Growing Up With Pokémon: My Life According to the Game

Some measure their age by music.  There’s the disco era of the 70’s, new wave in the 80’s and Grunge in the 90’s.  Then there are those who mark their age by world events like when Princess Diana died or 9-11.  Me, I gauge my age by Pokémon milestones.


I was eight years old when Pokémon was first released outside of Japan.  I remember my brother got one right away.  I was so jealous.


By the time I was twelve, I had a Game Boy Advanced and the third generation of games began with “Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire”.  Of course I had to have the enhanced version, “Emerald”, because, after all, my name is…Emerald.  One hundred and thirty-five new characters were introduced and I was in heaven!


One of the best days of my life was when Nintendo DS came out.  I was 14.  It was 2004.  Of course I upgraded to the slimmer model two years later.


I remember what I was doing when the fourth generation came out.  It was 2006.  I had just gotten my driver’s license so I went right up to the game store and bought one the very day it was released.  Another 107 new species were mine for the taking!


My parents were a little concerned that I opted to stay home and play Pokemon and a few other of my favourite games instead of cruising around with friends.  They had bought me a new (used) car and one would think I would be driving around, joy riding with the rest of the kids my age.  But no, I was in the sanctuary of my room, playing games.  I think my parents were secretly happy though because they didn’t have to wonder what I was up to.  They knew.


I love “Pokémon Black and White”.  It came out when I was….well, too old to be playing Pokémon.  I think that’s when it sunk in.  I was never going to outgrow Pokémon.


Last year about this time, “X and Y” were released.  Not everyone is a fan of “X and Y”, but I sure am.  Through the years with Pokémon, I have made up my mind up not to be overly critical when new games and features are put out and just to be happy there’s something new in the mix.


Of the “X and Y’ newbies, I really like Chesnaught.  Although he looks a little rough around the gills, he is a true friend.  He’s calm, cool and collective until someone messes with one of his buddies and then he turns into a ferocious monster. He has the ability to toss over a fifty ton truck with his bare hands.  But when left alone, he is a gentle as a kitten.   I think the real world could learn from Chesnaught’s character qualities.


I have attended a few Pokémon tournaments.  I was eighteen the first time and twenty-one the second time.  I didn’t play.  I just watched but regretted that later on.  I was afraid I wasn’t good enough to even play, looking back, I am pretty sure I could have won both of the tournaments.  I plan to compete in one next year and have already started looking at the event calendar.


I am looking forward to the release of the new Mega-Evolution Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that are set to be out soon.  I know what will be on my Christmas Wish List!


Growing up with Pokémon is a bit contradictory because gauging my years by Pokémon milestones probably means I have not grown up at all.  But when it comes right down to it, I have to wonder, is staying a kid at heart really such a bad thing?  I hope not!