Unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you know that PokémonGO is a huge cultural phenomenon. It seems that everyone is playing. Of course, if you look a little closer, it's clear that not everyone is playing, but everyone is certainly talking about it! Especially on social media. This is how I found out that Pokémon was created by Satan...
As far as I can tell, since we have overcome all of the "basic" sins, ol' Lucifer had to throw us a curveball. (A Pokéball?)
"They'll never see it coming if I dress it up as a cuddly little yellow creature named Pikachu.", Satan was quoted as saying in an interview with Time Magazine. (You just read that on the Internet, so it has to be true, right?)
Now, I know everyone has an opinion (most of them pretty strong) on the subject and I know I am going to catch a lot of flak for this post. I'm OK with that. I welcome your comments, concerns, and death threats...
Seriously though... hopefully we can all be friends, even if we disagree!
(Please read to the end of this post! Even if you hate me and Pikachu, you'll love the story!)
Pokémon is a lot of things. I know because I watched the original series as a kid. I know because I played the games on the Gameboy and Nintendo 64, and in the last couple of weeks I've tried the new app, PokémonGO on my iPhone.
The games are a lot of fun and the animé (cartoon) is entertaining, imaginative, and teaches valuable lessons about friendship, character, choices, and teamwork. It's fun, creative, cute, and generally positive in tone.
Like I said, it's a lot of things, but Satan's tool for demonic influence over the youth? I have my doubts...
Let's talk about a couple of the claims floating around the internet.
Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri, in an interview with Time magazine, claimed to have designed Pokémon out of rebellion towards his parents and his Christian upbringing. Several people have taken this a step farther and claim that Pokémon is Satanic and is based on demonic creatures and imagery rooted in the occult.
I have included the text of the "Time interview" below:
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.
The (Really True) Truth #1
This "interview" that supposedly appeared in an issue of Time magazine never actually happened. It originally appeared, as a piece of humorous (and poorly written) fiction, on the Play4Real website in November, 2012. Here's a link: http://www.p4rgaming.com/pokemon-creator-admits-games-aimed-towards-satanists/
In other words, it's FAKE!
This story has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity with the release of PokémonGO, as people are re-posting anything negative they can find about Pokémon. No need to do any research or check the sources. I mean, if I don't like it and don't understand it, it has to be the work of Satan, right?
Pokémon is Japanese for "devils", "demons", "pocket demons", or some variation of this concept.
The (Really True) Truth #2
The word "Pokémon" is actually a mashup of the Romanized Japanese words "Poketto Monsuta", which literally means "Pocket Monsters". Read what you will into the term "monster", but know that the connotations are much different in Japanese culture than in fundamentalist Christian circles in America.
The Beautiful, Inspirational (REALLY TRUE) Story of the Origin of Pokémon!
As a child, Pokémon creator, Satoshi Tajiri was obsessed with catching and collecting insects. His friends even nicknamed him, "Dr. Bug". His dream was to become an entomologist. As the rural area of Tokyo where Satoshi lived became more urbanized, he was forced to give up his beloved hobby. He eventually forgot his dream of becoming an entomologist.
As Satoshi grew older, he became infatuated with video games, much to his parents dismay. His grades began to suffer, but at home he stayed busy studying electronics. He would take apart his Nintendo Famicom to see how it worked. This curiosity allowed him to learn, on his own, how to make video games.
Tajiri's parents wanted him to get a job or go to a university, but he was determined to be a video game developer. He went to a technical school to study computers and electronics. He wanted to create a game that would allow kids to experience the feeling of catching and collecting creatures, as he had in his childhood.
The result was the Pokémon phenomenon. The creatures were based, not on demons, but on the insects that Tajiri had collected as a child. The hero of the games and animé, Ash Ketchum (Satoshi in Japan), was based on a young Tajiri.
Now for the beautiful, inspirational part...
The key to Tajiri's success was his laser-like focus on whatever was most important to him at the time. He owed this focus to the same thing that contributed to his bad grades in school and made it difficult to relate or live up to the expectations of parents and teachers: autism. He does not speak publicly about his autism, but has confirmed that he has indeed been diagnosed with Asberger's, a high functioning form of autism.
Sometimes a perceived weakness can be our greatest strength!
Read this great article from Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/5806664/how-pokemon-was-born-from-bug-collecting-and-aspergers-syndrome
In the end, I don't care if you like Pokémon or not.
I do have to applaud any parent's efforts to educate themselves on anything their kids may be into, but don't believe everything you read on the internet. In fact, don't believe ANYTHING you read on the internet. Even what you are reading right now is just one guy's opinion. I could be wrong, but at least I got my facts straight.
Take the time to research things for yourselves. Be sure that you know the facts and proceed from there, rather than blindly re-posting bad information and outright lies. Regardless of which side of a given issue you find yourself on, arguing with bad information will undermine your argument, even if you are right.
If I can give you one final thought on the subject, it's this:
I know the devil is a roaring lion, but I don't look for him under every rock and behind every tree. My faith is stronger than that.
I choose to find the beauty in situations when I can. I would hate to miss the inspirational (TRUE) story of Satoshi Tajiri because I fed into a (false) story being propagated by Christians who I have to assume are either intentionally lying, are really gullible, or are too lazy to check their facts.
C'mon Christians, we can do better than that...
When it comes to factual errors and Pokémon...
"Gotta catch 'em all!"
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Our house smells like death.
Not like someone left some food out on the counter too long or didn't light a match in the bathroom...
It smells like DEATH!
Something, most likely a raccoon, opossum, cat, or squirrel (although from the smell, I would say it has to be at least the size of a decent bull elk), has crawled under our house and died.
Now, ordinarily this would be an unpleasant, but quickly resolved problem. Simply, crawl under the house and remove the stinking carcass, clean the affected area, and the stench begins to subside. Unfortunately, this animal (I still say it's an elk...) decided to make his final resting place under a section of the house that does not have a foundation vent AND does not have crawlspace access!
The weather is hot and the stench is unbearable... and there is no way to remove the carcass... At this point, we just have to wait. We mined all of the golden nuggets of wisdom that the internet has to offer, but to no avail. We have bought two different products that are specifically designed to eliminate odors, several boxes of baking soda, a window fan to pull the air out of the room, and incense to cover it up, but nothing has really worked.
The only consolation is that we can close a door to that part of the house and the smell is contained. We can live a semi-normal life while we wait for the stench of death and decay to slowly subside...
At the prompting of my wife, I have repaired (in a very loose sense of the word...) the crawlspace access, so this will not happen again. Here's hoping that the rest of the family (or "herd" if it was an elk...) wasn't still living under there and are now trapped in their tomb. Our house may smell for a year...
Bitterness is Like Unto an Elk
Bitterness is like unto an elk, that crawled under a house and died.
I'm not as good as Jesus at this parable thing and my wife still says it's an opossum, but bear with me...
I was thinking about the stench of rotting flesh that is permeating our house and it made me think of two things that I want to share with you all.
Bitterness is a very real danger to everyone. Even Christians... Even "good" Christians...
If we don't keep the access to our heart sealed up tight, bitterness will sneak in. It will find a dark, musty corner, clear out of sight, and it will die.
Once it's there, it will eventually start to decay... and that's when it starts to stink. Our attitude stinks. We become bitter. No one wants to be around us because of our attitude, which only confirms and justifies our bitterness, causing it to grow.
If we don't find this bitterness and root it out, it will stink up our entire life until one day it just stops stinking.
Do you know when a body stops stinking? After it has rotted, been eaten by maggots and dermestid beetles, dried up, and no one (not even the maggots) want anything to do with it.
It has become completely useless to everyone and everything around it.
This is bitterness' endgame. It is a tool of Satan and Satan is seeking whom he may destroy.
Don't let bitterness into your heart. If it's already there, crawl under the house and drag it out. Cut out the walls and floors if you have to. It's that important. Don't let it rot until your life is a dry, petrified shell of what it could have been. Don't let it destroy you and your relationships.
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:" ~ Ephesians 4:31
Bitterness (and jealousy) is what influenced Cain to murder his own brother, created endless tension in the family of Jacob & Esau, and drove Saul to try and kill David, his anointed replacement, several times!
The smell under my house will eventually subside and everything will be back to normal, but there will always be the corpse of an animal (probably an elk) under that floor. You don't want the bitterness in your life to take up permanent residence and become a part of who you are, so get it under control while you still can.
Oh, and go check your crawlspace access...