Pokémon GO’s eggs apparently contain not only baby Pokémon, but seeds of controversy too.
Pokémon GO’s fanbase is broader than arguably any other video game ever published. Veteran gamers, technophiles, animation fans, and ordinarily non-gaming smartphone owners have all fallen head over heels for the free-to-play title that lets players search for Pikachu and his pals wherever and whenever they happen to have a few free moments.
One man who’s not a fan, though, is Alay Anil Dave, a resident of India’s Gujarat State. Dave has filed a lawsuit, classified in India as a public interest litigation action, against the makers of Pokémon GO on the basis that the game is offensive to practitioners of the Hindu and Jain faiths.
In particular, Dave takes issue with the Pocket Monster eggs in Pokémon GO. Many Hindus and Jains are strict vegetarians who refrain from eating dairy and egg products, and so Dave objects to the images of eggs, even Pokémon ones, being able to be displayed within Hindu and Jain temples. In discussing the lawsuit, Dave’s lawyer said “People playing the game get their points in the form of eggs which generally appear in the places of worship of different religious groups.”
The statement suggests that neither Dave nor his attorney have spent much time actually playing Pokémon GO, as players don’t get “points” by finding eggs. Nor are eggs necessarily tied to “places of worship,” as they’re instead obtained at designated PokéStop found at the location of real-world places of interest, some of which may also have a religious connection. Long-time fans of the franchise would also be quick to point out that of the hundreds and hundreds of types of Pokémon, only a select few are mentioned as having eggs that are edible by humans. Chansey and Blissey are two, but both are described as willingly and compassionately giving their eggs to sustain others who are hungry or injured.
In statements made to the media, Dave’s lawyer didn’t specify at which, if any, temples his client knows of egg-dispensing PokéStop being present, but did say that he is moving for Pokémon GO to be banned throughout India. Such an outcome seems unlikely for the lawsuit, considering that developer Niantic has the ability to simply remove PokéStop from places that are causing controversy or complaints, but if Dave and his lawyer have their request granted, it would make India the second country with a nationwide ban on Pokémon GO, after Iran.