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Old 01-07-2011, 02:35 AM
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Post A True Christmas Present – Pokemon Blue and Self Discovery



Mel Turnquist of Narragansett Patch wrote about how Pokemon Blue was one of the best Christmas presents she received and how Pokemon changed her life.

I’ve had the great fortune to have some awesome Christmas presents, ranging from video game systems, musical instruments, other toys and cute stuffed animals, and the occasional awesome bits of clothing.

However, when I think back to what may have been the best gift I’ve ever received, well, that’s a loaded question.

I’m not gonna lie. I think probably in terms of impact on who I was in high school and who I am today, the best gift I’ve received was actually a Game Boy Pocket and Pokemon Blue.

To go along with the story of how I got into the Pokemon trend, I must also tell the tale of how I came to the acceptance of my own loser status and inherent dorkiness and how everything changed once I realized that.

When the games first hit the USA in 1998, I was a lonely, shy and hypersensitive 13-year-old starting up eighth grade at the Pier School. I was picked on by my fellow classmates due to a poorly-advised haircut, giant glasses, unfortunate weight gain and a tendency to dress like a boy. (I liked comfort over style).

I didn’t have many friends because of this and I began my struggles with depression (something which I still deal with to this day). I was upset and frustrated because I wasn’t sure what I wanted.

So from this standpoint, my introduction to Pokemon couldn’t have come at a better time.

I had heard about the games before, but only vaguely. It wasn’t until one of my bus rides home with my friend “Rick” when I learned about the game in detail.

He had brought his Game Boy with him to school and he was telling me about his brand new game: Pokemon Red. He explained the entire concept of the game and encouraged me to get the game.

I was already into video games, but I never really cared for RPGs. I wasn’t really sold on it at first. However, once I saw some of the Pokemon and witnessed the easy yet complex battle system, I was sold.

So anyway, that Christmas I got Pokemon Blue and a blue Game Boy Pocket. I was thrilled and began playing it immediately and needless to say, I was hooked.

Throughout eighth and ninth grades, I was a Pokemon fanatic. I played everyday, trying out every cheat possible, trying to level up my Pokemon and to beat the Elite Four.

I found a few people who played as well, but in the Pier School, we weren’t allowed to take them out during class time, so I never got to play with them.

Despite this, I was able to talk to them about it and forge some of the friendships that would carry me throughout my four years at NHS. When high school rolled around, things really caught fire when we realized that it was okay to bring our Game Boys into school.

During substitutes-in-band days, I would gather with my friends “Brad,” “Tom” and “Carl,” and we would battle each other or trade whatever Pokemons we needed to complete our collection.

By finding the friends that I made throughout this common bond of similar tastes in entertainment, I was able to realize something. It’s OKAY to be a dork, a geek or a nerd. There’s nothing wrong with being a dork and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Not everybody can be the jock, the beauty queen, the rebel and whatever generic high school stereotype you want to throw into the mix. The world needs dorks, and as long as YOU are okay with being a dork, then hold your head up high and be proud of it.

Once I accepted this status of being a dork as being part of who I am, things really began to look up. The clouds that were always over my head in middle school finally cleared up and it was a sunny day.

It has been more than 10 years since those days and I’m a lot more mature and older now, and I haven’t really touched those games in ages, but they’ll always be synonymous with the three-year journey of self-discovery that I went through between the eighth and 10th grades.

I’ve been asked once or twice if I ever regretted getting into Pokemon at all. I’d just laugh it off and give a half-assed answer before the subject would be changed. If I were to answer honestly, however, here’s what I’d say:

Regrets?! Couldn’t be further from the truth…

Source: Narragansett Patch



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