Ones and Zeroes

Pokemon is a game that we all grew up on, whether it was Red, Blue, Gold or Silver, Pokemania was a thing that we always held onto. It was strongest back in the original generation, when Pokemon was loved and played by millions. It declined a bit later, but it was still strong. That, however, does not concern us. We're focusing on the beginning.

The year was 1996, Pokemon Red and Green had just been released in Japan. It was a craze that was sweeping the country, and would soon expand beyond its shores. Millions of little kids loved the game, and those numbers were only growing. It was like, like it formed some kind of connection with them. Like it plugged right into a primal part of their brains, collecting, battling, training. They loved it.

Of course that's just a metaphor, there was no connection there. It wasn't anything supernatural. Totally normal. It was just a fun, addictive game, a landmark game to be sure, but a game nonetheless.

Now let's take a break from Pokemon for a second. This is relevant, I promise you. There is a thing called a Tulpa. It hails from Tibet. It's a bit complicated, but basically, it's a mental discipline slash theory. Also known as a thoughtform, it is described as Giving palpable being to a visualization. Basically, by focusing on something to the exclusion of all else, you can breathe a kind of life into it. It's not real, of course. Its a kind of psychological trick, or so they say. By convincing yourself that something is real, you can actually fool yourself into believing it.

Its very rare to see a Tulpa being performed. Its incredibly difficult, fiendishly simple and yet very few can do it. You see, you have to totally believe. One hundred percent without a single doubt in your mind. The kind of faith that motivates entire religious movements, or that can make an army march to an impossible victory. Just from the description, you should know that it takes someone truly special to pull it off. That's why it is so rare.

But there's another way. You see, a group of people can do it a bit more easily. Not much, but if everyone focuses on something that's similar, they can generally help form a small Tulpa without much trouble. The bigger the group, the easier it is.

See where I'm going with this?

Some say that Tulpa can form naturally. That a large enough group of people will begin to generate their own. That could be the origin of some religions, of belief in magic. Enough people get together and decide the same thing, and maybe in ones or twos, they can't really do much. What about in thousands? In millions?

What kind of Tulpa would be born then?

There's a theory going around. Slenderman -- you know, tall thin and faceless? He's a Tulpa dreamed up by SomethingAwfull. I won't really go into the specifics as it's not our point, but what I am trying to get across is that he is a thing dreamed up by a dozen or so people. Dedicated people, yes. People who loved horror and who put their all into it. But in the end, only a few.

Pokemon was different. Imagine it; millions of children all gazing down at their Gameboys. Playing, raising.


Its the kind of thing that could never happen without such a widespread effort. Even thousands of them wouldn't be enough, because the belief is so fickle. None of the kids really genuinely thought that Pokemon were real. It was more like a thought, wouldn't it be cool if? but that was OK. Because even when one child stopped believing, there were more. So many more.

But how could such a game form a Tulpa? Don't they have to believe in something similar? You can't just say that they believed in Pokemon itself, it doesn't work like that. No, it might be more true to say that they believed in the world of the game. The world of Pokemon in their cartridge. The game itself was the focus of all their attention.

So maybe the game itself became the Tulpa. They wouldn't be many, but now and then maybe a Tulpa would be born. Specifics would depend on the child who owned, but there would be some similarities. The world would be more real, maybe even have a mind of its own. Recorded Tulpa are sometimes known to be able to think for themselves. To make choices and know things that no single member of the group that created them could possibly know. Indeed, once they pass by a certain point they no longer even need the belief that gave them birth. They become self-sustaining. A living concept.

When people who know what they are doing create one, they always include a kill switch. Its so that if the Tulpa becomes like this, if it passes that point, it can't go out of control. But what about people who don't know what they're doing? They wouldn't know to include such a thing.

Picture it now, across millions of homes, a handful of games become something a little bit more. Maybe the kids didn't notice, by the nature of the Tulpa, they would always have seen it that way. Then they grow up, and discard their games. Maybe sell them off, maybe throw them out. The Tulpa had long since passed the point where it needed them, but still. Pokemon is about trust, friendship.

What does a Tulpa feel like when it is abandoned? Maybe it seeks revenge? What if such a game were sent out into the world, bought by an unsuspecting gamer. They would play it to find it twisted, a mockery of what it once was. If they were lucky, it would only shock them. Not all Tulpa are created equal. The unlucky might meet a worse fate. What's the worst that you can imagine?

Basically, what I'm saying is the next time that you read a Haunted Cartridge creepypasta, and are about to click away because it's the same as the last one you read, stop and think. Maybe it's the same because it isn't made up? Maybe there are still Tulpa out there. Abandoned, awash with anger, resentment.

But this is just a theory of course. Such a thing is quite impossible. Even if it were, why would a Tulpa be created by focus on a game? It's just ones and zeroes.