You may have noticed by now that I am pretty comfortable with who I am. I may baulk at the thought of wearing short shorts, but in terms of my hobbies, I generally have no shame.
Thus why I have no problem sharing with you what I was doing last night. What I have been doing time and time again over the years, during school and university holidays, and periods of boredom. With great resolve, I go into my bedroom, open a drawer and pull out…my Game Boy.
Well, specifically it’s a Game Boy Colour. Yes, that’s the one there:
Accompanying it you’ll see a red cartridge: my weapon of choice. I’m talking about Pokemon Red, one of the original versions in the Pokemon game series. Riiiiight about now, you’re probably hovering over the Exit or Back button. Look, no hard feelings. I knew when I wrote this post that it would probably alienate all you people that have no idea what Pokemon is, think it’s lame or just don’t care.
Back to me and Pokemon. I absolutely love it and have always loved it. The more I think about the game, the more I am convinced that it really benefited me as a child. It taught me so many things: that persistence is key, how to think strategically, the importance of sound money management and how gathering information can lead to vital knowledge.
It also weirded me out from time to time. Maybe not so much when I was younger and focused on battles, collecting new species and OMG, Sand-Attack HAS to be one of the most annoying moves ever! But years later, when I was a little bit older and wiser, I found myself pulling that face where my nose is trying to touch my eyes. Did you just try and do it? Still have no idea what I’m talking about? CONFUSION! Confusion, people!
A large part of the game involves travelling around, battling other trainers and getting experience for your Pokemon. While sometimes you approach others for a battle, most of the time, the battle begins when you walk into a trainer’s line of sight. You get accosted and that’s when things get strange. Basically, if it was the real world, I would think that I was either getting rolled, being accused of sexual harassment or receiving some paedophile vibes. Check out these greetings for yourself:
That look you gave me, it’s so intriguing.
Hey! You’re not wearing shorts!
I’m a cool guy. I’ve got a girlfriend!
Eek! Don’t try anything funny in the dark!
Hi kid! Want to see my Pokemon?
Hey matey! Let’s do a jig!
Eek! Did you touch me?
Hi! I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear!
Outsiders like you need to show me some respect!
You looked at me, didn’t you?
This is a tiny fraction of the greetings I’ve seen, and I’m only at Lavender Town! With reoccurring characters such as Lass, Old Man, Super Nerd, Hiker, Bug Catcher, Sailor and Gambler, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.
Given the Japanese origin of the game, I always concluded that something had been lost in translation. Intentional or not, the result is somewhere between hilarious and disturbing.
What do you think, my fellow Pokemon fans? Did you ever pick up on this? And to any other readers, it’s time to ‘fess up: what part of your childhood do you relive? Or what do you wish you could do again? Pretty sure I just wrote over 500 words on Pokemon, so you should feel able to say just about anything!