Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Journey into Darkness: 2: Of Electric Mice and Men

In ethics there are two major schools of thought: the Consequentialists and the Deontologists. To the horror of every philosopher I went to school with, not only would I consider myself a Deontologist but I also like Kant. His works may have read like the Handbook for the Recently Deceased however the whole "never treat someone as a means to an end" thing just resonated with me.

Enter Team Plasma.

In previous games budding Pokemon trainers would find themselves pitted against the organized Pokemon crime ring, Team Rocket. If Team Rocket was Ziggy Stardust then Team Plasma would be Aladdin Sane. Technically the same people but with very different approaches.

I first encountered Team Plasma as they gathered in a town square (all Occupy Wall Street style) denouncing the use of Pokemon citing that trainers were suppressing the free-will of Pokemon. Half expecting quotes from Critique of Pure Reason, I found myself sympathizing with Team Plasma. Especially when the counterargument was that Pokemon love being trained! Who wouldn't want to be the best?

This logic lies somewhere between the justification for Gladiatorial competition and something Hitler would have said. However, I later come across a couple of members of Team Plasma and they attack me with Pokemon which made me wonder if anyone over at Game Freak had really thought this through. It's a shame really. I think if they had attacked me with robots or magic or hell just their fists I'd be okay with it. But alas Team Rocket is a flawed institution and I must align myself with the Pokemon supremacists.

Today's lesson: Game Freak probably didn't pass Contemporary Moral Issues...

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