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Posted: Oct 1 2014, 01:08 PM
The United States of America, for all of its diversity and individualism, has always struggled with keeping a balance between its varying populace. Nothing makes this more apparent than the attempt to control and regulate Pokemon within the country.
While rules vary state to state, the overall law is this: Pokemon are not toys. They are companions, protectors, but most of all, they are dangerous. The laws created were not without reason. Attacks and a lack of control made them a necessity in order to create a semblance of safety within society. But as the years passed the severity of these laws, as well as the consequences for breaking them, grew harsher.
What we have on our hands is America as it has always been. Its history, its stereotypes, its subcultures, its misgivings, its politics. And in addition to that, Pokemon and all the complexity that evolves from that simple combination. This is a world attempting to subdue the threat of Pokemon while still allowing for their companionship. Though they were once beacons of human development, Pokemon are now viewed as a much simpler thing. They are animals with the ability to destroy or defend. And as America knows well, freedom of such a thing can come at great cost.
Below are details on how this particular Pokemon world has grown and developed. This society isn’t one so simple as Johto or Kanto, where Pokemon’s purpose was to be caught and tamed and fought. Instead Pokemon are integrated into society, utilized for their usefulness or simply kept as pets. They are the animals of this world – the only living creatures aside from human beings. And this, this makes the morality of it all far less black and white.
Posted: Oct 6 2014, 01:41 AM
Historically Pokemon’s primary purpose was to serve men for their betterment. Truly the exact moment in which Pokemon began collaborating with humans is unknown. Nevertheless philosophers and historians believe that the modern lifestyle would not have been possible without their compliance. When the first Pokemon were domesticated their main usage was for hunting and protection. As certain species were bred with a focus of amicable traits, agriculture soon erupted as an additional chief use.
Time moved forward. Humans, once nomadic and sparse, were able to begin forming early societies. Cities rose up, lands were named, and borders began to form between tribe and county. When strife began to occur between men, country and country, Pokemon were used primarily as tools of combat. However as the technology developed it fell out of fashion to use Pokemon for such a purpose. Soon it was seen as medieval and barbaric, especially when one could use an efficient, controllable, non-sentient gun in its place.
Pokemon battling became a niche sport, a hobby for enthusiasts. In the early years, particularly between 1950 and 1980, the battlers were dubbed ‘trainers’ and set on paths through the wild to prove their skill. Many countries complied with these demands, garnering the benefits of the attentive, and set up the first Pokemon gyms. The United States in particular made an excess as tourist traveled through simply to view gym battles as leaders and trainers alike were treated as celebrity. This would be a golden age of Pokemon battling, and every age has its end.
As the usage of Pokemon changed so did the culture surrounding them. Humans began to respect the creatures more for their intelligence rather than their ability to battle. They became part of the family, another intricate and essential part of the household. Politics and arguments of the morality of battling arose through the country, tearing the bipartisan nation even further in two. Cost of living soon made the argument of catching them all utterly invalid as the price of caring for multiple Pokemon escalated.
While the opinion of Pokemon battles varies country to country, person to person, within the United States as a whole the treatment of Pokemon shifted greatly. It was then that the bipartisan nation began developing into the jaded place it remains today.
Posted: Oct 6 2014, 01:42 AM
In 1982 a significant law was set into place that would change American society as a whole, trainers under the age of 18 could no longer own Pokemon. A subsequent law was added several years later in 2002 during the Bush Administration as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, young adults without a high school education could no longer pursue the official path of a trainer. These complications came forth upon the already mounting bans of Pokemon species in different cities and states. Regulations were put into place that required owners to have their Pokemon away at certain times of day, that disallowed Pokemon of a certain size to be on the street.
While the riots and protests that ensued were massive, the law remains unaltered. It was for the good of the people, the good of the young. This was a mantra clung to by the extreme conservatives of the nation, wholly a part of the Republican majority. More control, more safety, a better society. On the other end of things, radical liberals had a very different belief, carefully intertwined with Democratic politics. The release of Pokemon, embracing human society without so much reliance on the animal, a more reliable world. With no stable belief reconciled between the two parties, decrees stayed as they were.
No longer were trainers hailed as heroes or celebrities. Instead a new stereotype spread like wildfire – they were aimless kids, lazy young adults with nothing better to do but roll around with animals and cause ruckus. Thus the use of Pokemon as household pets or helpers grew steady and popular, whereas battling took a great hit in consideration. After a risky lull in popularity the United States reorganized its five Pokemon Leagues into three. More and more youngsters went to college for the chance at a better career path rather than pursue the unrespectable path of Pokemon training. Society moved on and disregarded the gym badge.
Until the age of the internet. As subcultures online grew massive, the uncontrolled web resulted in the resurfacing of that age old fascination of Pokemon battling. An upswing of enrollment began for training once again. The number of trainers worldwide tripled in a few short years. Ease of travel and communication made it all the easier to pursue the path. Despite the distance between states, Pokemon themselves made traveling utterly inconsequential for the individual. By ground and flying mounts one could cross over state lines in hours. Using ones smart phone, trainers could keep track of their whereabouts and look for other trainers to practice against. And a handy universal app out of Japan made it easy to transfer a Pokemon ball purely through an online transaction.
While the stereotypes remain firm and the majority of the population go on living typical lives, trainers once again pepper the countryside going gym to gym with their trained companions. As with most things in the United States, however, not everyone is exactly okay with that. Politicians on both sides fight to get Pokemon battling banned. Many argue battling is simply unethical. And the complications merely expand from there.
Posted: Oct 9 2014, 03:03 AM
The U.S. is sorted into multiple leagues due to its vastness thus we follow only a few specific states. The one we’re focused on are deemed part of the Pacific League - dealing with gyms set up in the capitols and cities of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and California. Using the central states we’re able to explore the more traditional viewpoint of Pokemon - as creatures of companionship and protection. Whereas on the coast Pokemon have become glorified pets, and there multiple restrictions on type and specific Pokemon. How many you can have out at a time, how many Pokemon you can carry at all, that will vary by state and locale.
Distances & Travel
Despite the distance between roleplaying areas, it is actually fairly easy to rationalize their continual contact. Considering training or pursuing training was once a big part of the world, travel is much faster and cheaper than it is in our version of the universe. It isn’t so much a luxury as a necessity. There’s a bullet train between capitols, a routine ferry from the shores of Washington to Alaska, and most important are the Pokemon themselves.
Rent-A-Mon shops are up in almost every city for those that might not have a large enough Pokemon to ride. It’s easy to pick up a flying Pokemon (reducing travel time to only a few hours from, say, California to Utah) or a large ground mount Pokemon (much slower, but you save some money) and then travel wherever one needs to go. Teleporting pokemon can transport themselves and inanimate objects, but they mechanics for them transporting humans have not been fully explored. It is not an official means of travel. Trainers are advised to not meddle with such finicky transport mechanics, owing to the inherent risks.
Planes and boats are still about as well, typically used for oceanic travel. Despite the large differences between states the characters themselves will have a very easy time getting back and forth. For group travel, as well as for people that dislike riding Pokemon, cars, bikes, and everything else transportation-oriented are still around. However there is some isolation meant to be felt between the different states - central areas vs coastal tension and all that, the old vs the new.
There are a large number of social websites for different parties or type enthusiasts. And then, of course, twitter, facebook, instagram, and social media site. Characters at a long distance will still be able to chat through computers, phones, etc. They can meet through the web or perhaps on their original Pokemon journey. Global events are always popular to attend, bringing people together. We have a lot of things planned to squish together all characters and make the world seem a bit smaller. But overall it shouldn’t be too outlandish. Hopefully. The variety will be worth the size and separation.
Team Rocket & More
Team Rocket was a terrorist organization that formed seemingly in response to the growing restrictions on Pokemon. At first their purpose seemed true - to acquire Pokemon from government facilities and give them back to the public. However, their purpose was not so Robin Hood-ian. Instead Team Rocket gathered Pokemon and utilized them for personal gains, selling parts for money or using them to the point of exhaustion in attacks against various facilities. The true purpose of Team Rocket is still elusive, and the band has grown quiet over the last decade.
Other 'teams' have risen to power over the years, short lived but impactful. Over time they have dissipated as quick as Rocket. Rumor has it that many of these groups are simply waiting for the right time to strike. Any desire to initiate or expand upon the enemy forces is entirely up to the members and characters on the site.
Stones work differently on Holographic. Instead of instantaneously initiating the evolution of a Pokemon, over time the aura of the stone will be absorbed until the Pokemon changes. It's more gradual on-site. Stones can be found in environments that match their element. This is why Pokemon like Eevee will evolve into a Pokemon matching the area in which they live, and why wild Pokemon can reach stone-required stages.
Berries do exist in this universe! They're simply fruit, after all, and have easily survived the translation into a realistic universe. Pokemon as a whole seem to have an odd preference for berries. They seem to encourage different behaviors and refresh Pokemon better than most other foods. Berries are also safe for humans to eat as well, which has resulted in a slew of PokeSmoothie shops throughout the world that cater to both human and Pokemon.