Boyfriend and I have been playing Pokemon a whole bunch recently. Why? Because we’re ridiculous…

But it made me want to talk about when I first got my gameboy and my first Pokemon cartridge.

My first inkling of pokemon came from a friend I had named Mike. He was super into video games, and got Nintendo Power magazine in the mail. He would show me all about it, and tell me that I needed to get this game, and to make sure I got blue version, because he was getting red version, and how it was going to be all sorts of fun, and he’d catch these pokemon and trade for these other pokemon and it’d be great.

I went and told my mom that those two things were my christmas list. My ENTIRE christmas list.

I remember how sad I was the day when I was told they didn’t think they’d be able to get it for me.

A week or two later, I was asked if I would mind spending my christmas money on getting the game if they bought me the gameboy. My mood perked up, because at that point, I’d do anything to play it. I said, “Of course!”

Now, I feel the need to add here, that I’m not quite sure exactly why I was so excited about this game. I played video games at the time, but I wouldn’t have really considered myself a gamer. Hell, I was still playing a NES most of the time, although, I think by that point, I may have had a N64 at my grandma’s house. All I remember is my friend telling me it was gonna be super cool, him telling me it was almost like a cult or religion or something in Japan, and that I really really really wanted that game. I’m sure there must have been some other reason why, because even as a foolish child (I was 10), there must have been something else going on to make me want that game so bad.

I remember that Christmas morning. I remember opening the gameboy, and being super excited. Not only was it a gameboy color (I believe I had stated at one point that even one of the older ones would work as long as it would play pokemon), but it was one of the clear ones, just like I had wanted. I thought it was so cool you could see all the stuff inside of it. It added a cool factor to the whole thing, I thought. But due to the question I had been asked earlier, I had kinda been expecting it….

And then I remember opening the next present.

And it was Pokemon Blue.

It was the right version of the game I had been dreaming about for months. Even if it had been red, I would have been stoked, but it was blue.

If I remember correctly, I kinda lost my shit. Jumping up and down in happiness, crying happy tears, hugs all around and a million “Thank you!”s. I might have exaggerated it in my head, but I remember just being so very very happy about it.

I immediately opened them both up, ripping the boxes to hell in my impatience to get in there. I remember thinking how small the game was, in comparison to the box. And then I never looked back.

Apparently, there was an option during Christmas that year. Get a gameboy, or get a cable box so that the TV in your room will be able to get cable. I chose the gameboy.

I only remember this because a while later, my grandpa asked me if I regretted getting the gameboy yet. And I said no. And he asked, “What will you get more use out of? A cable box, or that stupid gameboy?” And I replied, “The gameboy!” Mind you, I was still playing that game, while I was talking to him.

It was the truth. I got so much use out of that gameboy. Not only did I play blue version on there, but also yellow version, and gold AND silver. I logged so many hours on each of those games, not stopping with one until the next one came out. And with the exception of a gameboy advance that my boyfriend gave to me but a roomie stole a month later so it wasn’t even really mine for that long, it’s the only gameboy I’ve owned to this day. My little siblings have played with it too. I still have it, and bust it out every so often when I’m in the mood for some “retro” pokemon. Because as cool as emulators are, there’s something magical about going back and playing them on that gameboy.

It’s probably just the nostalgia talking, but it feels like childhood.

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