*******Watch Me: The History of Man by Steve Cutts *******
I’m truly marveled by the phenomenon that is Pokemon GO. While of course we’ve all seen our fair share of video game take overs, never before has the actual game play taken place outside in the “real” world. Games are fun, I mean, that is what they’re for right? Well try this party game on for size…sit down around a table with a bottle of whiskey and start asking the question, “What if?” What if you had a million dollars? What if Donald Trump actually becomes president? What if you could have dinner with anyone in the world? Welp, lets just get it over with and ask already…what if they were real? Yes, what if Nintendo was somehow able to take the revolution to the next stage. What if our standard animals, the lions and tigers and bears, were replaced with Voltorbs, Caterpies, and Pikachus. At first glance, this may look like the predecessor of any 90’s babies first nocturnal emission. When the brain really starts to chew on the question at hand however, this version of Jurassic World may not get the same Hollywood ending.
1. We’d Eat Them!
Alright, let’s get real with it right away. There’s no more livestock, fish, poultry…the fruit of the Earth will be of the Poke variety. Let’s keep it to one ‘what if’ and not ask if the whole population goes full veggie, eating nuts & berries. We’re talking spicy Magikarp tar tar. Kobe beef Taurus burgers. Exeggutor omlettes with grilled Psyduck tail and Polliwag legs. Sad but true. Judging by our current place on the food chain in tandem with our weaponry and red neck bravado, it’s safe to say we’d still be just about alpha even if the Pokemon invaded. With that, a quick side effect would be the conversion of some types being thrown right into the livestock category…raised to be slaughtered and nothing more.
2. We’d Wear Them.
Again, the traditional leather products are gone with the cattle, so of course mankind will make the adjustment. The measures taken for snakeskin boots, cow hide jackets, and mink coats will transition to Squirtle shell heels, a Growlithe fur scarf, and Staryu engagement rings. They say beauty is found on the inside not the out, but Tindr and Bumble will quickly reveal human natures true law of attraction. Some of the Pokemon visitors will fall victim to the fur trapping business and garment district. Not to mention the military funding that the Pentagon would provide for an entire betallion outfitted with Onyx body armor.
3. We’d employ them.
….and they’d displace us. The Poke-pocalypse will echo Eric Cartman and the town of South Park as we scream at Washington in outrage that “THEY TOOK OUR JOBS.” With the proper training, some of the now 4D Pokes will be filling a W2 for their tax return. While we probably won’t pay them (do Police Dogs get paid? I’ll get back to you) they will join the ranks. Machamps on construction sights twisting steal. Sandtrew digging out pools for you beach house. Charmander heating up pepperoni slices in Brooklyn? Ooooh, now were on to something.
4. Bye Bye Energy Crisis?
If a Charmander can fire up a brick oven, why can’t Jolteons charge our transformers and power plants? Maybe Tesla will have a summer special where the Model T comes with a Pikachu that can just juice your car up whenever need be. This subject could go on and on and could probably suffice for an MIT grad students thesis paper, so let’s leave it there.
Similarly to when you’re actually playing the game, some characters just get nauseatingly common to the point where you’re tossing your iPhone 5 trying to shoe your 6,000th Pidgey away. Some of them will become far too bothersome, costly, and flat out dangerous resulting in the patent pending Poke-pesticides. Caterpies and Weedles destroying crops wouldn’t work for the Idaho potato farmers. Bellsprout’s burrowing through city side walks burning tax payer dollars will clearly be handled and obviously when my brother moved to the East Village he set up his Ratatat traps. These smaller, more susceptible beasts may not even be able to find their spot in this new ecology, hunted and eliminated without remorse.
6. Some Just Wouldn’t Make It.
Current day species are facing massive population loss, putting some far past the point of no return. Black Rhinos, Polar Bears, and Mountain Gorillas are amongst the multitude of creatures placed on the Environmental Protection Agencies “critically endangered” list. More often than not, the main cause for extinction is extreme habitat loss through deforestation, pollution, and human invasion. In the Pokemon world, the more powerful and majestic ones are found in the isolated corners of the Johto map. If this were to follow suit, it’s quite dubious that Pokemon like Lapras and Vileploom would survive.
7. We’d Domesticate.
Some of the space invaders would certainly fulfill the niche occupied by dogs and cats. Yes, the cutest and most harmless of the lot would be welcomed into our homes and allowed to lay with our children, simply because evolution has left them as suitable roommates when compared to other animals too large, too dangerous, too expensive, or too outrageous to care for. Following that logic, maybe the street signs will remind the community to ‘curb your Eevee’ and something super-duper cool will instead be ‘the Vulpix’s meow.’
8. We’d Have To Legislate.
The second ANYTHING starts to interfere with human affairs, the government must ink some new rules and regulations to assure that everyone is still entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. While the Founding Fathers and the Constitution probably didn’t forecast for the Pokemon to invade, we’d still hold these truths to be self evident. Perhaps Chinas one child policy would be the blueprint for Pokemon ownership quotas. PETA would certainly lobby against Hitmonlee fight clubs, so the original Pokemon battles would hardly exist in our reality. Perhaps some would simply be ruled unfit to own due to public safety. Amazon and their fleet of Drones are facing copious amounts of legislation, listing their no-can-dos. Perhaps air fields will be mapped out for the flying types and no fly zones will be penned out as well. In summation, these beasts will hardly be free to rome.
9. We’d Commoditize.
Environmental activists have erupted in cheer in the past few months when Sea World began to dial back their Orca shows. Activists and organizations like the one depicted in the documentary ‘Blackfish’ fight to give voice to the voiceless. Being as the only communication Pokemon are capable are repeating their name over and over again, they won’t really be able to protest the stables and cages we’d eventually place them in. Poke Zoo’s would be a multi-billion dollar industry under my analysis. Theme Parks that allow you to ride a Garydos would be bullish and haunted houses with real live Gengars would be a Halloween staple.
10. We’d Fear Them.
Ever since Jaws was released, sharks have been the bully that keeps happy vacationers out of the water. Spiders are naturally viewed as ugly home invaders that warrant the bottom of your Timberlands within moments of seeing one in your bathroom. Crocodiles are an ambush predator that patrol murky waterfront properties, resulting in their removal in most Boca Raton jewish communities. More or less, one bad apple will spoil the lot and once one Pokemon steps out of the invisible line mankind has drawn in the sand, it’ll be over for that type. Once a creature, man or beast, is associated with danger and fear is strapped to their chest like a Baltimore PD body cam, it’s done. Under that logic, the biggest and baddest Pokemon, ones we posterized on our adolescent walls will be exterminated. Fear mongers are the worst of the worst…unfortunately we live in a world bursting with them.
So, close your eye’s every once in a while and ask those “what ifs.” Most of the questions at hand will be light hearted table talk, but often times, these questions can be the wake up call this world needs. A quick scan of man and animals relationship is truly unnerving, as one can see that without a use, an animal is ousted from its ecological position. This is mans world and EVERYTHING else is just living in it. At one point I’m sure that the idea of real Pokemon would be used for wish 1, 2, and 3 upon meeting a genie, but after analyzing just how they’d fit into our red meat eating, real fur wearing, ant hill squashing society, the Pokemon breed would likely meet the same fate. Pity, really. Even with the power to breath fire and move mountains, much of the potential would be ignored and extinguished.