If you grew up in the 90’s to early 2000’s, Pokémon was more than a game, it was a way of life. If you were anything like me that is. But it was, and is, true for most people of that age. Pokémon has always been a game for children, but now that those kids are grown up, we’ve got Pokémon Go, because let’s face it, Nintendo isn’t telling the ten year olds to wander about, they’re telling the 20 year olds.
Like most people my age, I have a long history with Pokémon. I got LeafGreen and a GameBoy Advanced SP when I was 3. Yes, I played my first Pokémon game before I could read. I think my dad had bought it for himself, but you try telling a 3-year-old girl she can’t play the game with the cute animals. I loved it so much I started watching the show, and my version of the teddy bear a kid won’t leave the house without was a Pikachu. It snowballed from there.
I played every game my parents would buy me (Stadium, coluseum, channel, dash, emerald, pearl, ranch, etc.). I had so many Pokémon stuffed animals my mom institued a “no more than three on the bed” rule because it got to the point that I let myself fall to/sleep on the floor so that the Pokémon wouldn’t have to. I spent Saturday mornings watching the show and dragging the stuffed toys about the house pretending to be a trainer. I cried when I turned ten and didn’t get a real Pokémon. I made my dad take me to TCG tournaments.
Then it stopped. Suddenly, the show isn’t as great as it once was. Brock left. Team Rocket wasn’t scary. There are too many Pokémon to keep track of. School gets harder. The boys don’t think girls can game. My dad doesn’t buy me the 3DS because its too expensive to get if I’m only going to play Pokémon. According to my mother, I am “too old for Pokémon”. I am 11 years old.
Fast forward a few years. Summer after the ninth grade. I’m fifteen. My dad caves and buys me a New 3DS because I passed my AP World test. I get AlphaSapphire and I’m so happy. That happens with a lot of things, in middle school, everyone is suddenly too cool for Hello Kitty and Spongebob and cartoons. Come high school, no one cares, we act like children, we don’t want act like adults anymore. Half of us carry My Little Pony and Ninja Turtles backpacks again. Its a thing.
To me, you can out grow the utter obsession and stat memorizing. You can outgrow the show or the cards or the figures. Its harder to keep up when you understand the value of money, when school becomes a challenge. But I don’t think you can outgrow Pokémon, or anything really, on the whole. Maybe it’ll take you longer than a week to beat the games now, but that doesn’t make you any less of a fan.
I think thats why I so excited with Pokémon Go. Its a new game, and its for us older fans really. Older Pokémon, gameplay that isn’t on a console. I’ve only been at it for a few hours and I’m already in love. Even if it is a battery drainer. It’s not yet perfect, but I believe it can be. After-all, you’re never too old for Pokémon.
So what do you think? Did you play Pokémon as a kid? Were you never allowed to? You excited for Go, or no?
And if you want to see my full review of the game, its getting posted in a few hours!