? In a world where every job can be done 100 times more efficiently by a Pokémon than a human, how would we earn a living? If no-one who cannot spew fire from their mouth can ever get a job, then how would we afford our basic luxuries? Money would become essentially worthless, the world would fall into complete economic disaster due to the need for basic necessities, and (as mentioned earlier) once again the world of Pokémon would lead to chaos.

4. Politics and Society

The closest thing that mankind would have to leaders and politicians in the world of Pokémon would be Gym Leaders. There is no specific social hierarchy mentioned for Pokémon, and so one can only assume that they are the top of the food chain. Would we really be able to allow decisions to be made by people who very rarely abandon their post of accepting fights from strangers?

Furthermore, in this reality EVERYTHING would revolve around Pokémon or take their existence into account: consumer goods, the law, health care….. it would only be a matter of time before it became clear that Pokémon were the superior and dominant species. Pokémon are sapient. They can make plans, communicate, use logic and reasoning, exercise compassion, form societies, and even learn languages. If Meowth could learn English, then there are doubtlessly other Pokémon who also have the same potential. They have the capacity to become just as sophisticated and civilized as human beings, and if Pokémon really existed, they would not be content to remain pets and slaves. We would keep our Pokémon crammed in horrifically claustrophobic and most likely filthy conditions, and the only time they would be released is to fight! They are intelligent enough to campaign for their own rights, and so they would probably organize themselves to topple their human oppressors.


Therefore, in conclusion, despite the way it is portrayed in video games and television, the world of Pokémon is the very opposite of a paradise: their existence could only ever lead to complete chaos, whether it be political, social or economic. They could even result in the obliteration of the entire human race! And so I ask that you do not show too much enthusiasm for the idea of a world of Pokémon. For, however cute and adorable they may seem, they cannot exist in a civilized world without completely destroying it.

The only way Pokémon could ever survive is without us --- in a society perhaps similar to the prehistoric era. After all, in the grand scheme of things, is one a Pokémon master or a Pokémon slave?

1 comment:

  1. Hannah Millerchip9 June 2016 at 14:59

    I love how this post actually explains Pokemon - I should send this to my friends who don't get my obsession with this supernatural series!


Comments with names are more likely to be published.