is pokemon evil

"Gotta catch \'em all" - Why has Pokémon received such acclaim and criticism

The world\'s most common thought systems, the \'-isms\' of the world - conservatism, liberalism, fundamentalism, fascism, etc - are ideologies. Collins dictionary defines Ideology as \'a body of ideas that reflects the beliefs of a nation, political system etc.\'. Yet it is difficult to define the word and the concept of ideology as those that often arise create contradictions. Terry Eagleton highlights some of the definitions and discusses this problem, for example he says that if \'ideology means any set of beliefs motivated by social interests, then it cannot signify the dominant forms of thought in a society\' . In fact one of the only aspects of ideology that is generally agreed upon is that it is nearly impossible to sum up this vast idea in a sentence. Critics such as Kracauer distrusted ideologies, as a liberal theorist he was confidant that man, confronted with real experience \'will shape his life in terms of the real\' . He was a believer in the use of science in order to gain a proper understanding rather than dealing in ideologies. Some modern writers believe that ideology is a popular way of thinking because \'they are simple and appear to offer simple solutions\' . In this case ideologies fail because they are too inflexible yet still clung on to because they offer some form of security. The concept of ideology is most generally associated with power relations. Power is not a connected force or phenomenon, nor an exclusively political phenomenon. Power and power relations are woven throughout all our practices and ideas, power is exercised in every relationship, group, and social practice, and it is not necessarily detrimental. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that social order relies, in varying degrees, but ultimately, on the ability of one person or group to coerce another person or group, and that the basis of Law, however rationalised, is the authorised use of force. The significance of this is that there is not one set belief in what ideology is, it is based purely upon the individual and their social and psychological contexts. Everyone has had a number of different influences and experiences upon their lives and this leads to what their ideals are and essential what their ideologies of different elements of life are.
Following the lead of other interactive toys such as Tamagotchi, \'loveable egg\' and Furbys comes the new world-wide craze of pokémon. Originally titled \'Pocket Monsters\' in Japan, this new obsession stems from the Nintendo GameBoy video game that has spawned an industry in its own right. Pokémon today is inescapable; it is played on home video game consoles, broadcast in the animated television series and heard on the radio. This is not to mention the huge amount of merchandise ranging from T-shirts, pencils, cameras and jewellery. In Japan there are more than a thousand pokémon products for sale making it a five to six billion dollar industry that crosses over into virtually every entertainment medium and licensed product that can be imagined.
At the heart of the pokémon phenomenon is the trading cards. A Company named Wizards of the Coast, which claims to have sold more than two million starter sets alone , introduced the card game last January. Not all kids watch the TV show or play the video games, most simply collect the cards and it is the collecting that has caused the majority of the problems with the search of the most elusive rarer cards. Pokémon has been hailed as wholesome entertainment and also proclaimed an evil, it is this contradiction in these opposing ideologies of the game that I intend to focus my ideological analysis. Whilst looking at some of the cards that have been involved in both arguments I will investigate the moral outrage that has developed from this simple child\'s game. I will do this by discussing the debate raised by different groups and the ideologies that they associate with Pokémon and using the trading cards and the animated television series to exemplify their arguments. This crack down on pokémon comes from the home, at school and more recently in America from the church. Although the mania surrounding pokémon has