Video Games

Site of nuclear disaster overrun by mutant Pokémon

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Fukushima Missingno

We have all heard the stories about the dangers of Pokémon GO.  From sprained ankles to muggings, it seems like nearly every conceivable way to injure oneself while playing the addictive new app has already occurred and promptly been reported to the internet for our amusement. However, we failed to take into account just how stupid some people are. You see, Pokémon GO finally arrived in Japan on July 22, and users there discovered an unexpected hotbed of Pokémon activity. The evacuation zone surrounding the site of 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

For those who don’t recall, in 2011 a massive tsunami struck Japan, and one of the many, many things to suffer the wrath of that storm was the Fukushima nuclear reactor plant. The sea wall broke, reactors cores overheated, and three of the main reactor buildings ended up exploding. Nuclear fallout swept over the area, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents. Basically, it was bad.

Here we are five years later, and the still very much irradiated land around the site has all of a sudden sprouted new and unexpected life. Pokémon. So far there has been no proof that anyone has crossed into the contaminated area in order to catch Pokémon – as doing so is more than a little illegal/suicidal – but that hasn’t stopped the Tokyo Electric Power Company from putting out a peremptory warning to all the clean-up crew employees reminding them that they are forbidden from playing Pokémon GO onsite.

The strangest thing about all of this though is that according to Niantic, the company behind Pokémon GO, the area surrounding the site of the meltdown is supposed to be a dead zone. Meaning no Pokémon should be appearing there. Which begs the question, if no human or Pokémon can survive the radiation, then what new breed of Pokémon has been able to make it’s home there?

Fans of the first generation of Pokémon games will recall that in Pokémon Red and Blue, players could find a rare, unnumbered mutant Pokémon in game. This Pokémon could only be found on the coast of Cinnabar Island, the site of a natural disaster that once destroyed a secret research facility there. This mutant Pokémon was only ever known as . . .

MissingNo.

Missingno.

Now, is Fanboy Report claiming that the Pokémon GO players will be able to find a Missingno if they delve deep into the irradiated lands surrounding the Fukushima reactors? Not necessarily. However, only a fool could deny the similarities between the two. And players of Pokémon GO know that of the 151 original Pokémon, there are several that have yet to ever be seen. Where have these final Pokémon been hidden? The deepest jungles? The frozen artic? Amidst lethal radiation poisoning? I suppose it will take a true Pokémon master to find out.

Justin, or as his friends call him, Justin, is a content provider at 301 Digital Media and a student at Middle Tennessee State University. He loves to read, use big words, and is nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is.

Fanboy Report

Fanboy Report