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01 April 2009 @ 02:03 am
A Decade Of Pokemon Scandals  
Sorry if this has already been posted!

A Decade Of Pokemon Scandals

Adorable multi-media phenomenon, or addictive, seizure-inducing, sacrilegious danger to life and limb? Over its thirteen-year history, the Pokemon sensation has been no stranger to controversy. Here are some of the most notable skeletons in Pikachu's closet.

Japanese kids hospitalized by seizures

Countless video games are plastered with epilepsy warnings, but when Pokemon triggered a seizure epidemic in Japan in 1997, it wasn't the game that was to blame. After the debut of the Pokemon TV show episode "Computer Warrior Porigon," which featured intense patterns of flashing lights, over 700 children and adults developed epilepsy-like symptoms and were rushed to the hospital.

Teacher makes "Pocket Saints"

Isaiah, I choose you! Concerned by the popularity of Pokemon trading cards in his Sunday school class, British teacher David Tate designed his own versions, which pitted Biblical characters against one another in a "Top Trumps"-style battle. The only one missing was Jesus. "It would defeat the purpose if Jesus was beaten by one of the bad characters," Tate told the BBC.

Uri Gellar sues over Kadabra

Self-proclaimed psychic Uri Gellar built his reputation on his supposed ability to bend spoons with the power of his mind. When Nintendo introduced Kadabra, a psychic-type Pokemon that carries a bent spoon, he sued for $100 million over claims that the game had stolen his identity. Gellar lost. You'd think he'd have seen that coming.

Jynx incites racial backlash

Black skin. Big lips. Swinging hips. Does Jynx, one of the original set of Pokemon in Japan, look like a racist caricature of a "blackface" entertainer from the days of the minstrel show? Some claimed so, prompting Nintendo to hastily redesign Jynx, trading the character's black skin for a nice (and less controversial) shade of purple.

Class-action suit calls Pokemon cards "gambling"

When you think of illegal gambling, what springs to mind? Smoky poker dens? Underground dog-fighting rings? Schoolkids lining up to buy Pokemon cards? One of these things is not like the other, but that distinction didn't stop a firm of San Diego lawyers from filing a class-action suit against Nintendo, alleging that the small chance of finding a valuable card in a deck of Pokemon cards constitutes an addictive form of gambling.

Saudi Arabia bans Pokemon

Saudi Arabian religious leaders aren't fans of Pokemon. In fact, they issued an edict in 2001 banning the game outright, alleging that it promotes Zionism and gambling, and possesses the minds of children.

Child suffocated by toy Pokeball

Stuffing toy Pokemon inside three-inch plastic Pokeballs sounds like a great idea for a kids' meal promotion, but when Burger King tried it in 2000, it resulted in tragedy. A thirteen-month-old child in California suffocated after she placed both halves of the Pokeball over her nose and mouth. Burger King recalled the toys as a result.

hewitt: ed wuncler III; the *fuck?*risingdragon on April 1st, 2009 09:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's... not obnoxious or anything.
Lyssie-chan: in hoc signo vincesvoodoobob on April 1st, 2009 09:56 am (UTC)
That first image bothers me. Epileptics do browse the internet, and if that can cause seizures on TV it can cause seizures online. I'd feel better if the gif was slowed way down or replaced with a still image.

Fun little list, though.
under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness: pokemon ; bad day ; jesseseashellz on April 1st, 2009 10:02 am (UTC)
Changed :]
Lyssie-chan: take on the worldvoodoobob on April 1st, 2009 10:11 am (UTC)
Great, thanks. :)
Blackjack Gabbianiblackjackrocket on April 1st, 2009 10:35 am (UTC)
Doesn't that also entirely depend on the type of screen?
Lyssie-chan: in hoc signo vincesvoodoobob on April 1st, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
...Hmm, does it? I've never heard of anything like that. All I know was it was really hard to look at and I could absolutely imagine that rapid flashing triggering a seizure in someone, on any screen.
The Flower Which Blooms in a   Pleasant Paradise: ever so smartapplemint on April 1st, 2009 10:42 am (UTC)
Will someone PLEASE think of the children?!
drew2u: bambulancedrew2u on April 1st, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
☀☁☂: what is going onmaids on April 1st, 2009 10:28 am (UTC)
oh you guys
K.birthdaycake on April 1st, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
Blackjack Gabbianiblackjackrocket on April 1st, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
I always heard the kid who sufficated was 9 and developmentally delayed. Or was that the kid who swallowed the rubber ball? Either way, how the hell do you die from putting one of those things over your NOSE? It doesn't seem at all possible unless your nose is concave or your head is shaped really strangely. You'd have to hold it down really hard, but your grip would release when you passed out.

And honestly, what the hell was the judge doing there? That's parental negligance right there--who leaves their kids unattented while playing when they're that young? Would they sue the public utilities if their kid drowned in the bath?

Also the weird thing about the Geller suit is that apparently it's still GOING, since that one director that Pokebeach interviewed said they're not allowed to discuss the case, and since Kadabra hasn't appeared on cards in years (how, then, can it appear in the games and on the show?)
drew2udrew2u on April 1st, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Burger King Corporation is voluntarily recalling more than 25 million Pokemon balls included with Burger King kids meals. The balls may pose a suffocation hazard to children under three years of age. Pokemon balls are the ball-shaped plastic containers that hold Pokemon toys in Burger King kids meals. Either half of the Pokemon ball can become stuck on a child's face, covering the nose and mouth and may cause suffocation of a child under three years of age.

A 13-month-old girl reportedly suffocated when one-half of a Pokemon ball covered her nose and mouth. An 18-month-old girl reportedly also had a ball-half stuck over her face, causing her distress. However, the girl's father (on the second attempt) pulled the ball-half from her face.

NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 3! All Burger King regular toys have that on the packaging and offer an alternative toy for children of those ages. My mom and sister worked at Burger King at one time so I should know.
Burger King shouldn't have been at fault because of Parental Negligence, but they would have pulled the toys anyways because of the publicity.

Europe always has the best toys because the courts understand the rules and parents are actually responsible for their kids. <3 Kinder Eggs
Sarahredwolftamer on April 1st, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
I know I was so upset when they took away the balls because it felt like you were a real trainer with them. I still kept all mine and even painted a the missing black line around the middle lol

Some parents are so completely stupid and everyone else has to suffer because of it. I'm sorry, but if you're too damn stupid to read a freaking warning label and pay attention to your kids then you don't deserve them.
weighted companion cuban: trilos and doritosheadcrabs on April 1st, 2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
uri also sued IKEA because he said a line of chairs that were bent were about him, since it was the "uri" line. that guy is such a turd.
I Am The Wooden Doorsskog on April 1st, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Isn't unwarranted self importance a magical thing?
hewitt: batman; speaking batrisingdragon on April 1st, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
I knew magic was real!
Kittysaikopathiccow on April 1st, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
You'd think since he's "psychic" he would have put a stop to these things before they were even created. >.>
(Deleted comment)
Kittysaikopathiccow on April 1st, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
I thought the same thing. They totally killed their kid and blamed pokemans. :(
melancholy enthusiastchinesestudio on April 1st, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
How does Pokemon promote Zionism?
g_manluver on April 2nd, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
No offense to anyone from this country but were talking about SAUDI ARABIA. If it isn't painted with Islam it has to be zionist in nature.

Heck, I'm rather surprise they didn't ban Pokemon simply because of how the female trainers dress in the game. I'm no muslim and I even think they dress kinda slutty.
sexi_pandasexi_panda on April 1st, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
I don't think people understand that the pokemon Jinx was based of the old style of ganguro which started coming out around the same time pokemon did. Japan does have blackface yes, but what explains the clothes and the hair? Their opinions of ganguro's behavior was just the same as Jinx. Ganguro does mean blackface but they meant it as a beach bunny thing.
足: need space - icon by eightyfour__evilashi on April 2nd, 2009 07:05 am (UTC)
Yes, but Jynx's color change makes sense because they were bringing Pokemon to the international market. No one cares if ganguro fashion uses a lot of beachy clothing and platinum blond hair. Hardly anyone outside of Japan knows what ganguro is and if they saw someone walking down the street like that (especially in the US), they would be offended. It's akin to Sambo, and a lot of Japanese anime characters in the 90s looked like black face minstrel characters. Due to the international commercial value of anime and Japanese knowledge of stereotypes, those types of characters aren't really present anymore. I hardly ever see a character with giant red lips and dark brown or black skin.

When you think about it, it would be like someone exporting an "innocent" book about mud people or yellow-faced, buck-toothed, dim-witted asians. Or even if a character looked like the latter, it's still a stereotype that doesn't settle well with people. The Japanese just don't have the same history with black stereotypes as the United States, so it makes perfect sense that they wouldn't see Jynx as offensive. For the most part, they're not fully aware of the history of blackface and minstrel shows because they didn't really have those. (Well, Commodore Perry brought a minstrel show with him, but that's the only time I in history I can recall that.)

Now, the Kadabra thing is just ridiculous. The Jynx thing does make sense. It's only a simple color change. But to be quite honest, when my mom first saw Jynx in my Pokemon Blue game when I was in elementary school, she saw a resemblance to Sambo, Tar Baby or Mammy. It bothered her a bit, but she didn't take my game away.
Another Ravaged Storyteller: Ash and Chimcharnetbug009 on April 2nd, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
"Teacher makes "Pocket Saints""

....I am a Christian and this makes me go "LOL WUT?"

Tanyaaa.: cartoonirayfairygarland on April 6th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
Some of these are ridiculous, the Pocket Saints one especially hahah