Snapchat’s Pokémon filter gave me a moment with my mom

My parents don’t play video games. Not because they’re ancient (they’re young) or because they’re “traditional” (they once dressed as a plug and outlet for Halloween). But because video games, largely, don’t interest them.

This doesn’t bother me (much). Mom sometimes raves to me over the phone about the TV shows she’s watching, and I let her get excited. Vice versa, I rant to her at the dinner table about Tomb Raider or Kingdom Hearts, and she lets me get excited. But despite our mutual agreement to accept faux interest in each others’ excitement, I decided to test our silent understanding with Snapchat’s new Pokémon-themed face filter.

Our conversation started spontaneously. I sent her something random, like this:

To which she responded: “Are you drunk??”

I wasn’t. (Entirely.)

I followed up with another Snap using the new Pokémon-themed filter. It’s a cute feature that ornaments your face with adorable Pichu ears and the creature’s signature rosy cheeks. Pichu even graces your Snap with its appearance and a cheerful dance at the bottom corner of your screen. What’s even cooler is that when you open your mouth, you release Thunderbolts in every direction. Doing this a few times will unlock Pichu’s popular evolved form Pikachu and eventually Pikachu’s *ehem* less popular evolved form Raichu.

“Use this one!” I urged my mom. She hesitated, and then:


To my mom, the filter is a random effect with That One Creature From That Game Hunter Always Played. I, on the other hand, know that the filter intends to promote the launch of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. That the Raichu on the face filter is a unique variation of the species, unique to the islands of Alola. Or that anyone in their right mind would interrupt the Pikachu/Raichu evolution. (Because, Pikachu!)

I don’t need to tell her those things though — not today, anyways. She might only have peeked into my world for just a moment, but it was enough to me.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon launched this week. While we finish up our review, check out the new Alola-themed avatar items released last week in Pokémon GO.

Hunter Wolfe just graduated with his B.A. in Communication/Journalism from Shippensburg University and has nearly four years of professional writing experience. His content has been featured on sites like Rolling Stone's Glixel, Destructoid and The Artifice. You can check out his full portfolio at: www.hunterawolfe.com.
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