Saturday, March 5, 2011

Still Catching 'em All

Pokemons Black and White come out in less than 12 hours, and now seemed like as good a time as any to chronicle my love of Pokemon, and explain what the series means to me.

On the surface, it's quite simple. I was the target demographic when that game came out. It's an excellent series with hidden depth and approachability that make it enjoyable on a multitude of levels. You could just be here for a playthrough; catching a few pokemons, earning your badges, and becoming the champion. Or you could go even further, learning high-level math to help breed an unstoppable team of wrecking machines to take into some outrageous PVP. Also? Those Pokemon be cute as fuck, brah. Every kind of player can come to this series and get something out of it.

It was for the Christmas of 1999 that I received my Lime Green GameBoy Color and the Pokemons Red and Yellow. It was only a couple short months after moving from Texas to Michigan, so I had lost a good stable of friends. Relatively common, given my role as a child of somebody serving in the Airforce, but depressing all the same. We were staying with my grandmother, so I didn't really have my own room, just a borrowed one. None of my toys (yeah, I still had toys, what of it), my Nintendo 64, or my movies were there. It was that GameBoy and those little monsters that kept me company during those times. So few things then were mine, but those Pokemon and I were together. I played that game alot, and I've been playing it a lot ever since.

Silver still holds strong as one of my favorite games, though. With Pokemon Silver, the friends I had made while living in Michigan and myself had a game to talk about. It was something we all played and shared at the time, and no other game was quite like it. In fact no game really is to this day. But that social environment surrounding Pokemon stayed with me as much as the game did.

Here I am literally 10 years later, and it's about to happen again. I no longer live in Michigan, having moved to Austin to be with the man I love. I have a job where I have made a considerable number of nerdy friends, and guess what. A lot of them like Pokemon, and are just as crazy as I am. At least 4 of us will be picking it up and hanging out tomorrow, talking about what's new and (ideally) taking this crazy new journey together. It's a great time, since the game has this big "it's all starting over" vibe going on. Arguably, my life has changed significantly as well, so it's nice to have Pokemon along with me. And while I'm a great deal excited for a lot of things on the horizon (*cough3ds*cough*), none of them, I think, will be hitting the level of a shared experience that Pokemons Black and White will be.

I'm as excited as I was 11 years ago when I first opened up that Christmas present, and for that I could not be more grateful to Sugimori-san and his team at GAMEfreak. As long as I'm breathing, I'll still be collecting 'em all.

What about you, readers? have you any stories of Pokemon you wish to share? Feel free to drop a comment below.

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