LGBTQ+ in Pokemon: the move Attract


#1

Like many, Pokemon has been one of my favorite franchises from the day Red and Blue released in the states. And as a bi man in a homosexual relationship, I am eager to see valid LGBTQ+ representation in games. Thus I had an interesting thought: the Pokemon move Attract.

For those unaware, Attract is a move that, when used by a Pokemon with a gender, the target of the opposite gender will become infatuated with the user. This causes the effected Pokemon to have a 50% chance to fail attacks against the user, with the flavor text being “____ is immobilized by love!”

Given that homosexuality has been observed in countless real-life animals and that Pokemon are generally considered to have higher intelligence than real-life animals (let’s not get into all the other weird conundrums that brings up), it would stand to reason that LGBTQ+ Pokemon would exist.

While I would LIKE individual Pokemon to have a possibility of being queer and thus effected by Attract by Pokemon of the same gender (and Attract working with/on generless Pokemon), I realized that from a pure gameplay perspective, that would give bi Pokemon a disadvantage, as they wouldn’t be immune to Atrract from a gender. This also brings to mind the questionable nature of the move in the first place, but…

What are everyone else’ thoughts on this?

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#2

I guess? But like, at this point I just don’t have it in me to care. Nintendo has so consistently shown disregard or outright hostility to queerness that I’d rather they just F off and someone else fill the void even if I understand that that will never happen


#3

TBH I feel like this is well meaning but misguided. In my perfect world pokemon wouldn’t have gender at all and they’d either get rid of attract or just make it work on everyone. Gender is a useless complication in the system, and there are already genderless pokemon. Pokemon are so far removed from ideas about gender and sexuality in the real world that honestly it feels weird to have gender in the first place.


#4

it’d be far less complicated to write some queer human characters, right


#5

In terms of just gameplay, Attract itself is already too situational to see much play and adding sexual orientation would just overcomplicate things for something that’s already so minor. Unless they massively expand on Attract and similar moves(like Captivate), I don’t see any gameplay reason to add orientation, and that itself feels unlikely. It’s really not that sort of game.

What could be a better change is just make it so that Attract just works both ways regardless. It could be rid of the romantic connotations like how Cute Charm does it. The condition will likely need to get nerfed, but they did that with a bunch of other status effects so I don’t feel that’s too unlikely. This is how some Mystery Dungeon games do it, since some have the move but not gender.

In terms of LGBTQ stuff in Pokémon based around the Attract move and condition, I don’t really have much else to say.


#6

Yes, but this topic is the result of the weird places my head goes while in the shower.

Also, I’m was under the assumption that adding LGBTQ+ characters was a given.