Christians who are thinking about playing Pokemon Go and are not aware of its background (it was created in the 90s) should read this first!
In her 2001 book ‘Deliver Us from Evil’, Christian author and intercessor Cindy Jacobs provided a good overview of Pokemon, and explained to Christian parents why Pokemon is “one of the most popular and most dangerous games our children play today” and “a stepping stone to other fantasy games that lead children deeper into the occult”:
Satoshi Tajiri created Pokemon in 1996. He designed it for Nintendo’s Game Boy, an electronic toy, and it became popular in Japan. In 1998, Nintendo, in cooperation with Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast division, introduced the game in the United States and it quickly became a hit here, “too. The Yellow version sold more than 1 million copies in its first month of release.
Pokemon has gone far beyond Game Boys. Today it features a trading-card game, a video game, a television show, several movies and a variety of accompanying merchandise. There is even a Pokemon website and world-championship tournament.
What Pokemon Teaches
“Pokemon” is short for “pocket monster.” As of this writing, it featured more than 150 creatures. At first these made-up characters may seem to be innocuous. But a careful examination reveals troubling similarities with some Wiccan and other occult practices.
Each Pokemon has a unique set of magical powers which grow and evolve. Players, mostly children, are encouraged to carry their Pokemon with them wherever they go. According to the official tournament rules, holding Pokemon power in their hands will make them “ready for anything.”
The Pokemon are pictured on cards which can be purchased in sets or acquired through trading and by fighting with other Pokemon. The more powerful the Pokemon, the more difficult it is to get that card.
Players are called trainers. The more skilled the trainer, the more Pokemon he or she collects. Ash is the boy hero and model trainer. Children are supposed to strive to follow his example. In one episode of the Pokemon television show, Ash captures his fifth little Pokemon. But his mentor tells him five are not enough. Ash must catch lots more if he wants to be a Pokemon master – the more he gathers and trains, the more power he will have in future battles.
So Ash searches for more of the reclusive, power-filled little Pokemon. He must first find the psychic Pokemon called Kadabra and snatch it from its telepathic, pink-eyed trainer Sabrina. With the Pokemon ghost Haunter on his side, this should be a cinch!
But Ash underestimates the power of his opponent. When he battles Sabrina, each hurl their chosen Pokemon into the air, but only Kadabra evolves into a supermonster. Haunter hides. “Looks like your ghost Pokemon got spooked,” taunts Sabrina.
Another Pokemon dialogue reveals the moral values the game teaches. Ponder the influence this could have on children: “You can catch a Mew by cheating with a Gameshark.”
“Ah, the Gameshark. Cheating is not honorable. But many of you have requested and sent me this information, so I have put it up for all you cheaters.”
Gengar, yet another made-up creature, has the power to curse Pokemon players. This teaches children that cursing through magic is OK. Pokemon further models ungodly character traits such as gambling.
This fantasy game, which clearly seduces our children, introduces them to the demonic realm. In his book “Pokemon and Harry Potter: A Fatal Attraction”, pastor Phil Arms does an excellent job of showing how Pokemon embodies New Age and occult-like characteristics. I will list just two here.
- The Pokemon Evee can be morphed, or changed, into three different kinds of Pokemon. The trainer, however, must use scones co complete the transformation. In Pokemon, there are water scones, thunder scones and fire stones. Several other Pokemon can be altered by these scones as well. “Many kinds of stones have been taught by occultists co have mediumistic capabilities. New Age proponents believe that some scones, such as crystals, can give off energy chat has the ability to heal and even transmit thoughts,” Arms writes.
- The Pokemon Psyduck has incredible telepathy or mental powers. Too bad he thinks they are his own and does not realize it is actually demons that empower him. “Psyduck defeats his opponents by mesmerizing them with a piercing stare and releasing a barrage of pent-up mental energy. The New Age concept that parallels this ability falls under the heading of an altered state of consciousness,” Arms explains.
Children as young as four participate in Pokemon and it spin-offs. While the game’s creators call it amusement, in reality as players gather more Pokemon they learn co be clairvoyant, summon spirits, practice mind-control and how to dabble in other magical arts. As we discussed in chapter two, Scripture strictly forbids all of this!
Kids Learn Math Skills?
Some Pokemon proponents boast that the game reaches kids math skills as they buy and sell cards. This may be true, but do we approve of Pokemon on these grounds? If we do, then we should also accept children running numbers at the horse track and selling drugs. When someone bets on a race, the bookie needs to know the odds. When someone sells drugs, he or she must calculate the weight of the product and know how to count cash payments.
Dangerous Side Effects
The fruit of this beginner’s form of magic and witchcraft should frighten us all. The theme in Pokemon is “gotta catch them all.” Such a goal can result in obsessive-compulsive behavior and violence.
Some schools have banned the game and cards because of the problems that accompany them. In Philadelphia, for example, four children at one middle school were arrested after they attacked classmates and stole their Pokemon cards. In Quebec, a 14-year-old student was stabbed in a fight over the game?
One of the most alarming side effects of Pokemon occurred in Tokyo when about 700 school children reportedly suffered convulsions, vomited and displayed other symptoms while watching the Pokemon television cartoon. TV Tokyo imposed a health warning on future episodes.
Just how much have our society’s children been bewitched by this game? The first Pokemon movie earned $50.8 million in its first five days. Wizards of the Coast, the U.S. company based in Renton, Washington, that introduced the game in January 1998, claims to have sold more than 2 million $10 starter sets.
The Bible warns us in 1 Timothy 4:1:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (emphasis added).
The First Step to the Occult
“How close can we get to the occult and still call it ‘good social interaction and imagination stretching fun for kids?”‘ inquires pastor Brett Peterson about Pokemon.
It is an entry-level occult game. Wizards of the Coast hosts a website (www.wizards.com) that not only features Pokemon but also provides information on other even more dangerous fantasy games that they produce, including Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons.
“Satan always begins with offering a bait,” Phil Arms writes. “In this case, he offers children a fun-filled fantasy and diversion from reality … . However, as children enter into the Pokemon game, it is inevitable that they must participate in a role-playing world of fantasy.”