Are you a Pokemon Addict?
Pokemon; those cute, colourful, silly little cartoons that have taken the world by storm. Although we've all seen or heard of them, do you know what they really are? Should you be concerned if you or someone you love seems to be obsessed with them? If so, what can you do? Read on to learn more about this popular and increasingly controversial fad.
Pokediction - No Laughing Matter
Young Matt goes to school every day carrying a deck of Pokemon cards in his Pokemon backpack. At lunchtime, he trades cards with his friends and discusses Pokemon trivia. After school, he stays glued to his Gameboy, playing Pokemon Blue, Red, and Yellow. He stops only to watch the Pokemon cartoon and eat Pokemon Spaghettio's for dinner. His parents dismiss this activity as "normal". What's worse, Matt is fourteen.
Are you one of those that believe Pokemon is simply a harmless children's pastime? Let's take a look at the myths that Pokemon promotes, and the sobering facts:
Myth-"Training" Pokemon on Gameboy is just like raising and caring for a real pet.
Fact-Taking care of a real pet requires more than the use of your thumbs. Also, real pets don't talk, but they do make a mess on the carpet.
Myth-Pokemon stories have morals about work, dedication, and love.
Fact-The concept of Pokemon is as follows: Young children leave home and hunt down wild animals. They then attack these animals until they are too weak to resist being put in tiny containers. They are only released in order to fight other captive animals. Whichever child's Pokemon beats up all the other children's Pokemon gets personal glory and fame. Children learn as much from Pokemon as they would watching a good cockfight.
Myth-Playing Pokemon computer games will expose kids to computers and help them learn technology.
Fact-After playing with the Pokemon CD-ROM, a child may be able to translate from Pikachu to Squirtle, but he still won't know a microchip from a tortilla chip.
Myth-"Gotta catch 'em all!"
Fact-Only egomaniacal tyrants get everything they want. Children have to learn to be satisfied with what they've got.
Myth-The Pokemon Master, after watching his Pokemon kill off the last of the competition, stand at the centre of an arena as a packed crowd cheers and rock music plays in the background.
Fact-No one gives a flaming peice of horse crap whether you finish Pokemon Red, Blue Yellow, Maroon, Chartruese, or whatever the heck it's called. The only thing you'll recieve is carpal tunnel syndrome and the realisation that you wasted 354 hours of your life.
Myth-Pokemon is a passing fad. An addict will "grow out of it".
Fact-Studies prove that Pokediction leads to other fad obsessions, namely Digimania and Monster Ranchitis. Eventually, an addict will seek out more dangerous fads, such as scooters and Boy Bands.
Myth-A kid needs some sort of hobby in order to have a healthy childhood.
Fact-Abraham Lincoln never had hobbies growing up and he turned out just fine.
The Pokemon Addiction Test
Answer the follwing questions "yes" or "no" to determine whether you suffer from Pokediction:
Can you name all 150 Pokemon?
Do you think about Pokemon at least once every five minutes?
Can you undeerstand what Pikachu is saying?
Would you rather watch a Pokemon competition than the Olympic games?
Have you seen the Pokemon movie?
Have you ever paid more than retail price for Pokemon merchandise?
Can you recite the "Team Rocket" motto?
If you answered "yes" to four or more of the above questions, you are a Pokedict.
Now that you know the harm Pokemon can cause, and you have determined if you or your loved ones are addicted, what can you do about it?
Dealing with Pokediction
Step 1 - Acceptance
Admit to yourself that you have a problem. Denial will only make it worse.
Step 2 - Purging
Get rid of all Pokemon-related merchandise that you own. Burn it, toss it in the garbage, or sell it on E-Bay.
Make a commitment to never buy Pokemon again. Do not watch the Televsion show. Avoid hobby shops and toy stores where you used to buy such merchandise. Most importantly, ditch all your friends who still like Pokemon, including best friends and siblings.
Share your problem with others. Tell everyone the horrible truth about Pokemon. Send an e-mail to me about your addiction and the pain you've gone through. It will be posted here so that we may all share your ordeal.