Pokémon Learning League seeking recruits

Someone has decided that they will not rest until I am forced to eat my words when it comes to Ash Ketchum and his gang. I don’t know who that person is, but I sort of want to kick him. In the shins. Hard.

Listen; I am happy disliking Pokémon. It doesn’t bother me. I am content to twitch a little every time my son sighs with contentment, having located Pikachu on the television. I do not want to like it. I am at peace with my staunch refusal to appreciate creatures who speak via repetition of their own names.

But this. This! It may be too much for me:

Pokemon USA on Wednesday announced Pokemon Learning League, a Web-based series of lessons on language arts, math, science and life skills aimed at kids ages 8 – 12. Available as a free trial through the end of the year, the service will commence a $95 annual subscription fee (for families; separate fees are licensed for classrooms and school use) starting in January.

The Web-based learning series utilizes Adobe Flash technology, so itââ¬â¢s Mac and PC-compatible. The program features characters popularized by the seemingly endless series of Pokemon card games, TV shows, video games and toys, but is based on current education research and is aligned with curriculum standards, according to the developer.

I went and played around with it a bit, and I have some terrible news.

It looks… really, really cool. There! I said it! It’s Pokémon and it’s awesome! Are you happy now? I admitted it. This is totally something I can get behind, as a parent, because it leverages children’s interest in the story to lead them through the same sort of work that many kids would shun as boring without a familiar character tie-in.

I’ll definitely be checking back as the site is updated with more functionality, and also keeping an eye out for schools adopting the system for classroom use.

But I’m still going to twitch whenever one of those creatures opens his mouth, no matter how educational it is. Just see if I don’t.

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