Sunday, August 15, 2010

Old News is Bad News...

...that needs to be stopped. Now.

While trying to prove Lucario's popularity (without resorting to furry porn), I came across a news article that made me die a little inside. Then I sucked it up and realized that, hey, this was what my blog was all about.

British children can more accurately identify 150 species of Pokemon than their own native wildlife. Granted, Britain does not have the most stunning wildlife in the world (the last British thing I did was the coot, remember?), but that's still a pretty depressing figure.

"An experiment involving 109 primary school children aged between four and 11 found that by the age of eight most were able to name 78 per cent of the 150 Pokémon characters such as Pidgeotto, Pikachu and Jigglypuff. The same age group could manage correctly to identify only about half of the pictures of animals and plants, such as "beetle", "deer" or "oak tree", displayed on cards shown to them by the scientists."

Holy carp. HOLY CARP. I mean, I grew up on Pokemon, too, but I knew what a deer was. I knew what a beetle was. I knew what an oak tree was. Maybe I was just extra-inquisitive, but this is sad.

Normally, I would praise Pokemon for encouraging conservation in its own bizarre way. After all, most Pokemon are based off of something real, even if that something is not organic. (For example, Bronzong is based off of an actual style of Japanese bell. I got a real kick out of it after my trip to the Ueno Museum.) You'd think that this would encourage awareness...

...of Japanese wildlife. Recently, they have given some other regions of the world a shot, but from what I have heard, Japanese children are more educated on the creatures of the world than those of Western nations anyways. It's the system's fault, and it's not; especially with the internet being as helpful as it is, it does not take a genius to Google, say, "Raticate" and learn that it is based off of a very specific water rat. Most people are getting only part of the fun of Pokemon.

I choose you!

This makes me sad for ALL the same reasons that Avatar suicides did: You are completely missing the point if you take the real world for granted.

I like fantasy stuff, but I love the real world just as much. Animals do come in blue and purple. There are some immortal creatures, and some with two heads. There are some creatures that you can cut, and like those brooms in Fantasia, they will reproduce into identical individuals. I have found myself looking at real faeries in the woods on several occasions.

There is no saying that one cannot have an adventure in the woods, a park, or one's own backyard. Eragon is a good example; its setting is not based on the terrain of New Zealand or anywhere else exotic. It is based on the author's own experiences in his home state of Montana.

Unrelated to Hannah.

Montana. REAL special, right?

Pokemon has the same feel going. I used to catch bugs for kicks. Pokemon is based off of bug-catching. It is based off of a REAL thing that people do with REAL animals.

Know what else it does, though? To catch the 'mythical' Pokemon (which are hardly mythical, nowadays), you have to work your way up. Catch what's around you. Maybe, if you're lucky, you will see Raikou in the grasses BUT you have to raise rodents, owls, pigeons, and bugs before you can handle it. Y'know, just like how you'd have to handle cats before you could handle tigers. Let's not even get into dragons and creatures that embody time and space; those would be a BITCH to handle. Does that resonate with anybody nowadays?

I fear for the world's future. There's nothing inherently wrong with Pikachu and his pals, but there is an increasing trend toward responding to a fake world better than the real one. At this rate, we are not going to have a world left.

Enjoy it while you can.

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