Final month I contemplated whether or not old-school Pokémon would give my kids nightmares. Effectively, we went via spooky Lavender City collectively, and the reply is not any. Regardless of all of the ghosts and creepy music, no nightmares occurred. Nonetheless, that a part of the online game did set the stage for another attention-grabbing conversations.
For many who want catching up, Lavender City is a part of the unique Pokémon video video games, which I began taking part in with my kids lately. The foolish sport about catching pocket monsters turns sinister in a small city with a tower that holds the souls of useless Pokémon. It’s the very definition of temper whiplash.
I’ve been questioning how my kids would react to the creepy atmosphere and express themes of dying inside Lavender City. Ultimately, the creepy music didn’t trouble them, though it nonetheless wracks my nerves. The point out of dying caught them a little bit off-guard. One bit character actually caught my son’s consideration.
Wandering via a tower devoted to useless Pokémon, one character had solely a single line of dialogue, but it surely was a doozy: “My Growlithe…why did you die?” For these unfamiliar with the video games, a Growlithe is a fire-breathing canine. So this woman had principally misplaced her household pet…that occurred to breathe hearth.
That one line of dialogue actually caught with my kids. A lot later within the sport, they nonetheless often chimed into the narrative with, “That poor woman and her Growlithe.” After I caught a Growlithe of my personal, they wished me to provide it to her. Sadly, the sport doesn’t possess that form of flexibility.
The main subplot in Lavender City is that ghosts have arisen inside a tower after a Pokémon referred to as marowak getting killed by the villainous Staff Rocket in entrance of her baby, a Pokémon referred to as Cubone. It’s darkish stuff for a franchise that just about by no means discusses dying elsewhere, and it made an affect on my kids.
My son articulated his emotions clearly: “I hate Staff Rocket for what they did.” It’s the primary time I’ve heard him use the phrase “hate” that emotionally. It’s additionally the primary time that I do know of the place a piece of fiction (sadly, not my personal) has impressed that robust an emotion in him.
The story introduced on this 20-year-old online game served as a fairly good dialog piece since. My kids and I’ve had the chance to debate dying and what it means. We additionally talked about the way it’s okay to have a robust feeling about fiction so long as you possibly can separate the story from actuality.
The top of that individual stage entails the participant placing the Marowak’s spirit to relaxation and permitting it to cross on into the afterlife. The truth that we couldn’t convey the Pokémon again to life by some means was one other bone of competition, which led to a different dialogue about dying and the character of fiction.
I’ve usually assumed that there’s not an excessive amount of to fret about with regards to darker themes in kids’ leisure. They’ll perceive issues extra deeply than adults give them credit score for. It was good to see this idea validated via the lens of Pokémon. As an alternative of nightmares, we had some excellent studying moments.
Pictures: Wikimedia Commons, Brian Miller