GUESS WHO'S TURNING 20 THIS YEAR?!
So this year, the Pokemon franchise celebrates it's 20th year! That's right, yesterday 20 years ago, Pokemon Red and Blue came out and turned the next generation of children into virtual Pokemon trainers. Also turning 20 this year: me. Pokemon has played a very important part in my life since I held a copy of Pokemon Yellow many many years ago. To this day, me and my signature shiny Milotic have been traveling from region to region.
To some people, the idea of a soon to be 20 year old playing a game meant for children may seem idiotic. But to all honesty, Pokemon is a game meant for college students, while games like Call of Duty are being played by children. The series has become so complex that I don't even know how children can learn that the Fairy type is effective against Dark, Dragon, and Fighting but weak to Poison and Steel.
I guess part of my love for Pokemon is the fact that in the 20 years of my life, my Pokemon have been the only things that were constant. I spent a lot of my life moving from house to house, to the point that sometimes I would live in a new place every year. In the process of losing myself, I lost and gained some friends too.
But Pokemon like my Shiny Milotic have been with me since 2006. I guess in a way, this is a story about a little boy who didn't have a lot of friends but virtual pocket monsters. But that part of my life is over, and I am surrounded by people who love and adore me, and people who I love and adore as well. The memories of staying up until 4 in the morning and battling my friends to see how their Pokemon have grown will linger with me forever.
I am yet to catch all 700 something Pokemon known to mankind (unlike my friend Sierra, who has amassed her own army and is close to being done) and they just announced Pokemon Sun and Moon to come out this year... which means more work. But also more fun! It's a great way to relieve stress. I recently got my boyfriend playing Pokemon Y, and it's fun to watch him struggle catching a Gible and forgetting that Poison type moves can't touch Steel types.
So happy 20 years, Pokemon. Thanks for all the wonderful memories. One day, I will teach my kids how to play Pokemon, and together we will play the most recent installments, set in a new region with new Pokemon to catch. I will tell them stories about #HOENNCONFIRMED and how in Heart Gold and Soul Silver your Arceus can create a Dialga, Palkia, or Giratina egg. I will tell them about how annoying it was trying to catch the roaming legendary Pokemon, especially Mesprit. I will tell them about how people were pissed when Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire came out and there was no Mega Milotic, Mega Flygon, or Battle Frontier. I will tell them about how back in the day, there was no Steel or Dark type, and say "Back in my day, there was no Fairy type. We had to fight Dragons with other Dragons" or maybe say something geekier like "You think Pokemon are your allies? You merely adapted Pokemon... I was born in it, molded by it. By the time I saw Fairy types I was already a man." And for sure, I will tell them that when they need a break from life, they can grab their handheld Nintendo console (whatever the hell they have at that time/ "The New NEW Nintendo 8DS XLL with Play Station, Steam, and Xbox Compatibility and Built In Cookie Machine"), flip the switch, and find their Pokemon waiting for them to sit in the corner and take a bite out of their world.
It's how I always imagined my adulthood would be.