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Individual Values: A Pokémon Feature - Week 28: Thoughts For Friends


Jonathan Higgins

Welcome to the twenty-eighth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday morning.

 

 

 

 

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Thoughts For Friends

 

Pokémon is a franchise enjoyed by millions of people around the world of all ages, colors and creeds. But if you have friends or loved ones who experience the games along with you, your journey just feels so much more personal. I can“t tell you how many Pokémon I“ve raised and kept in my PC from nine years of being so involved with the games, just because they were traded to me/have my personal friends as their “OT”. It“s such a beloved series, that the people who love it with you make you feel nostalgic from time to time. I know more than one person who formed friendships simply because they had a love of Pokémon in common. Do you have any stories like that?

 

I often wonder, in some parallel universe where I have artistic talent, if I could create something like the picture you see above...of me, my girlfriend, and our favorite Pokémon, that“s actually displayed right behind me as I write this. I wonder, if I had the same talents and dedication as the person who drew it, that I could hold my own in both the video games and the trading card game--enough to write about them, or even attend the Pokémon National Championships that took place this past weekend. I“m talking about a friend of mine who really put all her heart into her hobby. And...unfortunately...I“m talking about someone who“s no longer with us.

 

I don“t mean to bring things down a few notches, or make Individual Values extra-personal all of a sudden. It just took losing someone this past weekend for me to reflect upon how powerful or important these seemingly tiny connections of just having a hobby in common truly are. Even if two people aren“t as close as they could have been, or if we“re talking about your best friend in the entire world...a game like Pokémon, while rooted in single-player sensibilities, can yield all sorts of feelings connected to someone you happen to be playing the games with.

 

 

 

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The same child who first played Pokémon Red or Blue on a tiny, black and white Game Boy screen--who brought the world of Kanto to life in his or her mind to be bursting with color and story never seen in the main game...holds memories, dreams and expectations of a franchise that“s lasted almost twenty years. So no, it doesn“t surprise me that so many people have been inspired enough by the “phenomenon” that they“ve drawn, written or created personal stories themselves. Even if I can only manage to do so in under five hundred words, I just want to honor my friend by trying to communicate how special it is--that some video games yield experiences that can be both personal and shared, that Pokémon has the potential to spark inspiration that draws from far more than just a few Nintendo 3DS games.

 

The stories within the Pokémon world are very temporary. But the personal ones that stretch beyond it can last forever.

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