Pokémon Jobs Are Kind Of Messed Up

Illustration for article titled Pokémon Jobs Are Kind Of Messed Up
Screenshot: Nintendo

There is so much dumb bullshit in the Pokémon universe that is not explained and will never be explaned. What’s it like inside a Poké Ball? Do people eat Pokémon? These are questions that, when we have asked the developers, they have been unable to answer. Not helping are a new addition to Sword and Shield, Poké Jobs.


Mechanically, Poké Jobs are just a good way to level up Pokémon if you don’t want to spend time grinding. On the Rotomi in the Poké Centers, you can check job listings and send Pokémon in your possession to work on them for up to a day. Sometimes a restaurant will need Ice-type Pokémon to keep their drinks cool. Other times a hotel will need Fire types to keep their guests warm. It’s charming, until you think about it for literally longer than a second.

Illustration for article titled Pokémon Jobs Are Kind Of Messed Up
Screenshot: Nintendo

Pokémon are your pets. You’re making those pets work sometimes complicated jobs. Some of these tasks seem to require a basic level of handling tools and communication—you can send off some ghost Pokémon to work a customer service job, for example. But the Pokémon don’t keep the money. They aren’t even paid in money. They aren’t paid at all! They earn experience, and then hand over whatever meager prize to you, their fucking boss. We send out our definitely sentient pets with like a pack lunch to go complete a complex task for no reward other than the satisfaction of a job well done, and then steal their tips. And we already make Pokémon fight for money!

The Pokémon universe is dystopic to the point of parody. If I was confident that series producer Junichi Masuda and the rest of the team were doing this on purpose, I would think they were geniuses. Beneath the adorable veneer of Pokémon lies a horrible secret: Capitalism will grind your bones to dust and then get you really invested in dog fighting.

The fact that Game Freak can get away with Poké Jobs, a blatantly terrifying proposition, and still have it seem cute is genius of another sort. I still send my Pokémon on Poké Jobs, and when the confetti animation plays, and my avatar cheers, I feel a little proud of them. They did a great job! Now gimme all your money, kid.



The producers of the anime also explained why the Pokemon universes higher end jobs tend to be filled by woman. Because when children turn 10 they’re given a choice become Pokemon trainers or continue education. A lot of the boys dreaming of adventure go out and become Pokemon trainers, however due to the fact most of them fail they then become deadbeats, as they never learn skills to succeed. While a lot of the young girls being more studious take the path of education and grow up taking all the best jobs.

It also makes sense because Pokemon can do unskilled labour (Machoke is shown doing construction A LOT) the less educated men don’t have those career options like they would in the real world. No wonder, cock fighting is legal and super popular, the world of Pokemon seems really depressing for a lot of people.

PS: Pokemon are CLEARLY food. Pokemon Fishermen are a thing, there is a reason they only use Magicarp...