Escapism Is Dead
All I wanted was a new distraction to lift my spirits following this year’s shit-storm of an election, however Pokémon Moon disappointed me as every trainer I ran into mentioned politics. It began immediately, when I was able to choose my starter Pokémon: Rowlet, Litten, or Popplio. When presented with my choices, each creature suddenly informed me of their opinions and votes.
The barrage of explicit election references would not stop here however. As I moved on through the game, every character I interacted with felt the need to inform me of their political thoughts. From “Nurse Beth” at the health center blaming the election on Hilary’s emails, to “Swimmer Kyle"asking me mid-battle if I’d heard about Russia’s involvement, I could not get away from this talk.
Even as I reached the ultimate goal of battling the Elite Four, I was disappointed to find each one represented one of the main candidates (Stein, Johnson, Clinton, and Trump). Stein and Johnson were easy to beat with their magic and grass types, but fighting the harsher rock and fire types of Clinton and Trump was a real challenge.
Despite not being what I was hoping for, the game did help me satisfy some of my underlying aggression regarding the current political climate. Getting to feel like I had some control over the successes and defeats of these figures was not something I, an American voter, was used to. Yet the game eventually did end, and I am now forced to re-enter the disgusting world we are living in. Maybe I should try VR…