The Shocking Underside of Pickachu and Pokemon Go

Written by Eric Shulman

Yes, I played Pokemon as a kid. Yes, I watched the t.v. show. And yes, I went to see the movie in theaters when it first came out with my “squad,” though back then we simply called our group “friends.” There was definitely some excitement in my household when I first heard about Pokemon Go. I downloaded that sucker and immediately checked it out. Walked around downtown for a bit, catching what I could. Yet something pulled at me. Something made me feel that this game had a dark side to it. As I began to pull at the thread of the super stylish 90s vintage jacket Pokemon Go gave my avatar, I’m sad to say, the whole thing came apart. The game, not just the jacket. 

As by now you’ve heard, Pokemon Go is beginning to get its share of detractors. At first I scoffed. Who cares if people walk into traffic or bank robberies because they’re too focused on the game? That’s merely natural selection. Niantic is helping prove Darwinism. Others point to the terms and conditions of the game as a negative - if you sign in with Google your information can supposedly be sold to advertisers. Guess what? Half of the services we use on the internet already do that. We gave up privacy long ago. So no, that doesn't bother me either. 

“Okay Eric, why are you seemingly negative on Pokemon Go then?” 

Glad you asked Eric. Geez, you always ask such spot on, great questions. 

For starters, one word: exercise. I see you Niantic. Out there, trying to make me walk more. “Oh, with virtual reality we can trick people into walking and getting into better shape!” - someone at that evil empire most likely. Who are you to decide we don't walk enough? I’m average height with average abilities. I gave up on my dreams of being a professional athlete years ago. Not to mention the premise of taking a Pokemon to a gym. How dare you ask me to force another creature to go to the gym? I myself would rather sit and eat donuts. Don’t try to tell me that a few less donuts could make Snorlax a champion. Let’s be realistic; It ain’t happening. I still question the absurd reports that working out make you happier. Candy bars and cake make me happier. Ask my wife, she can substantiate that report with equally as much “evidence” as all you “scientists” out there.

Oh, you don’t think exercising is a bad thing? Fine. I’ve been fighting that perception for years and didn’t expect you to roll over immediately anyways. How about cruelty to animals? Hm? Did you ever think about what’s inside that poke ball that you are holding all these magnificent digital creatures in? Do you think there’s a nice lake inside that tiny poke ball for Magicarp to swim around in? Or perhaps its dark and cramped and miserable. Bet you’ve never let anyone put you in one, have you? I think it’s past time to get PETA involved.

Look, I’m a man who likes things a certain way This game encourages the worst of the worst - ten year olds and people my own age - to invade my delightful, silent, curmudgeon life. Let’s say, since I’m an activist and all, I hide some of the more rare Pokemon in my apartment (Jess has been asking for new pets after all). Now, thanks to Pokemon Go, kids are going to be knocking on my door at all hours of the night trying to get in and “just take a second to catch the Zapdos mister, then we’ll let you get back to streaming MASH”. If I wanted people coming by, I wouldn’t have threatened the ice cream man to stop coming through my neighborhood three weeks ago. Don’t judge me too quickly, he didn’t even have chipwiches in his truck. I mean, come on.

Could you argue I’m being too harsh? Not very fun? Old manish? Sure, I’ve heard it all before. You may be right. I may be wrong. Either way, I’m not the Pokemon you’re looking for, so get off my doorstep.