Yes, you heard that right, the "Pokemon" franchise is a perfect allegory for the path to the presidential candidacy in the US. How might this be exactly? Well, let's start with Pokemon Red and Blue. Two aspiring Presidential candidates (Pokemon Trainers) set off on a path to the presidential election (Pokemon Champion). Donald Trump is in the position of trainer Red: if Red started with maximum Pokedollars, Bicycle, and the Fly HM able to be used from the very start. Hillary Clinton in the position of trainer Blue: starting with an immense wealth of knowledge due to her ties through her political career (Professor Oak), which gives her an advantage over Donald Trump due to her ability to better debate (have Pokemon battles) and understand what the most effective means of debate are (understanding type weaknesses), which all but assures her path to victory in becoming President.
Red And Blue Get It? Oh God I Am A Terrible Human Being
Throughout the course of their presidential path (Pokemon journey), they engage in televised debates (Pokemon battles) against their political adversaries (Gym Leaders) in one heated debate after another, in an effort to prove to the world they are the best choice. Eventually they earn their right to continue on in the political campaign, after being voted in as the respective nominee for the Republican and Democratic nomination (collecting gym badges).
This comes to a head at the final pre-election debates: three between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and one between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine (battle with the Elite Four). When things were almost certain and Hillary Clinton was all but assured the presidential candidacy: practically sitting as President, and favored to win as the first female president of the United States (Temporary Pokemon Champion). Donald Trump then came in out of nowhere: completely baffling everyone watching and took the Presidency (Red wins against Blue as Pokemon Champion).
All fun and games aside, this is more satirical than anything else and is meant to highlight multiple things at the same time. Yes, we have a new President-elect in Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has lost. I am not here to rub it in and was actually going to change this idea around a little bit depending on who won. If Hillary Clinton had won I was going to change it to Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump and retaining the lead she had all along becoming our next President (Blue wins against Red and becomes Champion).
No One Like Him Has Ever Been Elected
Why write something like this specifically? Well, the first reason is that someone becoming President is kind of a big deal and this election is rather historic: had either candidate won it would have made history. Donald Trump is a complete novice as a politician and will likely be learning quite a bit during his stay in office and no one like him has ever won. Historically this is the first time we have had a President who has not held an office he was formerly elected into or a government appointed position or having a high ranking military background. He is strictly a businessman turned President and he is the first of his kind to have done so. Hillary Clinton would have been the first woman President America has ever had, which would also be a historical first.
My second reason for why I wrote this is to talk about the politicization of video game journalism, which seems to find a way to insert politics into any and all video games. While I feel it was rather creative of me to come up with the comparisons I did in the original Pokemon game to the presidential race, this happens all too often in video game reviews. Imagine this were instead a review for "Dishonored 2", which is set to come out November 11th, where I spent the entire review talking about the presidential election and how it embodies the sexism Hillary Clinton received at the hands of Donald Trump and the horrible "Trumpies" that support him.
Just Imagine The Political Posturing I Could Do With This
Imagine if my entire focus on a review for "Dishonored 2" was about politics, sexism and racism we experience in America today and was a "perfect" allegorical example of it all. Simply put: you wouldn't find much use for it as a person looking to buy the game. This however isn't too far off of what happens in games journalism these days, even a satirical write up like mine is becoming more and more common to be something that sounds like it might be an actual review.
To be clear when I combine politics and video games I do so intentionally and I would hope that readers understand that without thinking that I am using this as a platform to entice gamers towards my particular political point of view. I try to avoid things like attacking a video game if for example the creators, or a specific developer, have different political views from my own. I believe in separating my political views from my outlook on a video game. Too often we see more and more combinations of politics and video games and we get less and less actual reviews and fair neutral stances on the product in question, while more and more critics promote their political agenda.
Bad Game Time To Get Angry
Now, I have no issues with there being critics of any particular media: some of my favorite critics include "The Angry Video Game Nerd" and "Yahtzee" of Zero Punctuation, who both almost always come up with things they hate about any particular video game they criticize. Some other critics out there though focus on politics, either seen or unseen, in the game and use it as an excuse to talk about the woes of the real world and how a particular game is making the world worse because of the ideas it embodies. There is surely a place for it in gaming, but it seems to be happening more and more often.
For now, though, congratulations Donald Trump, our new president-elect.