When it comes to the world of mobile devices, The Pokémon Company is known for its gamified lifestyle apps, with 2016’s Pokémon Go getting millions of users to walk outdoors, and Pokémon Sleep anticipated to encourage regular sleep schedules come 2020. Ambitious in its vision to advance public health, The Pokémon Company has already announced its next game called Pokémon Literally-Just-Don’t-Kill-Yourself, slated for release in 2022.
The company president Tsunekazu Ishihara said in a press conference, “It seems that most governing bodies are uninterested or inept at creating effective public health policies, and the general populace will not care for their well-being unless their animalistic reward-centers are being hacked. We at The Pokémon Company recognize out unique position as possibly the only organization able to mobilize people around the world to maintain basic functionality of their bodies. In today’s society, Pokémon Literally-Just-Don’t-Kill-Yourself is the only hope of keeping people from ending it all.”
While Pokémon Literally-Just-Don’t-Kill-Yourself is only in alpha, The Pokémon company already announced that gameplay revolves around an escalating daily-reward system. Players who log in every day to prove that they are still alive receive pokéballs, pokésnacks, and virtual furniture items. Despite this simplistic and derivative design, early playtesting shows promising signs that this app will actually prevent suicide in its players. After all, the addictive gimmicks that keep bringing people back to Farmville and Candy Crush would naturally keep Pokémon players tethered to the mortal plane.
“We believe presenting escalating in-game rewards for longer, continuous engagement with our app will be an effective deterrent to ending one’s life,” according to The Pokémon Company website. “Players will hold it out for a little longer because every three days they get a new pokémon, and every five days they get a random furniture item. These short-term goals, in addition to perceived loss at losing their log-in streak, will motivate our fans to stick it through and not let all the work they’ve put in go to waste. Additionally, the prospect of their Pokémon starving from should remind our users that other people depend on them, and committing the selfish act of suicide would be irresponsible to the community around them. Pokémon Literally-Just-Don’t-Kill-Yourself will give players meaning to their lives so that they may hold on, one day at a time.”