Middly’s current favourite game is something called Pokepark 2.
I was watching him play it this morning and a scene caught my eye.
Every time Middly’s character walked up to this giant bird-thing, the giant bird-thing greeted him with: “What do you want? If you want a battle, I might agree to that.”
Middly had the option of clicking ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but, really it’s not a choice.
If he picked ‘no’, the creature grunted “Mmpf” and wandered off. The only way Middly can engage with this bird-thing is to fight it.
And, I thought, hey, I recognise that! I have been that questing Pokémon, walking up, offering a snack, a chat, a hug, only to be met with: “What do you want? If you want a battle, I might agree to that.”
Battles in Pokémon are a test of strength. If you can defeat another Pokémon, then they will respect you, they might even become your friend and help you in the future.
If you lose, the other Pokémon will stalk off in disgust. Though, you can have another go at defeating them later, if you like.
Pokémon value strength above all things. In a world where there’s always another fight, the only friends worth having are the really strong ones.