By now I’m sure you know that it’s the 20 th anniversary of Pokemon. How could you not? Nintendo spent 10 million dollars on a Super Bowl ad just to celebrate this milestone. But how did we get to this point?
A 20 YEAR LONG ADVENTURE!
Back in 1996, Pocket Monsters was released and is still around two decades later, but how revolutionary are these Game Boy titles?
From the very beginning, Pokemon was more than just a game. Almost every video game before Pokemon was a self-contained experience. You rescued the princess, saved the world, won the gold, and credits rolled. Just like a movie, it’s a fun ride you could re-visit, but it had a definitive ending. Pokemon didn’t just break that trend; it shattered it.
YOU CONQUERED THE POKEMON WORLD!
Even after you collect all the badges, beat the Elite Four, and finally put your rival in his place, your journey is far from over, and I’m not talking about how you still had to catch Mewtwo. No, if you want to know where Pokemon truly ends, you have to remember where it begins.
BUT FIRST, YOU TOOK ON YOUR OWN!
How did every game start? A professor shows up, asks you for your name, offers you one of three starter Pokemon and then tells you that your goal is to catch them all. And, this was where the genius of Pokemon shone. It was goal could not be accomplished on your own. In order to obtain every Pokemon, you had to get up, talk to other players and work out a trade with them, in real life.
ONLY HALF OF YOUR JOURNEY WAS ON A SCREEN!
This was a multi-player experience that couldn’t be programmed. You had to live it and it’s what made your Pokemon journey unique. Whatever lunchroom deals, after-school meetups, or organized trading marathons you undertook, no one else experienced exactly what you did.
YOUR LIFE BECAME PART OF ITS LEGEND!
This is what made Pokemon more than a game. In real life, just as in your Game Boy, you were exploring a world and forging your own legend. Along the way you made allies and enemies. You learned new skills and maybe, just maybe, you had the chops to be the reigning champion of your neighborhood. And the best part about this quest was that only you could decide where it ended.
So where did you stop? At 150 Pokemon? 250? Or are you still striving to be the very best, like no one ever was?
Tell the world your legend in the Comments section.