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The Truth About Pokémon

Updated on April 23, 2008
Photo: fuzzcat, Flickr
Photo: fuzzcat, Flickr

The first time I heard someone use the words Pokémon and Satanic in the same sentence, I assumed they were joking. But they weren't. There are a lot of parents who are concerned about the influence of Pokémon and other games may have on their children. I had to know more. This article gives some background on card collecting and role playing games in general, as well as some specifics on Pokémon in particular.

Pokémon Card Game

Pokémon is short for ‘pocket monster' and has become one of the most popular and profitable game-based media franchises in the world. Pokémon characters can be found in the forms of amime (comic books), trading cards, toys, and books. The franchise has been around since 1996 includes over four hundred fictinoal species, whose creation is said to be inspired by executive director Satoshi Tajiri-Oniwa childhood hobby of insect collecting.

Although there is debate about whether or not Pokémon is a true role playing game (RPG), it's clearly a card collecting game. There are two general goals in any Pokémon game setting: 1.) collect all of the available Pokémon species found in the fictional region where that game takes place, and 2.) train a team of powerful Pokémon from those they have caught to compete against teams owned by other Trainers (the game name for collectors).

Each game lays out a path for the player to journey through, completing events and battling opponents along the way. After defeating especially powerful players, referred to as Gym Leaders, player receive a Gym Badge. Once all eight badges are collected the player can then challenge the region's Pokémon League, and progresses through the hierarchy from there, competing for the ultimate title of Pokémon Master.

Is Pokémon Satanic?

Pokémon has been criticized by some Christians because of concern over perceived connections to the occult as well as themes of violense. Some are also not fond of the concept of Pokémon evolution, where species take on new powers and traits, as contradictory to the creation story of Genesis in the Bible. By that reasoning, all fantasy fiction must be suspect. The Vatican, by contrast, has countered that the Pokémon trading card game and video games fuel creative imagination and are free from moral side effects. Christian Power Cards was introduced in 1999 in response to provide a Bible friendly trading card game. Jews and Muslims have spoken out against Pokémon as well, and according to Wikipedia, Saudi Arabia has banned the games and cards because they promote Zionism and violate Muslim doctrine.

Christian Gamers Speak Out

The Christian Gamers Guild finds nothing wrong with Pokémon. In fact, they argue that Pokémon is not an RPG at all, but merely a card collecting game out of the tradition of Old Maid or Authors. They say that although Pokémon is part of the hobby game industry which includes RPGs surveys suggest that the people who play CCGs and those who play RPGs are usually not the same people.

The controversy seems to revolve around the powers the characters enjoy. Is it just playing pretend, or something more? Please let us know your position in the comments!

See Also:

Christain Gamers Guild

Wikipedia: Collectible Cards Games

Wikipedia: List of Role Playing Games


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    PickledAly 4 years ago

    Okay, I am so sick of seeing this crap about how Lavender Town music made kids commit suicide. If anyone is unaware, this is a wildly spread creepypasta rumor. In other words, it is a completely made up story that was made to incite the viewer or reader with fear. Now it has become some wildly spread truth -- which is exactly what it is not. All it will take is a simple google search of creepypasta Lavender Town.

    As for Pokémon being satanic... There is no blood involved in this game (don't even try to say but in gold/crystal there's a hack where a man haunts you and says you're going to hell.... Once again, creepy pasta. That whole scenario is a hack done on an emulator... anyway), there are no swear words, and above all else no one is having sex. Honestly, pokemon should be the least of anyones concerns. Everywhere a child turns there is violence and bloodshed, cussing, and sex. But there always has to be someone that complains... Why? If you don't want your kids to play Pokémon, then don't let them. But don't go around complaining that it's satanic... As far as I know, these games have never made myself, my family, or my friends commit any satanic acts or think satanic thoughts. I have never known anyone to act strangely or feel scared during these games. The only "crimes" I see are giggles and smiling faces. Sorry, but not Satanic.

  • Dannytaylor02 profile image

    Daniel Nathan Taylor 5 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

    what isn't demonic in some way? im sure you could find demonic origins in practically everything...

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    KamiNoMusume 5 years ago

    My grandma was babysitting me since my mom got off of maternity leave, and my grandma was sitting me in front of a TV with Pokémon on since I could sit up in a high chair. I am a Christian, as was she. I've had 8 pets in the past 17 years, and never have I had the urge to pit them against each other in a fight. I have played the games, seen the anime and movies, and played the trading card game (TGC). Never have I had the feeling that Pokémon was evil. I HAVE, however, had that feeling about Yu-Gi-Oh and Inuyasha (Two shows I also watched as a child). They always made me uncomfortable. However, Pokémon has not done that to me. The Holy Spirit has showed me many things are wrong, but not Pokémon.

    As for those who say it teaches evolution, let's look at how a series of Pokémon evolves; they level up (In other words, they gain more strength from working out in battles), then evolve into another form. For example, Caterpie (A caterpillar-like Pokémon) evolves into Metapod (A cocoon-like Pokémon), which then evolves into Butterfree (A butterfly-like Pokémon). You see this in real life, don't you? Caterpillars go into cocoons and turn into butterflies! In the game, it's not as though the Pokémon are evolving over a series of molecular changes throughout time, like scientists think happened.

    Secondly, you say the Pokémon have occult-like powers. Well, Pikachu can give one an electric shock, and so can eels. Ghost-type and psychic-type Pokémon can use a move called "Foresight" to gain information about their enemy, and dogs can tell when their owners will be in a disaster or accident. Croconaw can use his jaws to clamp onto something and bite it, and so can crocodiles and alligators. Arbok can poison someone with his bite, and so can other snakes in real life. Krabby can use his pinchers to grab things or hurt them, and so can real crabs (Oh, boy, would I know that! ;D I've been to the ocean many times!) I could go on for hours! It's not like any of their moves are called "Spirit Summon" or something! They are relying on their own God-given talents to survive or battle- just like normal animals.

    And, thirdly, if Pokémon is so evil, then how come it doesn't hurt me at all? I'm a God-fearing Christian, who feels the influence of the Holy Spirit in their daily life. Things I've been told to stop doing? Stop doing anything with Harry Potter, stop watching Inuyasha, stop retaliating when people bully you (And instead give them kindness in return; it baffles them and then they leave you alone and aren't hurt!), I could go on for hours. But Pokémon has never been an issue.

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    usa12 5 years ago

    pokémon is bad it has killed kids in lavinder town the music of it maed kids scared and hunt there drems and maed them comit suaside and in some pokémon toys have micro chips in them a populer playygrunds are empyty becuse of pokémon games kids just like pokemon pokemon is a dedly wepon i recommend kids stop playing pokemon and japanes chines and korien vidio games becuse of pokemon my life is ruined!

  • profile image

    delatour42000 6 years ago

    Last night my charizard sacrificed my mudkip on a satanic alter in the middle of a pentagram. I am afraid to sleep. What if I'm next. Oh god the terror...the terror!!

  • profile image

    luissandoval 6 years ago

    Simple, pokemon known as pocket monsters in japan is an industry that began by a man named satoshi tajiri. not for profit or for fame. This man began his industry because of his obsession with collecting animals mainly insects in particular. Satoshi may have not been the best student or the best model, in a sense he did began his industry in the basic principle of attaining a bit of happiness in seeing kids being able to capture imaginary animals giving them the same satisfaction that he had as a kid when he collected insects. I am truly sorry but pokemon (pocket monsters) is not satanic. or anti religious. it may have some japanese history in god depicted names but in no sense it portrays the sense that it would go against a religion. Children may be addicted to the craze of pokemon in a sense that's understandable, life is difficult that is a fact but none the less the parents are partially to blame for their kids misbehavior due to the show or the games. Pokemon is in no sense satanic, and most likely will never be. the pokemon industry is ran by a man who still clings to his childhood with hopes and dreams that came reality. saying something like a cute imaginary animal is satanic due to the basic fact of evolution is pure ignorance to the fact that modern science has yet again and again proven a simple fact that evolution is a likely possible cause for our existence. i am christian and i understand the feelings about the fact but in another way we are in the gaming industry century. and to choose to tackle the most unlikely game and anime series to be satanic is but more of a joke. sorry to those that will get disappointed by this claim. POKEMON IS A CHILDS STRATEGY GAME to be enjoyed. the way the kids of this century learn from it has to do with the parents behavior and the way they were raised. thank you for your time in reading this.

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    rosierjay 6 years ago

    i have been playing pokemon for over 10 years. and i consider myself a fully devoted Christian. i think anything can be used by satan if we let it. If a person put that thing as a higher priority than God, then yes. it could be considered satanic... but that is the own person's short comings, not the design of the game. it's a form of entertainment like any game or movie. yes it was created in a culture that has less than .1% Christians, so they aren't going to be promoting Church on sunday morning. but this game is not asking you to give yourself away. the marketing ploy "gotta catch them all" is just that. a marketing ploy. they want you to buy the game, and the next one, and the next one. as far as i can tell... they want your money. not your soul.

  • profile image

    THE GANVE EXTREME 6 years ago


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    THE GANVE EXTREME 6 years ago


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    THE GANVE EXTREME 6 years ago


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    naturalsolutions 6 years ago

    I really love pokemons, I imagine a world with pokemon and i'm pretty sure that it is really great.

    I don't think it is related to satan. Wonderful hub.

  • profile image

    Zeus>Jesus 6 years ago

    Yeah, Pokemon is satanic. And I'm a Salarian Scientist working on the Citadel. Pokemon is about as satanic as kittens. And to quote An Annointed Warrior 12 months ago

    "My personal experience, I used to have the "Pocket Monsters" game on the Game Boy color. I would play it everyday, everywhere I went, I would take it with me. I even dreamed about playing it and what would be my next mission. To me, it became a world where I could just turn to and be away from reality. My grades began to fall, I nearly failed junior high school. It became an addiction, along with many other video games. Recently, I've been able to pinpoint many subliminal messages in video games (mainly the ones from 'nintendo' - they have a reputation of putting subliminal messages in their games), but in order to do that, one has had to have gone through an experience first, like I did, or yet, even worse. Look up the evangelist "Josue Yrion" on youtube and hear his preaching about "Pocket Monsters" along with "Yu-Gi-Oh" as well, and so many other video games."

    This is called addiction. You obviously had no power over yourself to know what's better. You had a serious problem and turned to blame it on something other than yourself. You're pathetic.

  • profile image

    devup 6 years ago

    you want proof that pokemon is satanic then visit this site

    there you will find all the answers you need on pokemon

  • profile image

    Wtfux 6 years ago

    ... Satanic? Really? What the hell? That is such bull crap!! How in God's name is pokemon satanic?! What part about a 10 year old kid running around with his best friend who just so happens to be a yellow rat that only knows one word and farts electricity is satanic? I mean really, what the crap?

  • profile image

    Wolf 6 years ago

    Pokemon is there to teach about strategy and to be enjoyed! What's with those people? I grew up with Pokemon, and I love it.

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    TyranitarLover 7 years ago

    I'm 12 and love pokemon. Tyranitar's my favorite (obviously). Satanic? This is getting ridiculous. Evolution? It's growing very fast because of unstable DNA. Evolution with stones is caused by the radiation they emit. Pokemon are just growing...caterpie, a caterpillar- like thing, evolves into metapod, who looks like a cocoon. Metapod evolves into butterfree, who is a butterfly.

  • profile image

    bob 7 years ago

    pokemon is not satanic! What IDIOT would think that!

    next people will be complaining about mario

  • Pikachusif profile image

    Pikachusif 7 years ago from Castelia City, Unova

    As a huge Pokemon fan, I know that Pokemon is completely innocent religion wise. They can think what they want, but it was all just a big misunderstanding. Randi, Elijah, I agree with you. Pokemon was made for fun and for fun alone! They can't see it because of their religion. If we Americans believed in what they believed in (Muslims and Jews), we would probably say the same thing. However, most of us do not, so we see that Pokemon is all for fun and fun for all!

  • profile image

    Marie 7 years ago

    I'm a Christian and I used to watch Pokemon (I dunno why I stopped, just probably cuz I don't watch much tv anymore, lol)

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    Elijah 7 years ago

    Some people think Pokemon is satanic because of some of the Pokemon's origins and names.

    OK, some of the Pokemon may be based off Japanese religions, like the new Reshiram and Zekrom, who is based of Yin and Yang of Japanese culture. But Reshiram's nickname is the Vast White Pokemon. What does that have to do with Satanism? I mean, come on. I think if everyone played a Pokemon game for just as little as 2 hours, they would see how it doesn't talk about God or any other religious ideals and how perfectly safe it is.

    P.S. If your kids get into Pokemon, be glad they like that and not the very religious and M-rated Halo games.

  • profile image

    Randi 7 years ago

    I HATE that people are saying that pokemon is satanic!! ITS A FRICKEN KIDS STRADEGY GAME. If YOU think that Pokemon is harmful to your kids, DON'T BUY IT. DON'T BUY THE CARDS OR THE GAMES!!! BLOCK THE SHOW ON UR TV IF THAT WILL SHUT YOU UP ABOUT POKEMON BEING SUPPOSEDLY 'SATANIC'. ITS NOT!! Ive played it for 5 year and Im not Satanic! The games and tv are only for pure fun. If you can't take that, than STAY AWAY FROM IT.

  • profile image

    Smart 12 year old 7 years ago

    It's not a Conspiracy it's damn game for children get off the pot

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    pokelover 7 years ago

    I began watching it when I was four. Then it like "shut down" when I was six, and turned "on" a few months ago. I really like pokemon. My mom is Christan, and she doesn't like pokemon, not because it is Satanic, but because she says it is way too bright. She also says not to listen to people like you. Dad is ok with it, and he laughed when I told him about the "Satanic" thing. My siblings and I LOVE pokemon.

  • profile image

    pokelover 7 years ago

    I began watching it when I was four. Then it like "shut down" when I was six, and turned "on" a few months ago. I really like pokemon. My mom is Christan, and she doesn't like pokemon, not because it is Satanic, but because she says it is way too bright. She also says not to listen to people like you. Dad is ok with it, and he laughed when I told him about the "Satanic" thing. My siblings and I LOVE pokemon.

  • profile image

    Pound44 7 years ago

    my mom loves harry potter and she sees nothing wrong with it, HARRY POTTER IS A FICTIONAL PERSON!!!, SO I THINK THAT BECKY FISCHER FROM JESUS CAMP CAN SHUT HER MOUTH!!! and harry potter is NOT a warlock because harry potter is very popular and there is nothing wrong with harry potter, many kids and adults love harry potter including my mom

  • profile image

    Shivaari 7 years ago

    I literally grew up with pokemon for pretty much my whole life, even since I was like 4. I personally feel the trading card game was a bigger deal back in the late 90's and early 2000, but the Game Boy games are the ones that have become increasingly popular as the years progressed. It's really ignorant of them to say Pokemon may affect religion, I mean the evolution aspect you'll probably learn about in science anyway! You know, it does indeed fuel creativity because it's fantasy which people need growing up as well!

  • profile image

    Panop 7 years ago

    Pokemon are very nice and I played it when it was still pokemon red. I grew up with it. Who is religious if retarded. Pokemon are cartoon for all ages to watch.

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    Bob 7 years ago

    I dunno it is kinda suspicous how pikachu evolves into satan at level 66

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    Lauren 7 years ago

    If people seriously believe that pokemon are evil, then I must be the Devil myself! I LOVE pokemon and I'm 18! I still have the cards, the games, the toys, the shirts, everything. And let me say I think I turned out just fine. The people who seriously believe that pokemon is satanic, are probably the same airheaded portion of the population that says Spongebob is the antichrist because he is supposedly "gay." Obviously, these people have nothing else better to do than sit around and twist a beloved children's show into something else.

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    Oyashiro-sama 7 years ago

    Does anyone know what type Satan is because I cant find it anywhere on Bulbapedia.

  • profile image

    Savannah 7 years ago

    I am 13 years old. I am fully Christian, and I play POKEMON!! Myself and my family see no threat from pokemon and I'm sure that we never will.

  • profile image

    Christian  7 years ago

    And the video games are definitely RPGs.

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    Christian 7 years ago


    why hate?

    you are entitled to your views but this is taking it to far. Satanic? IT IS A VIDEO GAME. How many of you have played a RPG like Pokemon before? almost all of you, I bet. There are People from 4 years old (my old neighbor)

    to 45!(my 5th grade teacher). Let us live our lives, and you can live yours. Being a 12 year old Christian NAMED Christian does not mean I have to be a hater towards pokemon. In fact, I LOVE pokemon.

    Just please don't hate.

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    Austin 7 years ago

    I;m angry at everyone pointing fingers at one another; it's a game that kids enjoy. I'm eleven, I enjoy playing Pokemon, I am fully Christian. And I'm not some Satanic brat or nothing like that? If you ask me, some people focus too much on religion; your not in Heaven yet, friends, we are on Earth. Enjoy your time here and don't spend it fighting.

  • profile image

    An Annointed Warrior 7 years ago

    My personal experience, I used to have the "Pocket Monsters" game on the Game Boy color. I would play it everyday, everywhere I went, I would take it with me. I even dreamed about playing it and what would be my next mission. To me, it became a world where I could just turn to and be away from reality. My grades began to fall, I nearly failed junior high school. It became an addiction, along with many other video games. Recently, I've been able to pinpoint many subliminal messages in video games (mainly the ones from 'nintendo' - they have a reputation of putting subliminal messages in their games), but in order to do that, one has had to have gone through an experience first, like I did, or yet, even worse. Look up the evangelist "Josue Yrion" on youtube and hear his preaching about "Pocket Monsters" along with "Yu-Gi-Oh" as well, and so many other video games.

  • flutflutflyer profile image

    flutflutflyer 7 years ago from Isshu

    Are you kidding me? Pokemon is my favorite game of all time. I consider a fanatic, personally. I see nothing wrong with it. By the talk of some, one might think that ALL fantasy is against religion. Pokemon is in my opinion a Role-Playing Game, but I can't see how that changes anything. I love the fact that I can pretend to actually having Pokemon. How is Pokemon against religion? It's just a game. It's just a game.

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    poke_94 7 years ago

    it's been 10 years seens i started watching pokemon but if i have to shose god or pokemon then screw him no screw his followers who say pokemon is satanic it's the most harmles thing in the world it's like pizza except you won't get fat by watching pokemon if you wanna ban something ban you relion my opinion

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    youcrazy 8 years ago

    Pokemon is not satanic!

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    I am standing on your car 8 years ago

    Pokemon is perfectly safe, and if Christians who don't like Pokemon really think, it teaches similar morals in a non-religious way.

    Helping others and being kind are both examples of this.

    Bloo Dude 55, Armadile sounds AWESOME! I've created a few Pokemon myself. I took all the Shinx evolutions and turned them into Fire/Flying types, called, in order of evolution, Filinx, Pyruxio, and Pyray. Then there is Talewes, a skiddish, skunk-cat Pokemon with no tail. Then there is Wigglypaw, Pawquartet, and Dawg, blue and yellow normal types with huge paws.

    Parents, if you think Pokemon isn't safe for your kids, don't worry. It isn't going to make them become Satanists.

    The Pokemon = Satan thing is a complete rumor.

    ...And remember, I'm standing on your car.

  • Jeff Berndt profile image

    Jeff Berndt 8 years ago from Southeast Michigan

    Craig, if you feel that Pokemon is drawing you away from Christ, then don't play it, don't read the books, don't stick around where folks are playing it, &c. But many other people can play Pokemon, Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, and even Checkers without being drawn into the service of the Dark One. Just because such things might cause you to stumble doesn't make them dangerous for the rest of us.

  • profile image

    breiwooekd iu 8 years ago

    Anyone who thinks Pokemon is satanic is a whiny dickball.

  • profile image

    Bloo Dude 55 8 years ago

    I came up with my own pokemon i like pokemon sooooo much called fusion pokemon which are pokemon fused together inside a fusion ball. My best is a guy called Armadile. Its the fusion of Septile,Huntail,and Arceus post back if u wanna hear more

  • profile image

    anonomous 8 years ago

    I am still growing up and it's with Pokemon, just like E.R. Schafer, and I have seen nothing wrong with it. It's a fun way to meet new people and it's one of the most fun things I have done in my life. If Christians want something to ban, wouldn't Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic be a better choice? From what I've seen, there more satanic than Pokemon.

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    craig 8 years ago

    Pokemon, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings; they all have a common theme and that is fantasy. Albeit, fantasy in and of itself is not bad. But they also all have one theme in common, and that is sorcery and 'other-worldly powers' which are contrary to to what God says is good and right. Im not a fanatic when it comes to this stuff, but I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I steer clear of fantasy that involves 'other-world powers' that are not bringing glory to Jesus Christ. I consider the source of the 'other-world powers' and draw an uncomfortable conclusion that whatever is not pointing me to the Lord Jesus is leading me away from the Lord Jesus. I humbley submit this consideration for players and parents alike. Where are we being led?

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    Sophia 8 years ago

    I don't see what's so "satanic" about Pokémon. I've never enjoyed a game this much. And it's not all about fighting (If it was, the games wouldn't really interest me.

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    AnimePokemon Fan 9 years ago

    I have all this games!)

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    Lilly 9 years ago

    What? That's the first time I've ever heard any one even sugest that pokemon could be seen as satanic... The game was made in Japan where the religion and customs is different. I know a lot of people who practice Asian religions and none of them are Satainists. It just goes to show how narrowminded Christians can be.

  • E.R. Schafer profile image

    E.R. Schafer 9 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

    Pokemon, a threat? Geez, I grew up with Pokemon -- it's certainly NOT a threat to religion like some might think it is. How exactly would Pokemon be considered satanic? It's actually hilarious, reading about how someone actually thought that Pokemon could be a harm to society. I'm glad Pokemon is still going now, despite that it's been around for almost 14 years now.

    I agree with J_Eds: What WON'T people try to ban? It almost makes me nervous about publishing my books because they're fantasy -- and if Pokemon can be considered satanic, what ISN'T?

  • J_Eds profile image

    J_Eds 10 years ago from Blackpool

    Is there nothing which at least one group of people won't try to ban these days?

  • msms profile image

    msms 10 years ago

    Ms Lela Davidson you have a nice way of saying simple things in simple way Your Hub 'The Truth About Pokemon' is one such example, from this anyone can learn art of writing good Hubs by simply following your trade mark style of writing Hubs.

    Thanks for showing the way through Poker game.  Good Poking


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