Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Zionist Pikachu?



My guys are way into Pokemon...trading the cards and dueling with them. If you watch the kids at the bus stop and at recess you'll see various huddles making "good" trades (always with a "trade back option" of course) and battling with the cards. Much to my dismay, I now the names, power strength and health points of WAY too many of these creatures. (I also bought a guide book to make sure they weren't getting swindled by the more experienced traders...)

Hold on, there is a reason I am telling you all this... Before Christmas while I was researching some cards to bid on (some of the more rare editions), I came across an article detailing the banning of Pokemon from Saudi Arabia. The fatwa (yes, there is more than one fatwa against poor Pikachu and Jigglypuff...) said that the cards not only encouraged gambling, but they promoted and glorified Zionism. I have never met a Japanese Jew...have you? So I asked a few (older) people that were really into Pokemon in their day what could possibly been seen as the glorification of Zionism in the series...none of them had any idea...

"...Saudi Arabia's mufti, the highest religious authority in the conservative Muslim state, has banned the popular children's play of Pokemon, saying it promotes Zionism and involves gambling.

A Nintendo spokesman said that Nintendo did not design the Pokemon items with religious symbols in mind. But the company has promised to investigate the claims that have led to the ban.

The game has been criticised in several countries, with a Christian church in Mexico calling it "demonic", and organisations in Slovakia saying television shows based on the game were detrimental to children.

In Britain, police have urged parents not to allow children out with the cards." (source)

People really need to chill out...if the worst your kid is doing is trading cards, you're a pretty lucky parent. Not to mention the fact that all the cards are based on certain points, so dueling involves lots of on-the-spot math and strategic thinking...

...And who knew there were World Championships for Pokemon trading --I guess it's still cooler than the air guitar though ;)

(BTW, I realize this story is old...but my kids are only 8 and 6 so I am a little behind all you with older ones that have been into this stuff for a while...)

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