I don’t know about you but I grew up with the Pokemon games. The first game I got in the franchise was the Yellow version. I loved Pikachu and still do as an adult, in fact. I still have the Yellow version on my bookshelf, though I’ve long since lost the case for it.
I also still have Gold version, though it sustained some damage from when I lost the game several years back. Being able to play it, however, is good enough for me. I never really envisioned playing the Pokemon games years later as a woman in her mid-20s.
I never thought I’d be excited to get Pokemon Sun and Moon for Christmas last year. The root of this shock for me is the idea that I didn’t realize the impact of the franchise on not just me but thousands of other people. I decided to delve deeper into my feelings on the matter and this is what I came up with.
The Core of the Idea
I didn’t realize the impact of the franchise on me. I’ve always had a spot in my heart for the series even into my adult years. I had merch with Pokemon on them, especially Pikachu. I had a Pikachu purse for YEARS, though I have since disposed of it to my horror.
I have a Pokemon-themed 3DS and play it all the time. The kicker for me is playing one of the Pokemon games on them. During all this time, however, I didn’t see what the franchise was doing for me. I didn’t realize just how much it helped me through some of the harder periods of my life.
I didn’t realize just how much it carried me through by letting me turn my mind off of anything other than training my Pokemon for success. I didn’t realize the full impact of the joy hearing Pikachu brought me until I was full into adulthood.
I grew up with the first Pokemon TV series when Ash got Pikachu for the first time. I can still remember vividly just how much Pikachu hated him at first. I can still remember the tears all the Pokemon cried when Ash sacrificed himself during the battle between Mew and Mewtwo.
Y’all know which one I’m talking about, I’m sure. That scene still tugs at my heart, especially when it shows up as a video on Facebook. There’s something else I realized as well as I sat down with the idea.
My Own Realization
What I’ve realized over the past few months is that the Pokemon world gave us gamers a world of our own to explore. You know, kind of what Harry Potter gave us Potterheads. It gave us a world to escape into when our own lives were difficult.
We have a simple mission while playing the games or watching the TV show: catching them all. We can catch them all ourselves or watch Ash do it for us. It’s a journey we get to take along with other trainers.
Now with Pokemon Go out, we can do that while going through our day. I was so excited when the app came out and have spent hundreds of hours playing it myself. I’ve caught almost 250 Pokemon spread across the regions.
We get to be a part of this journey we wouldn’t have been able to be a part of if Pokemon hadn’t been created. At the end of the day, it’s really about the journey we get to take. The franchise doesn’t care how old you might be or what part of life you’re dealing with.
As JK Rowling said about Harry Potter (and I’m paraphrasing here), no matter where you are or what you’re dealing with, Pokemon will always have a place for you to return home to.