Pokémon are cute and cuddly, most of the time. It's no wonder why Nintendo keeps pushing the Tamagotchi-esque care mechanics into games. Starting with Pokémon-Amie in XY and finding its way into every game since, Nintendo wants trainers to be petting and feeding their Pokémon.
But the latest Pokémon title for the Nintendo Switch takes a much heavy-handed approach to the love and care portion of raising a Pokémon. Nintendo has opted to make bringing up a Pokémon a bit more "realistic" in terms of what they need to grow and flourish. Food, water, and shelter of course. If you don't feed your Pokémon, they will eventually wither away and die. But they also crave love and belongingness, and without it they will grow up to be stunted and emotionally crippled beings.
The mechanics, which remained hidden for the first few weeks after the game's release while the Pokémon in question brooded like ticking time bombs, began to surface late last week. With trainers finding their precious Pokémon broken, maimed, or poisoned in varying fashions. The Pokémon, starved of love and affection, will seek an escape from their cruel lives of imprisonment and isolation.
No no no this can't be happening oh my God Pikachu stop please no don't do it please Pikachu oh my God he can't hear us I can't believe this he's gonna die Pikachu please don't we love you oh my God I'm crying and shaking right now Pikachu don't do it oh God oh fuck.
The horrible fates can be prevented, but only if you stop them in time. If you catch your Pikachu or Eevee about to overdose on heroin, make sure you stop them. But do it gently, remind them that you care. If you scold them or come across as accusatory they will only hide their intentions from you. They're crying out for help, don't punish them for it. Help them, please.
We can all help to prevent suicide. If you or a Pokémon you know is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Suicide is never the answer, and together we can help those suffering from substance abuse and emotional distress.