Pokemon Go fans are wondering if players are actually Team Rocket

Pokemon Go fans are wondering if players are actually Team Rocket

It’s easy to think of yourself as the hero in a game, especially in the Pokemon franchise. But are players really the villains in the Pokemon Go world?

The Pokemon franchise offers people a chance to go on grand adventures and interact with heaps of vibrant characters. The games often place you in the shoes of a Champion or adventurer – Pokemon Go included – but what if that’s not quite the case?

There’s a theory roaming around the internet right now that Pokemon Go players are actually the villains in the Pokemon Go universe. To be more specific, they act just like Team Rocket does towards the protagonists in the Pokemon anime.

It does make sense. The theory argues that Pokemon Go players steal Pokemon from Team Rocket members and that they also take part in other shady dealings – like stockpiling Pokemon and discarding weak ones.

Are Pokemon Go players the villains of the game?

Originally popping up in this Reddit post, a Pokemon Go fan raised the question of whether the players in the game were actually filling the same shoes as Team Rocket.

They noted, “We beat them up in a Pokemon battle and then steal one of their Pokemon. Have we inadvertently become the Team Rocket to Team Rocket?” Other players were fascinated by this question, diving straight into the debate and exploring Shadow Pokemon lore in the process.

One Pokemon Go fan agreed with OP that the players could be villains, saying that farming wild ‘mons for Candy and sending the weak ones back to a Lab was “text book Team Rocket.”

It’s a fair point – the premise of catching Pokemon over and over and then abandoning the ones we no longer want is a rough one. There’s been no official lore on how Candies are made or if Pokemon are involved, but the idea that that’s where abandoned Pokemon end up is a popular fan theory.

Even the act of stockpiling Pokemon to find the one with the best stats feels very Team Rocket-coded. The villains were always on the hunt for the biggest and baddest Pokemon, picking out exemplary ‘mons like Ash’s Pikachu and ignoring weaker Pokemon for their cause.


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Other Pokemon fans in the Subreddit weren’t so sure about the villain theory, at least with regards to catching Shadow Pokemon. One commenter pointed out “We don’t steal the Shadows. They abandon them. Why do you think we usually get the weakest (read: first) ones?”

Some other players referenced the lore surrounding Shadow Pokemon, noting that they are believed to be in pain before they are purified. It is believed by many that Pokemon Go players are saving Rocket’s Shadow ‘mons, but doesn’t that sound like something the villains would tell themselves?

There’s always a lot of moral dilemmas in Pokemon if you look hard enough, even in Pokemon Go. While there’s never been confirmation on how Candies are made or whether Team Rocket actually abandons their Shadow ‘mons, it’s safe to say that some of the player behaviour is a little morally gray.

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