The animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has released a Pokémon Black and Blue parody game, which coincides with the release of Nintendo’s Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2. The animal rights group is arguing that the treatment of Pokémon in-game gives the impression to children that it’s OK to use animals to fight and keep them inside Pokéballs. PETA released a statement on the parody game’s website:
Much like animals in the real world, Pokémon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that Pokémon are stuffed into pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods …if PETA existed in Unova, our motto would be: Pokémon are not ours to use or abuse. They exist for their own reasons. We believe that this is the message that should be sent to children.
Of course, the argument that PETA are trying (and failing to make) is an extremely important one, but I’m sure if any of the PETA members had seen the animated series of Pokémon they would realise that it’s about friendship and caring. If trainers weren’t bothered about their pets, there wouldn’t be Pokémon Centers to heal them. Also, if you want to send a message to children, bloodstained and beaten representations of their favourite cuddly Pokémon is unlikely to appeal.
To have a look for yourself, you can play the game here. It is fairly ironic that in a game designed to free Pokémon, you do not have the choice to decline a fight and there is no way to heal the Pokémon after they’ve fought. Although, the representation of Ash Ketchum is something to behold (right).
However, the main problem with this game parody is that PETA has misrepresented a classic children’s game, rather than targeting the people responsible, who we’re fairly certain would never play Pokémon. This is not the first time that PETA has targeted the game industry either, as they also had a problem with Mario wearing his famous Tanooki suit that first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3.