Wednesday, October 10, 2012


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a parody video game Pokémon Black & Blue – Gotta Free ‘em All that has been met with a lot of jeers. The game paints a world where Pokémon are treated like animals and have been forced into fighting for their trainers, not how they are lovingly portrayed in the anime series.

“The amount of time that Pokémon spend stuffed in Pokéballs is akin to how elephants are chained up in train cars, waiting to be let out to “perform” in circuses,” says a release on PETA’s website. “But the difference between real life and this fictional world full of organized animal fighting is that Pokémon games paint a rosy picture of things that are actually horrible.”

The game from PETA and developed by This Is Pop is full of powerful images and ideas about how Pokémon are actually abused by their trainers and, not unlike trained circus animals – only exist to perform when they’re told to. It makes some connections between the world of Pokémon and the actual injustices animals face in the real world.

Pokémon is far removed from the cruelties of animal fighting, but the principle of battling Pokémon for a master is at the core of PETA’s message.

As Professor Oak said in the intro to the game, “This world is inhabited by creatures called Pokémon! For some people Pokémon are pets. Others use them for fights.”

There’s a sense of pride in having a strong team, a feeling of remorse when you lose a fight and a sense of accomplishment when you beat the Elite Four, the champions elite of the game’s world. This development of your team is at the core of the game’s mechanics.

PETA’s game targets that through their satirical jab at the series, but what do you think? Does Pokémon promote the servitude of animals? Or is it a game that kids can play to learn to love their pocket monsters?

*Sorry the game doesn't fit onto the screen. You're better off playing it on the site in anycase:

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