Written by Ben Rosenthal (of PostHumourComedy.com)
WARNING: Some terms and phrases in this article may confuse the hell out of you. Just go with it, man.
SECOND WARNING: Language may be offensive and possibly NSFW.
With the ‘new’ Pokemon Black and White coming out soon, I thought it was about time to address an issue that has by no means had the attention it needs. A crippling, degenerative condition which not only alienates one from family and loved ones, but also prevents me from writing a joke here. I am talking, of course, about Pokemon Addiction.
It begins slowly. You first play the game out of curiosity, maybe at a party with friends. You only try it a couple of times, have some fun tackling each other’s Pidgeys and leave it at that. But then comes the desire to see what other Pokemon look like. Soon enough, you’re no longer taking a book into the toilet to read; you cart in your portable game system and play Pokemon until your legs are numb. Your Harry Potter novel remains on the bedside table at night; ignored as you try and beat the fifth gym leader for that badge you crave so. Eventually you defeat the Elite Four not once, but twice, catch all the Pokemon and finish the game. One would think that this would be where the addiction of the game would cease. Well one, you’re wrong.
Originally there were only 151 Pokemon for you to collect, but with each subsequent series, that number grew. There are now over 500 cute little animals to collect. These range from Ice Dragons to Ice Creams (I kid you not), each having different move set to aid you in your battles. It is when you decide to catch these 500+ Pokemon you know that you are in trouble. Then comes the truly frightening stage of Pokemon Addiction – competitive battling.
Competitive battling in Pokemon isn’t as simple as catching a cute Pokémon and setting them against a weaker level Pokémon. Oh no, it’s all about EV (Effort Value) and IV (I dunno…Igloo Value) training. Without going into too much detail, this kind of training involves you battling your Pokémon against other specific Pokémon in order to raise the stats of a particular move set. For example, you battle lots of Tentacool’s in order to boost you Spec. Def stat, allowing you to have a higher defence against special attacks. However, you have to choose the correct Pokémon with the correct nature to ensure that you are boosting the correct stat; otherwise you will just be wasting your time floating back and forth between the Seafoam f-ing Islands for hours on end.
Finally….finally, after you have hatched your Pokemon with the egg only taught moves, with the IV stats you’re after and spent hours training them to boost the EV to their maximum use with the Macho Brace (and perhaps tweaked the programs algorithms in order to get a shiny Pokemon), you’re ready to battle your Pokemon. Oh wait, no you’re not, because now you must do the same thing with 5 other Pokemon which compliment that Pokemon, as well as the others within your team. Do you have a tank Pokemon? A wall Pokemon? A sweeper? Just make sure you don’t have an Uber Pokemon, or else you’ll be shunned from the Pokemon Competitive Community forevermore (and be sure to use Under Used Pokemon, or else they’ll laugh at you. A lot).
So you have your team of 6. You have chosen the best items for each Pokemon to hold and are ready, after years of training these cutesy little pixels, to take it to the big leagues. You have shunned family, friends, but not cheeseburgers and are finally ready to do battle in the world of Competitive Pokemon Battling.
Guess what, you just got taken out by a Chansey. Yes, a fucking Chansey.
This, this would be the time when you realise that you have a problem. For many it is, and they put their Game Boys down (because they still live in the 90’s) and go on to lead normal lives within society. But for a select few, it doesn’t end there.
They train more. Harder. They begin to see birds on the few occasions they head outside, and wonder how many HP they would have to take in order to get it in a Luxury Ball. You begin to bet on illegal cock fighting, and playing music to large people who appear to be in your way. There is no help yet available for an addict who has reached this stage. To remove their game from their device would simply cause their cerebella to bleed, resulting in a crude form of a lobotomy. No, the only way you can help these people is to wait, hope and pray that one day they will come to their senses, venture outside without their hat on and stop throwing tennis balls at the next door neighbour’s cat.
That, or get a member of the opposite sex to dress up as a Pikachu.