How To Talk To Your Parents About Dexit

How To Talk To Your Parents About Dexit
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Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, which means we have officially entered the swirling vortex of vacation days, feast-engorged couch naps, and family gatherings that is The Holiday Zone. For many of us, this means a potentially uncomfortable amount of time around relatives who might not share our views on a laundry list of important topics: politics, religion, and of course, the elephant in the room in this battleground of a year, Dexit. Here are some tips for navigating those treacherous, Gyarados-infested waters.

Don’t argue to win

It can be tempting to walk into an argument with your enraged parent—who, thanks to online conspiracy theories and Fox News, actually believes it’s possible to model and add a Pokémon to Sword and Shield in five minutes—armed with counterpoints intended to shut them down. But there’s no common ground lying on the other side of that discussion. Even if you walk them through the meticulous series of steps it takes to add a character to a large, complicated video game and point out that there’s a dang bird that eats Pikachu in this one, you’ll both just come away fuming.

Instead, seek to understand. Yes, you should make your points firmly and back them up with evidence, but you should also listen. Learn where your parent or parents are coming from. Engage with their concerns. Note, for example, that one solution to their fears of Pokémon automation and resulting Pokémon joblessness might be a Pokémon universal basic income. That kind of thing.

Don’t interrupt

Look, your relatives are probably going to say some pretty inane stuff about how, for example, their inability to bring their Pidgeot forward to this generation of Pokémon games is tantamount to a war crime and worthy of death threats, but resist the urge to shout them down. If you feel yourself getting a little too heated, just take a deep breath. Interrupting will only make them dig their heels in more and probably re-tell that endless, tangent-ridden story about how they worked to earn that Pidgeot and didn’t accept any handouts like those darn spoon-fed Poké-millennials. You don’t want that. Nobody wants that.

Eventually, you’ll get your turn to speak, and then you can calmly explain that Pidgeot is fine or whatever, but as far as bird Pokémon go, is vastly less cool than Sirfetch’d, so they’re just gonna have to take an L on this one.

Avoid judgmental phrases

When you look at these people who raised you and instilled you with many of the values you hold dear, it can be hard to believe that they’ve somehow turned into uncompromising rage monsters who call game developers lazy and probably have some bad opinions on immigration, too. Still, it’s generally a bad idea to actually say, “I can’t believe you really think that!” or things along those lines.

Instead, ask questions like “Why do you think that?” They’ll be forced to put their feelings into words and, hopefully, as a result, they’ll realise some of the more problematic elements of their reasoning on their own. And if they don’t, well, then it’s the beginning of a longer discussion in which they will perhaps someday come to the conclusion that death threats are bad and the #GameFreakLied hashtag was rooted in verifiably bunk interview translations.

Recognise that nostalgia is powerful

Pokémon has been around for a long time. You may not have even been born when your parents were playing Pokémon Red and Blue and working their factory jobs that could comfortably support an entire family. For them, Sandshrew isn’t just some random armadillo who looks kinda like he’s made out of cheese blocks; he’s an institution—like the coal industry. He’s always been there, since the day A.J.’s sorta-abused but I guess chill about it Sandshrew easily defeated Ash’s Pikachu in an early episode of the anime.

But now, just like that, Sandshrew is out of Sword and Shield. A relic of a bygone era. Ultimately, change is inevitable, and the world your parents once lived in no longer exists. That can be tough to grapple with, especially when it’s clear that your parents do want change of a sort. They know something is wrong. The larger Pokémon formula remains stagnant, as does the job market. The future—once bright, utopian, and enriched by the prospect of gargantuan MMO-style Pokémon games—feels increasingly hopeless. Something has to give. You likely agree on that fundamental point, even if you think Sandshrew is just a weird rat with bad skin.

Remember that they’re your parents

Assuming you have a good relationship with your parents, they do care about you, even if you’re no longer on the same page about Meowth forms or the vital role of government regulation in a world increasingly ruled by tech corporations. Never take that for granted. But, at the same time, it’s worth recognising that, to them, you will always be a kid. This means, unfortunately, that you can only do so much to convince them when it comes to bigger issues. They might be pleased as punch that you’re a doctor, lawyer, or (shivers) games journalist, but that doesn’t mean they’ll take you as seriously as even some talking head on Fox News or Pokefreak69420 on Twitter.

It is, then, not your responsibility to change them. If you have the energy, feel free to discourse to your heart’s content. But if you don’t, cut yourself some slack. You’re just one person, and you probably have plenty of other energy-draining things going on in your life. And if all else fails, keep in mind that, despite strongly held opinions and boycott threats, it seems like basically everyone bought Pokémon Sword and Shield, so you can always settle those pesky ideological debates about humanity in the digital age, climate change, and whatever else with a Pokémon battle.*

*Note: this will not actually work, and I do not recommend trying it or even suggesting it.


  • As funny as this is in context, people need to put this kinda thing away for the holidays.
    The whole point is families coming together to celebrate and if there’s kids involved then it’s really about them.

    Sure, there’s always been an element of conflict during the silly season, old wounds reopening and the guaranteed argument between certain members but in recent years there’s been this concentrated effort to inject division into every facet of our lives, our holiday traditions included.

    That said, the idea of a family arguing about Pokemon over the Christmas table is hilarious.
    Grandpa breaking the tension by bringing up the original 150.

    • Fuckit, ME bringing up the original 150. Any more than that is too much – it’s no coincidence that Dunbar’s number is also 150.

      Dexit didn’t go far enough in my opinion.

      I remain on record as demanding a deeper cull. It’s an isolated, industrialized island nation with a more established and expansive government that should have been expected to have implemented environmental protection controls to restrict invasive and non-native species from disrupting what would already be diminished, human-impacted biodiversity.

      • Wow that was an interesting read, Thanks for the extrapolation for your reasoning. I personally don’t understand why everyone got so upset about the Dex culling, its a new game just play it or not pretty simple.

        • Well, my REAL reasoning is that any more than 150 makes it much harder to ‘catch ’em all’ which everyone knows is the REAL endgame, not just beating gym leaders and elite four shit. I don’t have enough room in my head for more than that!

          (And frankly, neither do the devs, apparently – the presence of trash-bag, desk lamp, doorknob, jug of cream, and keychain pokemon indicate that the devs clearly ran out of ideas long ago, too and just started pokemon’izing random shit around the office.)

          • Magnemite, Voltorb, and Grimer say hello.

            … the presence of trash-bag, desk lamp, doorknob, jug of cream, and keychain pokemon indicate more creativity than another bird Pokemon.

            Fixed it for you. That being said, what is this doorknob Pokemon? Every other option there has a real parallel.

            Also, I know your comment had a level of facetiousness, but as someone who has caught all 400 in the Galar Dex, the Wild Area would have been significantly less fun with fewer Pokemon species available in it.

    • Lol as funny as this sounds, this is how shit went down at my daughter’s place a few nights ago. Her BF getting flamed by her and myself for saying some dumb shit about Pokemon, which even tho he hates it, he’s still is an ‘expert’ on it’s competitive aspects, apparently. The most heinous comment he dropped was “Honestly what’s the fuss? Who is gonna miss old, shitty, non-competitive Pokemon like Psyduck anyway?”

      Cue me (the 42 y/o granddad, with my Psyduck tattoo on my upper left arm standing out from the rest of my sleeve due to being bright yellow!) putting my hand on my daughter’s shoulder as she weighed up using a plate of pasta as a projectile and my almost 3 y/o grandson giggling at his mum’s rage-face. Now as I’ve said previously I don’t play much Pokemon at all these days, but it was our go-to ‘Dad and Daughter’ activity over the years and for her partner to forget this was a fairly serious Foot-in-Mouth Moment in her eyes.

      Since i was staying over that night it meant the sleeping arrangements went through quite a logistical shuffle as the poor lad scored himself a ticket to the doghouse (a tiny, 2 seat couch. Barely enough width for my short-ish 5’8″ height to crash on, but waaay too narrow for this lanky lad). I was upgraded to my grandson’s bed and the lucky lil’ rugrat got bumped up to a 1st class snooze with his Mum! All over a verbal mis-step regarding a kid’s video game.

      To be honest, I think “Dexit” or whatever ppl are calling it is secondary to the fact that Pokemon fans are gushing over what I think is a hideously outdated, unimaginative and lazily designed video game. I just saw SkillUp’s rather scathing review over SwordNShield this morning and couldn’t agree more. But loyal, zealot fans want what they want regardless of logic, right? Oh well, if it’s not this, families will ALWAYS find something to squabble over while getting liquored up and *ahem* celebrating together. More fun than arguing over politics at least!

      (mod edit: I’m sorry I had to hit enter a few times)

      • I’m sorry I suck at formatting, Mr Mod. Your hard work is appreciated. As you probably noticed, for a writer I make a pretty good roadie 😉

  • It can be tempting to walk into an argument with your enraged parent—who, thanks to online conspiracy theories and Fox News, actually believes it’s possible to model and add a Pokémon to Sword and Shield in five minutes—armed with counterpoints intended to shut them down.
    I get that most of this is a joke but are Kotaku seriously still ignoring the fact that the old Pokemon are all re-used assets, not made from scratch?

    Honestly seems kinda pathetic for a site like Kotaku to have multiple writers putting out regular articles white knighting for the highest selling Switch game so far – because apparently that sales record just isn’t enough and it must also be above any and all criticism…

  • At least dexit actually happened and they followed through with it, unlike brexit that’s been going on for 3 years and we still don’t know what the hell is happening.

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