Pokémon Go. Should We Catch ‘Em All?


In junior high, I was the only kid in school who didn’t have parachute pants. In high school, I never owned a pair of Air Jordans. And now—unlike, it would seem, the rest of the free world—I have not yet downloaded Pokémon Go. My wife has. My grown kids have. I’m about the last holdout I know. And even now I’m wondering, should I hop on this fad and, for once, join the cool kids? Should I try my hand at hunting peek-a-chew, whatever they are?

Well, thankfully, my cohorts at Plugged In have been funneling a great deal of information in our direction. Just this Friday, Jake and Adam gave us all a quick rundown of Pokémon Go in our vodcast. Our intrepid game reviewer, Bob Hoose, just wrapped up his review of the game itself. And now, just as promised, Adam has a more in-depth look at what we all need to know before playing, whether we’re looking after our own kids or are big kids ourselves.

So if you want to know more about Pokémon Go, head on over to the main Focus on the Family site and see what Adam has to say. Meanwhile, I’m going to call maintenance. People keep saying there’s a Charmander or somesuch lurking around my desk.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

SJamison More than 1 year ago
Something players of Pokemon Go might want to consider...their legal rights if they get into trouble playing the game.  (Disclosure: Professor Jamison is my brother.) http://www.polygon.com/2016/7/20/12230496/pokemon-go-legal-rights
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Don't feel lonely Paul; I haven't downloaded Pokemon Go either. I probably won't because, even if I wanted to, I don't think I have enough memory on my phone. It's crazy how fast this app caught on fire. All of my coworkers (okay, most of them) own it, and I have to wonder what this will mean for Pokemon's future (live action movie anyone?).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paul, you're not the only holdout in the torrent of the Pokemon Go craze - I was never really into Pokemon, even when it was popular during my youth in the late 90s. You are not alone! It's interesting, though, how this fad has had such a sweeping resurgence in a short period of time. Soon enough, the hype will probably die down, everyone will move on to something else, and Pokemon will once again go the way of Pet Rocks, Pogs and Beanie Babies. On a side note, I see from your bio at  the bottom of the page that you already lead an active life and, therefore, have no need of an app to get you off the couch.

Like anything, Pokemon Go is probably very enjoyable in moderation. My main reason for not playing, however, is that video games have been a snare and a stumbling block to me in the past. First it was computer games, then PS2, then PS3, then Facebook games, then a few App games - at different times, I became fixated on each of them, such that each eventually became an idol that stole my heart and mind for a time. Anything that is more important than our relationship with Christ is an an idol. 

How do you know when a game becomes an idol? When the virtual world becomes more important than the real world. When your virtual achievements become more important than your relationships with real people. When the game becomes a drug to medicate you from the difficult parts of reality. Those are just a few examples. The lines between virtuality and reality seem to be blurring by the day - don't ever loose your grasp on the real.

I do remember experiencing a lot of angst and even anger when things weren't working out for me in the virtual world (honestly, the games would often produce more stress than they would relieve). Thank you for your forebearance in reading this - I close my long comment with the words of Jesus: 

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:33-34 ESV)

Jessica Jones More than 1 year ago
Pokémon Creator Admits Games are Anti-Christian, Aimed Towards Satanists


In a rare interview with Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri, he admits that the games were created as a backlash against his Christian parents. He also says that the games are tailored towards an anti-Christian sentiment or Satanism.

The interview, conducted by Time about the continued success of the Pokémon series, took a sharp left turn when Tajiri was asked about the inspiration for the games. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Time: What inspired you to start making the Pokémon games?

Tajiri: Well, my parents were Christians. I grew up being taught the ways of that religion. When I got older, I started to realize that the things they said were foolish and I guess I rebelled a little.

Time: How did you rebel?

Tajiri: I started to argue against their teachings. They tried to punish me in various ways to try to get me under control, but it didn’t work. This is when I was inspired by nature and started the basis for the Pokémon games.

Time: Could you explain how your parent’s religion is connected with the games?

Tajiri: Well, when I got old enough, I wanted to do something that would show the world that my parents were wrong. Something I saw in nature was the concept of evolution which my parents vehemently denied existed. This sparked the idea for a game that would go against everything my parents believed in.

Time: This game being Pokémon, correct?

Tajiri: Yes. Pokémon is essentially the correct answer towards life, not Christianity. Everything presented in the game is the opposite of what Christians may believe. Some have said that the game promotes voodoo or magic, and I agree in the sense that there are many things that occur in nature that are unexplainable. Furthermore, the violence in the games is unparalleled. It may not show up in the actual graphics, but the brutality is made especially explicit in the Pokédex entries. Nature, again, played a big role.

Time: So those who say that the game is anti-Christian are correct?

Tajiri: I suppose so. I mean, some could say that the game supports Satanism. I don’t officially celebrate it, but I can understand why people would be attracted to it.

Nintendo refused to comment on the interview.

AsayPaul More than 1 year ago
Jessica, FYI ... this interview is fake.