Mimesis Law
19 February 2019

Pokemon Go Must Go

July 15, 2016 (Fault Lines) — You can’t go five minutes these days without a mention of Pokemon Go, the new mobile release from Niantic and Nintendo that has children complaining of “sore legs” from walking around catching virtual monsters on their smartphones and digitally battling fellow “trainers” for control of their local “gym.”

The animal rights organization PETA released a parody called “Pokemon Black And Blue: Gotta Free ‘Em All” in an attempt to paint this “organized version of animal fighting” in the horrendous light it deserves. Attorneys are pondering whether the game crosses legal boundaries in the world of tort law and property rights. None of this is enough.  It’s time to criminalize Pokemon Go, and punish trainers abusing these poor digital animals with fines and jail time.

In case you’ve been under a rock, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality (AR) game that takes real world locations and marks them as hunting grounds for players, dubbed “trainers,” to catch digital animals like Bulbasaurs and Caterpies with small balls. The animal remains cramped in its new enclosure, called a “PokeBall” until its “trainer” needs it for battling control of a “gym.”  At that point the poor suffering creature must then fight at the whims of its master, battling its fellow Pokemon until one drops.  This vicious bloodsport continues until one trainer “wins,” at which point they can objectify a Pokemon by placing it atop their new “gym” as a sort of gang tag.

Yes, Pokemon Go actually encourages gang activity.  When players reach Level Five and enter a “gym,” they’re forced to choose a side in a non-stop gang war between Team Valor, Team Mystic, and Team Instinct.  It’s as if the Bloods, Crips, and the Duggar Family took up arms and fought for control of their various ‘hoods.  Innocent players aren’t allowed the ability to create their own team, or remain independent, law-abiding “trainers.”  They must “jump in” to one of these digital gangs or forever remain barred from this terrible excuse for “fun and games.”

Another problematic area is the potential for students running afoul of Title IX regulations on their various campuses.  Woe to the trainer, a couple of beers in his system, who chooses to whip out an iPhone at an inappropriate moment and catch an inebriated Nidoran without first obtaining affirmative consent, signed in triplicate.  That innocent young man could find himself facing a campus tribunal and getting expelled.

Let’s not forget that Niantic, in its rush to monetize content and earn Nintendo cash, didn’t think of the consequences when it placed PokeStops and gyms at places like the Arlington National Cemetery and Holocaust Memorial.  Even police stations are fair game, and with tensions at an all time high, cops are taking to social media to let children know hunting Meowths behind police stations after dark could cause a tense officer to invoke the First Rule of Policing.

The game even encourages hate speech, something repeatedly condemned at Fault Lines.  When asked for comment prior to publication of this post, Ted Nugent, a well known advocate of hunting, sent Fault Lines a picture of him gleefully holding the bloody head of a Pikachu with the caption, “Hey PETA: Suck it!” We will not post the offending image here, as it might cause harm to a stray viewer.

Finally, the game itself promotes casual sexism, misogyny, and bigotry.  There are male and female Pokemon, but no gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or gender-fluid Pokemon.  Failure to include those types fuels the systematic marginalization of Pokemon that don’t identify as binary with their sexuality. They don’t even get to pick their own pronouns. That absolutely shocks the conscious.

Where do we start in an attempt to penalize Niantic, Nintendo and these unlawful “trainer” scum who engage in the deviant practice of Pokemon abuse for sport?  I’d look to Tennessee’s cockfighting statute, which makes it a Class E felony to participate in such barbarous acts of animal cruelty and a Class A misdemeanor to either attend or bring a minor child to such an event. That would serve as a great deterrent to those who think it a fine idea to injure poor Venonats and Abras for sport, much less watch it happen.

Another strong idea would be to make being a Pokemon an immutable characteristic,  part of a protected class, like race, sexuality, or being a police officer.  Abusing Pokemon for sport could then serve as an enhancement penalty for “hate crimes” and really send a message to communities “training” Pokemon for battle will not stand.

It’s time to end Pokemon Go.  Never you mind that it might have crossed generational boundaries, given people joy in times of darkness, and even made a company some money.  It’s illegal, worthy of criminalization, and defies any sort of morality.

As Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention mused last year, “Christians are called to be stewards of all God’s creation.”  That includes Pokemon.  It’s time to say Pokemon No, and show the nation that #PokeLivesMatter.

8 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



Comments for Fault Lines posts are closed here. You can leave comments for this post at the new site, faultlines.us

  • Adam
    15 July 2016 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    “catch an inebriated Nidoran” I think you wanted Nidorino (not that there’s anything wrong with “the gays”)

    Not trying to cissume or anything, though!

    • CLS
      15 July 2016 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Cissume? Nidorino? These sound like the words of a degenerate Trainer. Your appropriation of the term “The gays” is also problematic. You must be one of those Instinct people.

  • Woah
    15 July 2016 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    This is satire…… Right?


    • CLS
      15 July 2016 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Are you kidding me? I’m 100% serious here. Just found out my kids’ daycare is a PokeStop, and random strangers are pulling in the parking lot to get a fix of their PokeBalls and Incenses and Potions. This is not acceptable behavior, under any circumstances.

      By the way, you didn’t exactly take the time to notice the tags at the bottom of the page, did you?

  • Pokemon Go Game Theory | Simple Justice
    17 July 2016 at 6:48 am - Reply

    […] Seaton, in his Friday parody post at Fault Lines goes right at […]

  • losingtrader
    18 July 2016 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Yeah, totally agree , and short Nintendo stock while you’re at it.

    ooopsy uh, that hasn’t worked out too well.
    From 15 to 37 in 8 days.

    • CLS
      18 July 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

      In all seriousness, with the way that game’s taken off Nintendo’s better served ditching hardware and going solely mobile.

  • Killing Police and Breaking Windows: The Wrong Way to Achieve Social Change
    19 July 2016 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    […] the short term, but when you ascribe murder and theft to regular people, who are mostly out playing Pokémon Go, you’re unlikely to persuade anyone. Or really more accurately, it seems that innocent bystanders […]