Pokémon Day is coming up here on Saturday, 2/27/2021, and this year it’s a big one, as it’s the 25th Anniversary of Pokémon!
While I’m not a hardcore Pokémon fan, I love the concept of “catching them all” and collecting this huge assortment of critters that you nurture (and well, battle against other critters). The idea of having a menagerie of creatures that you interact with, raise, and evolve, is so similar to having a pet, that what kid (or adult) wouldn’t be in love with the idea?
For me, while I’ve played Pokémon Go, and dabbled with Pokémon Yellow, my experiences with Pokémon over the years has come through the eyes and emotions of my customers. Even before I began working at Best Buy, I worked at other stores that sold Pokémon cards, Pokémon merchandise, and Pokémon videos and games. Whenever a new set of cards came out, or a new video, and definitely a new game, the customers flooded in to pick up the latest gear, games, cards, and videos. Would they get the Pokémon card that they really wanted in this pack? The best part was if you got a group of kids together talking about one of the games, comparing notes, talking about their battles, it created a sense of community within them that was heartwarming to see.
I also experienced Pokémon by watching the show with my daughter as she grew up, and it was hard not to love that impetuous little Pikachu, or the fact the other Pokémon used their names to speak. “Charm, Charm!” 😊. She had some of the cards, but mostly she played Pokémon Yellow (I bought her the special Pikachu Edition Gameboy Color for Christmas). As she grew older, she pretty much left Pokémon behind, until Pokémon Go came out, and then she was hooked again (and so was my wife!) 😊.
The phenomenon of Pokémon Go was incredible! Here was a game you could play on your phone, walk around, get some exercise, and discover new areas of your town or city to explore (being careful to mind your surroundings of course!). It had it all! Of course, I ended up driving my wife and daughter around to areas so they could walk around and collect Pokémon:
“Ooo honey, turn here, there’s a PokeStop over there!”, or “Oh, can you go over there? I need to get another Squirtle!”
Every time I think the fervor for Pokémon may have finally fizzled out, a new game comes along to start the blaze anew. I think it’s a true testament to the power these little creatures have had over us, that 25 years later, Pokémon is still a huge part of our culture, and little kids get introduced to it every day, and the love of “catching them all!”