Parents, guardians and teachers all over the nation are asking
themselves that very question. It must be difficult when a 9-year-old
child races home from school, flops down in front of the television
to the battles and violence of Pokémon.
Indeed, many children are trying their best to "catch
'em all" in the form of the popular trading cards. Many
schools have found it necessary to ban all Pokémon items
in efforts to keep the peace. In many cases, the trading of cards
has gone to extremes, sometimes reaching the level of fist fights,
biting, hitting, or scratching. Some children have even resorted
to theft in order to get the "Dragonite" card that
would complete their collection.
The poster for
Pokémon: The First Movie
Pokémon itself is the brainwave of Satoshi Tajiri.
As a young child, Tajiri collected bugs and insects from his
village just outside Tokyo. Pokemon, he says,"is a way for
children of a new generation to have a chance to collect insects
and other creatures the way he did. In 1996, he presented his
idea to Nintendo for Game Boy. Many companies refused to take
part in his deal. They felt that Game Boy technology was out
of date. Nintendo released the game anyway, not
expecting much in the way of results. To young Japanese boys,
however, Game Boy was the way to go. Since CD-ROM's and Sony
Playstation's were new and expensive, the forgotten era of Game
Boy was now within their grasp. The Pokémon game grew.
The basic principle behind the three editions of Pokémon
(Red, Blue and Yellow), is to "catch 'em all". The
151 species of Pokémon are scattered throughout the three
versions. In order to capture all the Pokémon, you must
complete all three versions. Pokémon Gold and Silver editions
will be available sometime in 2000 with the promise of 260 species.
There have been tragedies from the onset of Pokémon
fever. During one of the first animated shows, over 700 children
in Japan were stricken with seizures after watching the ever
popular Pikachu during battle. Apparently, the flashing lights
and swirling colours made for seizures. The problem was fixed,
however, and to date, no further problems have ensued from the
However, there have been many injuries sustained from the
trading of Pokémon cards. Children in Montréal
and New York have been stabbed after refusing to trade cards
with other students.
It's up to you: is Pokémania dangerous or will it just
fade away along with its predecessors Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
and The Power Rangers?