I think I am very much a product of my generation in the sense that I believe that Pokemon is freaking awesome. And, don’t worry, it’s okay to agree with me. Because Pokemon is so very awesome and everyone knows it. Everything about Pokemon is awesome (except the anime, that kind of sucks… but moving on, quickly, quickly, before we all get depressed at how annoying Ash is).
I find it funny how I thought I ‘outgrew’ Pokemon when I reached high school – those shaky first two years when you’re trying to re-invent yourself since throwing off the shackles of primary school youth; trying to appear and act as if you have matured and should be taken seriously, when in reality, trying to be more grown up than you really are is a reasonably immature thing to do.
However, the hobbies of my youth were slowly phased out as I got to high school – not completely, though; my obsessions with Teen Titans and Codename: Kids Next Door were really just beginning. I think that Pokemon suffered the most. Hours of my life that I had devoted to collecting all 151 Pokemon on my Yellow Version were forgotten, as I was trying to make myself seem cooler than I was. (For those of you playing at home, I failed).
I remember getting to Year 12 and finding that Pokemon was starting to make a comeback in my year – suddenly old GameBoys were being dusted off, or emmulators were being downloaded onto phones (hell, if we could have gotten it on our graphics calculators, you know that we would have! But Tetris was fun enough for that). I didn’t think much of it then, it just sort of happened, but now that I look back, I think Year 12 was the year we really stopped trying to impress each other by pretending to be more grown up than we really were. That sense of leaving those years of education behind us get us all nostalgic, and the go-to response for our generation was to, once again, pick between Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle.
The new Pokemon games, HeartGold and SoulSilver came out half-way into my first year of university, and I found it hilarious the amount of people walking around the campus playing those games. Practically the exact opposite of high school where, aside from year 12, people would retreat to an almost hidden corner to play those types of games. I do love that about uni – there is no need to try and impress people. We’re surrounded by students who really want to be there, and we simply don’t worry anymore about the same stigmas that haunt high school halls.
This post got really retrospective really quickly. I honestly just wanted to talk about how awesome Pokemon is, but I suppose the true awesomeness of it comes from my childhood memories and the nostalgic factor that comes from playing those games. I mean, those games – and by extension the anime, and the trading cards, and the soft toys, and the figurines – practically defined a generation. We are the Pocket Monster generation. The toughest decision we had to make was who was going to accompany us on our very own Pokemon journey – and in some ways, it’s quite a personal decision (I always picked Charmander).
We wanted to catch them all.