One Man's Endless Love Affair With Pokémon

Today on Speak-Up on Kotaku, commenter Komrade Kayce isn't ashamed to explore his deep and lasting love for everyone's favorite pocket monsters.

So, I just walked into work an hour ago. Store didn't open till 10, but I was there at 9. I walk around behind the counter, completely empty store, rip into Pokémon Black.

I continue a tradition that I've held sacred since I was 13. You see, I owned Pokémon Red back then, and fell in love with it instantly. I used to play all hours of the day and night. One of my brothers got into it, but because I was slightly older than him, it also meant slightly more clever. And as a dorkus kid who played dungeons and dragons and magic and stuff, I was *all about* the number crunching collecting battling trading world of Pokémon.

Anyways, we made our Mom drive us to the store when Gold and Silver came out so that we could get it the moment it opened. At that point, my brother was a bit older, wiser, and a much better player. We bonded better as family members and didn't fight as much... er... unless we were fighting about Pokémon and 'that was cheap' etc. etc. At this time, I finally asked for a Gameboy Colour for Xmas, up till that point I had been using the original off-grey one from the year they came out (1988).

My youngest brother even started getting into Pokémon around this time. I woulda been something like 14 or 15 when G/S hit, which made my brothers 12 and 9 respectively. All of a sudden, we had a hobby we could all play. At different levels of skill, mind you, but it was *ours*.

I didn't play at school after I hit 16, it was an at home thing. Ruby and Sapphire came out when I wasn't living at home anymore and pre-Wi-Fi, so I kinda played them once and didn't really get all too excited. Enjoyed Fire Red and Leaf Green, but something was missing.

My brothers. My friends. Other players. It's what Pokémon has always been about for me.

So then on the horizon a few years ago were Diamond and Pearl. WITH WIFI. Excitedly, I hooked everyone in my family up with copies as presents and took the day off work so I could be there at launch. Finally, I could Pokémon all over again!

It was at this time I discovered one of my best high school friends and now roommate was a secret Pokémon fanatic, because when he came home that night, he had Pokémon going on the DS! Now this is a guy who repairs furnaces for a living, so imagine my surprise to watch my grease smeared face blackened best friend walk in playing Pokémon when I had zero idea he even gave two shats about it.

...which led to me not caring what people thought of me playing it anymore. So five-ish years ago I was out playing Pokémon in public like a kid again. I was trading with my brothers over Wi-Fi even though they were far away and was living with a dude who was more than happy to constantly battle.

(I left a quote on here before from him about what he thought of my 'Heart' Gold choice when those games came out. 'Nobody called Raziel the HEART reaver, you got the fuckin' girly version')

So here I am today. 25 going on 26. Didn't book the day off, nay. 10:00 comes around, store officially opens. I slap down the empty Pokémon Black case with my free hand, the other is mashing my thumb on the 'FIGHT!' button as my Tepig fights his first battle against that smug little grass asshole. (Cause really, you know fuckin' tail whip and tackle at this point, I dunno why they don't just automate this first fight.)

But I slap down the case for my coworker who walked in and she giggles and says 'Pokémon?' as she rings me up. I've heard that giggle before. You know the giggle, the 'isn't that a kids game?' giggle.

'Yup.' I reply, as I swipe my debit card to pay for it.

'And 10am sounds like a good time for lunch. See you in half an hour'. I walked to the back of the store and left her staring at me dumbfounded.

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