Open Discussion Topic

listen

shut up for a second

actually, don’t shut up, that is the opposite thing of the thing I am specifically requesting that you do

do listen though

I answer questions sometimes from readers, which is always a very exciting opportunity for you to be told, by someone who has a website, that your opinions are wrong and you should feel bad, and is to a certain extent a source of #content for me. This is obviously a win-win, and an important part of what allows the poorly designed and nebulously purposed edifice known as Pokémaniacal to continue functioning.

But sometimes I have a question, y’know? And often I have questions whose topics are, frankly, not things I could usefully write an article or other substantial “feature” about, but if I’m not going to answer it, who the hell am I supposed to go to? It’s not like I have any friends among the ranks of other Pokémon #content #creators, well, except I Chews You, and no matter what the question is, they’d just answer “have you tried eating the Pokémon?” or maybe Exp. Share now, but honestly we’re still at the “trying to make them think I’m cool” stage of that relationship, and I guess there’s Pokéjungle, ’cause I’ve written a little bit for them before, but they’re way too big and too busy to bother themselves with my bull$#!t. So I have these dumb questions and no one to take them to, and I says to myself, I says “I have some extremely intelligent and attractive readers, and Hugh. Why don’t I ask them some $#!t sometimes? They’d all be wrong, but a lot of them would be wrong in amusing ways, and it would probably generate #engagement or some $#!t, right?”

So that’s what this is. I’m going to pose a question, you’re going to tell me what you think in the comments. Depending on how many answers we get and how much discussion there is of the answers, I might collect my favourite bits in a follow-up post. If it isn’t a disaster, I’ll do it again; maybe we can make it a “thing,” maybe one day I’ll even think of a useful question. Anyway this is the hypothetical I want to put in front of you today:

A benevolent but somewhat careless deity offers you the opportunity to just make Pokémon real: they’ll be introduced into the real world, all over the planet, in environments that suit the preferences of each species.  Manufacturers around the world will also receive designs for basic Pokéballs (but none of the other futuristic technology of Pokémon’s setting).

Do you take the offer?  Why, or why not?

(As might already be obvious, I’m less interested in whether the answer is “yes” or “no” and more interested in what reasons there might be for picking either side, because I think there are a lot of possible arguments for each, and probably a lot more that I’m not thinking of.)

24 thoughts on “Open Discussion Topic

  1. Yes, but only if they are introduced as a side effect of the Good Variant, then storm the capitol, then pass legislation to provide all Americans with free Xboxes (Marshall, Higgins, & Herlihy, 2022).

    Unfortunately, I shudder to think about how humans would abuse the gift of real-live Pokemon, especially if some species are as intelligent as they’re usually portrayed, and not just magical animals. (Not that abuse of animals is okay, regardless of their intelligence level.) They’d be kidnapped and exploited for war and wealth, and it would take generations to develop the kind of soft infrastructure needed to raise people to treat them as partners and not terrifying monsters, let alone defeat the exploiters. And then even if people had the best of intentions, the likelihood of utter disasters unfolding purely by accident are several orders of magnitude greater than when mere animals are left to their own devices. (Dog left alone at home = ripped up furniture. Growlithe left alone at home = burned-down house. Not to mention how easily many Pokemon could level an entire city just by accident…)

    All that said, still yes because * d r e a m s ~ c o m e ~ t r u e *

    Liked by 1 person

  2. call this question the disaster omen dark type cuz Absol-utely NOT, the world as it stands would 100000% just use them all as weapons and have that poké-war people love to theorize and wax philosophic about. it’d be MAD but with mystic dragon energies instead of nuclear radiation. sorry that it’s the most straightforward answer, not particularly clever or unique, but it is what it is, i think it’s the only real justified answer. if we want to avoid the 3edgy5me pokémon interpretation that we Big Pokémon Fans are all so tired of, i’d have to say no. that being said, it’d be like turning down paradise to say no to the opportunity to have a little Aron pal

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  3. It’s going to be a reluctant No from me. The existence of Pokemon seems to break bad so often even in the pseudo-utopia of the Pokemon universe. Relatively moderately sized radical groups can very quickly get to “hostile domestic takeover” or even “about to end the world”. It’s not hard to imagine anyone responsible for anything from inequality to apocalyptic threats to be able to use Pokemon to their own advantage much more effectively than those who would oppose them. And if they can’t use them to their advantage, and instead it would provide power to underprivileged groups, there would likely be mass extermination efforts, which would be a bummer to say the least.

    Even if we assume everyone decides to play nice because Pokemon just make us Good People somehow, Pokemon are dangerous – being able to level urban centers even with a populace with the experience and technology to prepare for it. While large scale nations around the world would likely be able to put in protections and come up with logistic (or even diplomatic) solutions, people in regions without comparable resources would at the very least take longer to adjust to the new status quo, likely furthering global inequality. How quickly does knowledge of Pokeballs spread (and are the simple crafting options possible without Pokemon Apricorns or are technological resources also a bottleneck). If we work to start developing analogs for the futuristic tech used for Pokemon in their universe, who gets access to those advancements first? Again, even in an idealistic sense, Pokemon training/caretaking seems to be a pretty time intensive task comparable to pursuing, say, an athletic career, which means most of the key advantages would be to those who have disposable time/income.

    Perhaps I am being too pessimistic, but I would prefer to think of it as asking for my doubts to be refuted. Because although I probably sound like a killjoy I would of course love for Real Pokemon to be Cool and Great and for my decades of experience to suddenly be in high demand/relevance. I’d also love to be able to basically have Animal Friends rather than having to go through the whole rigmarole of having a pet that has to like… live in my house.

    Side note: The Ethics of Pokemon Consent would be a wildly uncomfortable discussion that goes on for Far Too Long and I would not want to subject the world and myself to that on a purely selfish, personal level.

    P.S. I enjoy the concept of this series in general, if you are looking for feedback on that as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s been shown, particularly in Legends Arceus, that even people from cultures without Pokéballs have managed to do just fine finding peace with them without them. It just makes the prospect of bonding with Pokémon up to special “wardens” instead of everyone in said culture being able to have that role.

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      1. While this is true in the Pokemon universe, they have the benefit of hundreds (thousands?) of years of independent development in a world before modern globalization. If Pokemon were retro-actively introduced into the history of our world that would be one thing, but the sudden shift in the status-quo plus the implications of a new technological and/or biome-dependent resource would be massively destabilizing and its hard to find periods where a sudden destabilizing event broke well for the people living through it. Maybe eventually things would level out into a positive society in this respect, but the risk that it wouldn’t combined with the near guarantee that it will be a Bad Time during my lifetime makes me reluctant to gamble on it.

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        1. I feel like you’d HAVE to retroactively introduce them to history to make this work, otherwise the ecological impact alone would probably rapidly change Earth’s environment at a rate I doubt anyone is prepared for |D

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  4. Yes, because let’s be real, as dangerous as Pokémon are, I think society overall would be better off with them. I think the biggest reason why the environment isn’t (as much as) a problem in Pokémon as it is in real life is because, well, nature bites back in a much more direct way in Pokémon than it does in real life(with very notable examples in both the anime and games), not to mention the advancements in technology that have resulted from the study of the exotic physics that Pokémon provide would make our society even MORE advanced than it is now. So yeah, there would be casualties (as there are now) but I think after that rough transition the world would be better for it.

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  5. The last time we let other universes have a say in our own, they tried to destroy us all with a wave of antimatter. Fool me once…

    (For those playing at home, I’m referring to Crisis on Infinite Earths; Earth-Prime, which nowadays is just “Superboy-Prime’s home universe”, was originally supposed to be our world. Then they tried very hard to pretend that wasn’t the case after destroying their multiverse.)

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  6. I say no, because I am a very risk averse person. Too many risks, even if we didn’t have legendaries. Imagine the first evolved gyrados after seeing how the humans farm its magikarp brethren.

    If I was less risk averse I’d only say yes if we didn’t allow Pokeballs. No containment; let’s run wild!

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  7. Yes, because I’m disabled and having a Pokemon around who could tell I was about to have a meltdown or needed some extra snuggles would be awesome, and also because this world is going to hell in a handbasket and there’s a lot of Grass types that are supposedly able to help filter air and earth to become cleaner. At this point a lot more good could be done by a lot of extremely pissed off environmentalists if they had mons to help them.

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  8. 1. I hereby echo the already raised concerns about the implications. Maybe 1000 years after the change the world is a post-scarcity utopia with everything running on clean, sustainable Magcargo-power; teleportation would be super practical for tardy people like me, and for people who like exotic vacations as well (and maybe something about transportation costs reduced global trade flourishing also?). But living through that change would not be nice at all! So: kinda-no.
    2. Pokémon’s art style varies far too much. Unless this scenario shifts into “all Pokémon are real, except the ones whose visual designs Name (required) happens to dislike”: super-duper-no!

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    1. (Unless the power of “Teleport” would stay the same, and simply return you to the last Pokémon Center you visited, regardless of whether any Pokémon Centers even exist.)

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  9. For me it depends on several variables

    1: are Pokémon “inherently good” like is sometimes suggested or will they be more like us

    2: how intelligent are the majority of Pokémon? Will they be able to obtain basic rights so that this is not an absolute disaster for them?

    3: will they exist alongside our real animals or replace them? I like my pets and don’t want them to spontaneously combust, even if that means I can have a growlithe buddy

    4: What will the role of the legendary Pokémon be? Will people know they exist and go after them constantly or will it be more like it is in the games or anime where they are generally unknown to people?

    5. Do all the Pokémon appear at the same time in their lifecycle? Do adult Pokémon appear to take care of them? What would the adult’s memories be in that case?

    6. Do plants from the Pokémon world also appear? If Pokémon can’t heal from their injuries with the semi-magical plants they usually have access to that would change things, because while getting into a fight with a lion sucks and you would probably die, getting into a fight with a lion that can breathe fire is way worse

    7. Are the Pokémon going to be acclimated towards people immediately as if they had evolved alongside each other, like in the Pokémon universe, or not?

    8. Can people make their own pokeballs or will they have to rely on a few corporations who know the secret to manufacture them (causing Pokémon training to be only for rich people who can afford to keep them?)

    9. What the hell do they eat?

    10. Do we gain any biological or behavioral knowledge about the Pokémon or are we going in blind?

    These 10 questions would influence my answer but most likely I would say yes, consequences be dammned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Realistically speaking, regular animals will have a brief period of coexistence until they’re hilariously outcompeted by laser fish and such.

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    2. What if in this scenario: animals including your pets BECOME their Pokemon-equivalent, they’re the same beings complete with all those precious memories and feelings for you, only now with powerful elemental powers. XD

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  10. Cynically, I struggle to see a net benefit to the proposition. Pokémon could potentially solve a lot of problems with their amazing abilities, but not many of those problems are ones that I think we currently lack the tools to solve (or at least to begin solving). And yet, we often fail to apply those tools in a timely manner due to our capitalist hell-world being organized to exploit every avenue available in order to extract maximum profit with little to no regard for the consequences. Introducing Pokémon into such a society would, I suspect, only result in Pokémon also becoming trapped in that same system.

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  11. No, absolutely not… and purely because people are shitty and definitely worse on average than the people in Pokemon media. Yeah, they have their evil groups, but they’re a small percentage of the population and generally incompetent. Real life humans, sadly, will use everything maliciously, and to an extent you can’t even predict. Nearly every new technology or discovery is eventually turned into a weapon or used excessively to the point of ecological disaster (sometimes both). Introducing Pokemon may seem dangerous because of the nature of the Pokemon… but honestly it’s more dangerous because of the nature of the humans. Whatever I try to even use as an example on how a Pokemon can be used maliciously, I guarantee someone more clever and more malicious than me will outdo it by more than what I can consider. And that’s even not including Legendaries that can single handedly wipe out countries, planets, or more. I don’t know how Gardevoir makes “mini black holes” but imagine those weaponized. I’m not sure how a Larvitar can consume a mountain but imagine those used intentionally destructive. I can certainly see how Malamar can be used to control the masses, but I can’t even begin to fathom how far people could take that. Nah, we humans of this universe should not be allowed the power of Pokemon. I have enough fear of nuclear war, I don’t need the fear of supernatural kaiju war.

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    1. I do want to say I did, after thinking about it, come up with an upside: I’m pretty sure it would accelerate human extinction, which sucks for us humans but could be pretty good for the rest of nature. Of course, then the problem becomes whether Pokemon would cause the extinction of other existing life, and I’m pretty sure they’d outperform any real animals and there would be mass extinctions anyways. So yeah, even factoring that in, my answer would remain no… just a softer no, as it has a short term benefit to the world.

      Maybe I’ve also just become cynical in my old(?) age.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I joke that I’ve been an old man since before I was legally an adult, and the implications of that parenthetical question mark are why.

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  12. I’m for it for two main reasons:

    1. A lot of Pokemon seem to act as quasi-nature deities. In a world where nature is being constantly destroyed, it might be nice for it to have some “big guns” on its side. imagine a company trying to pollute the ocean only to be attacked by Kyogre! There are also Pokemon that directly clean up nature, like galarian Weezing.

    2. While obviously Pokemon can be used as weapons, I think this is actually a point in their favor. Pokemon in the games are said to become more powerful by being treated with care, and as we’ve seen in the anime Pokemon can object to being used for immoral purposes. In our current world power is largely held by those with large militaries/economies and nukes, but in the Pokemon world power would instead be concentrated with the good of heart. Pokemon is a world where a ten year old can defeat an organization of villains, and while some of this is because it’s a videogame I think there’s also an argument you could make that it’s because Pokemon are less willing to fight for nefarious purposes. It’s maybe not preferable to a world WITHOUT violence, but it’s a hell of a lot better than our current setup.

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    1. This makes me happy I hope it would be like this. Lots of people are also saying Pokémon would outcompete real animals but I think it would depend on their reproductive rates. Also, there are just so many different niches in different ecosystems (and soooooo many different species) that I don’t think that animals would completely disappear. Especially insects. There are so few bug mon (who are much larger than your typical insect) compared to real arthropods

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