Pokemon 20th anniversary(27 Feb) has just pass and I would like to take this opportunity to talk about how Pokemon has helped me in my life. The recent Pokemon direct aired on youtube on 27 Feb 2016 gave me the inspiration to write on this topic. I will first talk about my general experiences with Pokemon franchise and how I was exposed to the game. I will then talk about how Pokemon has helped me.
My first ever exposure to Pokemon is in 1998 where my parents bought the first gaming handheld in our household for my brother – Game Boy Color(atomic purple). Along with the handheld is a Pokemon Blue cartridge for my brother to play on the handheld. I was there behind my brother’s back everytime he plays with the handheld. Although I do not understand pretty much half of what the game was showing, I still enjoyed watching my brother play.
It was only until October 1999 when I got my own Game Boy Color(kiwi lime green) and Pokemon Yellow cartridge. Back then the 5 years old me only know how to mesh the ‘A’ button. I was still able to get to Celadon City purely through memorising the sequence of how the game play out while watching my brother play. I took 6 months before fully understanding what I was supposed to do in the game to progress through the game and finally completing it.
After Pokemon Yellow, I unknowingly bought a Japanese Pokemon Silver and ended up not being able to play at all because it was a comepletely different game from the first generation Pokemon games and the language barrier I had. So I went back to play Pokemon Yellow. It was also then that Pokemon anime was aired on television. I could remember, every Saturday at 10.30am, I would be glued to the television screen for half an hour, totally engrossed in whatever the episode was showing.
In 2002, I was fortunate enough to score a decent enough grade to convince my parents to purchase Pokemon Crystal for me as a reward for working hard in school. For those who do not know, Pokemon Crystal contains both the new Johto region and first generation’s Kanto region. I finished the game eventually and kept on playing the game to try and complete the Pokedex but the 8 years old me did not know it requires the other second generation’s games to complete it. It was only until I consult my brother through a random talk about Pokemon which led me to realise I needed to trade with others to completed the Pokedex. When I went back to school, I desperately ask my whole class if they play Pokemon games and asked if they wanted to trade some Pokemon with me. Just like this, people whom I have never spoke to became my friends. Even up until today, I still continue to play other games from the main story. I owned a Nintendo 3DS with Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon X. I realise I sometimes go back into the games just to relive moments.
What a long chunk of passage about my experiences but we are almost done. Next up, how Pokemon as a franchise has helped me.
Pokemon give us common topic to talk about. It poses as opportunities to talk to others who know about Pokemon. This topic can also be used as an ice breaker! For example, previously I have already mentioned that when I was younger, I started talking to people through trading of Pokemon. This gives me a chance to befriend people whom I may have never talked to.
Pokemon taught me how to manage supplies. Technical Machine or TM for short, are obtained in the games and each can only be used once throughtout the game. It makes me think through thoroughly before teaching the TM to one of my Pokemon. Well, you might ask how does this related back to my life. It is just the same as making life choices, one wrong move and that is it, I learn to view all of my options and consider what advantages and consequences each option will lead to before finally sticking to one.
I would like to thank game freak for designing such a wonderful and successful franchise. Without Pokemon I would have never met such good friends I have up until now. Please continue to make more great games and happy Pokemon 20!
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Live your life like you only have one chance.