Friday, May 23, 2014

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Why I Hate Pokémon

Photo by Lucinda Higley


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I’ve mentioned this in a few posts, but my seven-year-old son is obsessed with Pokémon. It drives me crazy! Part of the problem is that I found Pokémon so nerdy when I was growing up, that the second he started getting into it, my knee jerk reaction was to a strong desire to steal Tristan’s lunch money. But I suppose it goes a little deeper than that. Here is a list.

I worry that Pokémon is teaching my son to illegally train animals to fight for sport: Pokémon revolves around a group of kids wandering from town to town with animals they’ve trained to fight. They set up battles with other “trainers” and their animals. In the real world these people are not called trainers, they are cock-fighting managers living in Tijuana.

We couldn’t possibly catch them all, so financially, it’s killing the kid: As of right now, there are 719 Pokémon. That’s 719 cards and a shit ton of stuffed animals, games, posters, coloring pages, and numerous other pointless products for the kid to buy. I have to assume these damn things are breeding, or they are discovering more of them, so this number will go up. We mostly ask that he uses his own money to buy Pokémon items (he gets money from a point system we set up), and he spends the majority of it on Poke cards and such. It’s a never-ending money hole.

I’m worried that he is going to one day make this video, which will, in turn, make me deny that I ever knew him:

The way he keeps repeating “Pikachu” gives me crazy thoughts: Pokémon repeat their names over and over again with different influxes in tone. Tristan does this, and it is so irritating that I often imagine going back in time and killing the inventor of Pokémon.

The show hypnotizes him: If Pokémon is on TV, the kid is worthless. He responds to nothing. I literally have to turn off the show and then wait 10 minutes for him to stop throwing a fit before I can get his attention again.

He worries about his Pokémon cards more than anything: Just a little while ago we drove from Oregon to Arizona (18 hours). On the drive, Tristan suddenly had to use the restroom. We made an emergency stop (something I hate doing on a 12 hour drive). Once at a gas station, I went to get him out of the car, but he wouldn’t move because he lost one of his poke cards. The kid kept searching the ground with one hand, while holding his butt with the other. I literally had to pick him up and carry him into the restroom kicking and screaming. This is not healthy.

Pokémon is really the only thing he wants to talk about, and I hate it: Tristan likes to ask me bullshit questions about Pokémon.
“What is Pikachu plus Bulbasaur?”
“I have no idea. Two?”
“Charmeleon,” he said. Then he rolls his eyes like I’m a moron.

But if I ask him what he learned today in school, he says he doesn’t remember. Tristan can tell me the damage on nearly any Pokémon. He can tell me which ones are water types, flying types, and electric types. He knew their back-stories. What land they are from. And yet, if I ask him about school, his day, anything other than Pokémon, he says he can’t remember. It frustrates the hell out of me.

Pokémon is like a virus: It’s spreading, people. Every time Tristan brings over a new friend, he introduces them to Pokémon, and the next time they come over, they share his obsession. All it takes is once, and they are hooked. It’s serious. Keep your kids safe.

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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, and a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His essays on parenting and marriage have been featured in New York Times Motherlode, Huffington Post Parents, Huffington Post Weddings, and The Good Men Project. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo by Lucinda Higley


Eduardo Mucino said...

Man, I know how exactly you feel. From what you wrote on the blog, your son has a Pokediction. A Pokediction is like any other addiction, it will take lots of time and effort to stop, especially when the addiction is so sentimental to your son. Have you tried putting your son into any clubs or sport activities to keep him busy, at least busy enough to stop him thinking about pokemon, because sometimes obsessions can lead into other obsessions that are even worse than the last ones. I do hope your son grows out of this "Pokediction."