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Kids Craze Banned At School
Claiming the toys are laced with references to the occult and promote anti-social behavior, a Christian school has banned Pokemon. A non-denominational Christian school in Orewa, New Zealand Kinssway School is not the first to ban merchandise related to the Pokemon phenomenon. What some parents consider to be harmless fun and innocent fantasy, is annoyingly addictive and harming children said co-principal John Burgess. He said he had grave concerns about "spiritual and personality issues connected with the game in a newsletter to the parents of the schools 270 pupils, "Parents are requested to support the decision to ban it from school, and urged to look closely at what values, attitudes and behaviors children are being exposed to," he said.
Nintendo, a manufacturer of computer games, created Pokemon. In Japan it started as a Nintendo Gameboy. Later it became a cartoon and a major movie. It is called the biggest and longest-lasting marketing craze ever by toy industry analysts. A global trading-card frenzy has been spawned with the aim to collect all 150 Pokemon creatures and become a Pokemon master.
Children are encouraged to role-play Pokemon characters with traits that "most parents and teachers would not accept in their own children or their friends," said Mr. Burgess. Various Pokemon are described as "stubborn, headstrong, quibbling, self-centered, cross-dressing, vindictive, evil thieving, sexually preoccupied, and hormonal," by promotional material he said. "If the kids are going to take on the persona or at least by influenced by them as they tend to be, its not at all useful in fact quite harmful if it got obsessive," Burgess said. Also, that the game emphasized supernatural powers and poisoning your opponent concerned Burgess. He said, "It needs to be spelled out for the parents that it isnt just the disruption. It is something far more insidious."
Full of anti-pokemon Web sites, claiming it is linked to the occult is the Internet. A five-year old boy Dominique Western had everything from T-shirts to videos of the "horribly violent" Pokemon said Howick New Zealand mother Chantel Dunbar, "The idea is to get animals to fight against each other, to the point where one is either going to die, or to the point the animal is so exhausted it cant move. It goes against what parents are really trying to teach their kids, which is kindness. Unfortunately, he buys it with his pocket money. There is only so much you can do to protect them. At the end of the day, youve got to really educate your kids about what is the right thing to do," she said.
(Reference: Theresa Garner, "Christian school bans kids craze," The New Zealand Herald, February 22, 2000)
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