What is Pokémon to you?


gamer boy
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I kinda did something similar in my 3K, but I don't think that the OP was left as an open enough discussion topic really (with it actaully being completely closed and centered around myself) and I am kinda interested to hear different people's takes on this.

To different people, this game means different things. So I'm going to ask: what is Pokémon to you? Do you simply play it to pass the time, are you an avid collector who sees Pokémon as another type of item to collect, do you play it to be the very best (like noone ever was)--or in Layman's terms, to prove yourself in a competitive setting--or is there a bigger reason as to why you still play the game despite no longer being a child by technicality? I am an advocate for the philosophy that games are a way to bring people together and that they have much more significance than the basic surface-level goals of the game (a platform for having fun), and clearly this game means enough to all of us to still give us a reason to play it into our mid/late teens and into adulthood--so I'm sure there will be varied responses to this.


To save you reading my overly-long thread on my take, I'll summarise my response to this thread in one sentence. Pokémon has acted as a way to introduce me to different mediums which have allowed me to overcome crippling irl social barriers, and to me the series has become a social platform more than a game. It means a lot to me, and as such I continue to love it.

Enough about me though; I made this to see what it is to other people lol.
Even though I'm only 13, I have been playing Pokemon since I was 4 or 5. My older cousin randomly gave me a Game Boy Color and Pokemon Blue. It took me a while to learn the mechanics (including how to save xD) but once I did, it never stopped from there. Pokemon Yellow. Gold. Silver. Then Diamond. Sapphire. Platinum. White. Black. (Never actually played BW2) Y. Omega Ruby. And now Moon soon!
Although it seems very anti-climactic to say this, Pokemon is my hobby. (Or one of my main hobbies.) But it's not just a hobby. Like most people here, I could spew out facts, names, and other blabber for hours about the games. And the games are super fun to me! I had gotten into a little slump, but then started competitive battling. After getting 64th in the world and 8th in the US in the Junior Kanto Classic, I have been motivated to do more.
I guess it's just a sort of outlet and something to take my mind off of the rest of my life.


Junichi Masuda likes this!!
Pokemon were my friends when I was little, and I loved to imagine stories about them, using Pokemon from my Pokemon Crystal.
As I aged, I found that discussing Pokemon helped make a lot of friends.
So now, Pokemon is a topic that I discuss with friends, and to make more friends.
So imma bump this cos I'm actually really interested in reading about other people's thoughts and experiences with Pokemon! For me, Pokemon is now a combination of stress relief and what was meant to be a quick nostalgia trip which lasted way too long lmao. Pokemon was my first ever computer game, I guess I was about 8 or 9, I'd been saving up my 50p-a-week pocket money for over a year and with some birthday money too I finally had enough to buy myself a game boy pocket and Pokemon red. I was so excited the day I got it I played solid into the night until the batteries died... I hadn't saved once, 8 hours of play time down the drain - that frustration has stayed with me and even now I still obsessively save like every 10 minutes in any computer game lol. Man I played the hell out of that game, I probably played it through about 30 times.

Gold and silver came out a couple of years later but I was in high school by then, the day I took it to school I got the piss ripped out of me so mercilessly I never finished it and skipped gen 3 and 4 entirely. Fast forward a few years, a random conversation with an old friend sparked a nostalgia trip of good old times, final fantasy, command and conquer, and of course, Pokemon. I stumbled upon Showdown and Smogon while searching for an emulator and rom of Red and promptly ragequit after after getting my ass handed to me on low ladder, but the seeds were sown. My life was pretty hectic at that point with lots of moving around and travelling so I never really got into it but I'd think about Pokemon every now and again in a quiet moment.

Fast forward AGAIN another couple of years, life was still hectic but at least I was settled in one spot. X and Y were due to be released in a few months and the Internet was buzzing. I jumped on the hype train all the way til release date and all the childhood memories came flooding back. Pokemon became a bit of a casual escape on an evening after a stressful day at work, and after finishing the game I wanted more. I re-discovered smogon and this time read the viability rankings thread back to back, I was totally fascinated at how much more in-depth and strategic the game could be, it opened up a whole new side of things. I basically only followed the viability rankings thread and didn't venture into the rest of the site at all, but it was extremely cathartic and nostalgic, interesting and fun. That also then got me into competitive breeding on cartridge as it was so much easier than in any previous gen, I still love breeding and teambuilding more than battling itself. Even then though, I wasn't too heavily invested.... The final nail in the coffin came when my wife and I moved in together - we have a totally clashing taste in tv and I needed something to do while she was watching her trash soaps lol. So then I started playing every night, I ventured into the rest of the site, ORAS came out, and the rest is history!

So basically for me it's a combination of nostalgia and stress relief which just sort of snowballed in recent years, especially as I started making more connections on here. I always enjoy the teambuilding side of things more as I find laddering with a purpose kinda stressful sometimes which contradicts the reasons I play in the first place. Even though my laptop has now broken so I hardly ever battle at the min cos fuck playing showdown on mobile I still check the forums multiple times a day so yeah I'd say it's definitely a bit of an addiction now. Anyway probably no-one's gonna read this but it was fun to write so yeah :)

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