Pokemon has been around since the 90’s and has become a cultural icon both in the East and the West. With such a lengthy history and continuing growth, there’s bound to be a few weird stories that have popped up here and there… and we wouldn’t be Top10Archive if we didn’t throw the ten weirdest of those tales together for your viewing pleasure!
Westboro Baptist Church Recruits Jigglypuff
It’s never a good sign when the Westboro Baptist Church makes its way into headlines, but this one just makes us chuckle. It all started when the Westboro Baptist Church was marked as a gym in Pokemon Go and one player, with a sense of humor we can get behind, used their Clefairy named LoveisLove to defend the location. The low-powered Pokemon and its trainer, Pinknose, mocked the church into turning one of the most adorable Pokemon into a hate mongering “God Warrior”. A vine of Jigglypuff eerily melodically chanting “Repent or Perish” popped up on the Westboro Baptist Twitter feed.
Lure Modules and Team Mugger
If there’s any sign of the moral depreciation and financial desperation of the world today, it’s the use of a feature in an otherwise harmless mobile app to rob players. Regarding Pokemon Go, that feature is the Lure Module which is used by higher level players to bait Pokemon to a location. As you can guess, where there’s Pokemon, Pokemon Go trainers will soon follow. Four teens in Missouri utilized the Lure Module to attract unsuspecting gamers to a secluded location and robbed them at gunpoint. At least ten victims were believed to have fallen for the clever trap and it’s highly doubtful that they’ll be the last.
Pokemon Go’s Dead Body Encounter
Pokemon Go. It’s caused robberies and a rise in trespassing and injuries. It also has its uses as a finder of missing persons! While tracking down Pokemon along Big Wind River in Wyoming, 19-year-old Shayla Wiggins stumbled across something more shocking than a rare Pokemon meandering about -Wiggins found herself mere feet away from the body of a man lying face down and motionless in the water. After calling the police, who determined the cause of death to be accidental, Wiggins remained unfazed by her encounter, stating she’ll continue to use Pokemon Go to explore more of her town. What’s next for the adventurous Wiggins?
Teen Used Trespass…
It’s super effective! And is another great side effect of the mobile augmented reality game, Pokemon Go. Since Pokemon are popping up all over real world environments, there are certainly plenty that find their way onto private property and along closed pathways. Stories of trespassing, such as that of Boon Sheridan whose house was marked as a Pokemon gym, have been popping up across social media and news platforms. Sheridan complained of wanna-be trainers parking in front of his house, blocking his driveway to partake in a digital fight. Several police departments have even specifically called out Pokemon Go gamers, cautioning them against trespassing.
Not everything in the realm of Pokemon is easy to joke about, such as the tragedies of Robert Brazier and 13-month-old Kira Alexis Murphy. Both Brazier and Murphy were simply enjoying their latest Poke-prize, a new Pokemon Power Bouncer for Brazier and a Burger King Pokeball for Murphy when their lives were tragically cut short. While trying to remove the small figure inside his clear rubber ball, Brazier accidentally swallowed it, causing the toy to become lodged. Little Murphy was toying with her Pokeball when she placed half the container over her face and inhaled, former a seal that eventually suffocated her.
PETA vs Pokemon
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has a pretty strong voice that’s often hard to ignore, but can we all agree to the degree of absurdity when PETA tried to take on Pokemon? Sure, we can get behind its efforts to protect real animals who are needlessly killed in the real world, but it is difficult to join the fight against the virtual capturing and training of fantasy animals. PETA called out Pokemon for digitalized animal cruelty and created a web-based spoof, Pokemon Black & Blue, where players fought against trainers using group hugs and protests. In defense of their qualm, PETA stated that Pokemon painted a “rosy picture of things that are actually horrible.” PETA also took on Mario’s Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3 but apparently takes no issue with Link’s glorified chicken-kicking activities.
Adding to the concern of texting and driving are reckless Pokemon trainers trying to keep up on their Pokemon Go while on the road. Though an early story of the mobile app causing a major highway accident in Massachusetts turned out to be a hoax, a hashtag started trending shortly after as people grew weary of what this new craze would actually mean for road safety. #DontPokemonGoAndDrive was mentioned in over 350,000 tweets from Twitter users both laughing at the new trend and heeding the call. We wish it didn’t need to be said, but really folks, Don’t Pokemon Go and Drive.
Have you ever been so engrossed in something that even the upcoming birth of your daughter couldn’t hold your attention? Jonathan Theriot was awaiting his third daughter when he decided to take a quick Pokemon Go break, because, you know, by your third child, the whole birthing process is quite unremarkable. While his wife waited for an imminent c-section, Theriot engaged a Pidgey that appeared at the foot of the hospital bed. You may be questioning his judgment in the moment, especially when he excitedly told his laboring wife of his prize, but Mrs. Theriot was a good sport and laughed it off.
It’s been quite a while since a video game has caused so many injuries. Probably not since the early days of the Nintendo Wii has there been such an outbreak of accidents, incidents, bumps, trips, slips, falls, and gaffes all because of a virtual experience. Pokemon Go is no strenuous activity and doesn’t really warrant these sorts of follies, but as users continue to track nearby Pokemon without looking up from their phones, the number of blunders is sure to rise.
Lavender Town may have been a work of fiction, but it feels like there was a hint of inspiration pulled from the incident surrounding the 38th episode of Pokemon’s first season, which aired only in Japan. The episode, titled “Electric Soldier Porygon” - or Denno Senshi Porygon for you poke-purists – followed Ash and company to a Pokemon Center that was experiencing a fault with a Poke Ball transmitting device. What followed was an episode filled with repetitive visual effects that lead to photosensitive epileptic seizures in some of its viewers. A reported 685 viewers were hospitalized due to the episode’s effects, leading to the pulling of the broadcast and a 4-month Poke-hiatus. The incident parodied in classy shows like The Simpsons and South Park was dubbed Pokemon Shokku, or Pokemon Shock.