Thursday, July 21, 2016

When everybody else is playing Pokémon Go...

Hello peeps.

I assume everybody by now has at least heard of Pokémon Go, the new game for your smartphone that has taken over the world by storm. It even bypassed the internet interest for porn. Pokémon Go is literally all over my social media feeds, my friends updates etc and yeah, it's basically everywhere. The thing is that I do have a smartphone but I just haven't gotten around to using it yet (don't ask me why, I don't know either) and thus I don't have Pokémon Go. Yet, at least. 

One thing that makes me feel really old is that meanwhile everyone else is riding the Pokémon Go hype I'm just sitting here being all old-school and playing LeafGreen (and Emerald) on my GameBoy Advance SP. I feel like such a veteran trainer, lol.

Forever old-school.
But because of the Pokémon Go hype I can't help but wonder about some things – now that Pokémon is the new mainstream thing, thanks to this easily available global phone game, and a lot of people are playing it who did not grow up with Pokémon............. I feel a bit weird.
I can't help but reminiscence about my past childhood days in school and how I was bullied for 7,5 years by the whole school – simply because I liked Pokémon and happened to be clueless enough that I admitted it on my first day there. And now even non-geeks are playing Pokémon because it is the 'hot thing'. I can't help but wonder if some of my former bullies are playing it (which were a lot) and why was it such a shameful thing to like back in the days that people had to completely crush me to dust and freeze me out for it? It feels so surreal that something that made me lose all my value to other kids is now the thing that everyone is playing. I just can't wrap my head around it – how can it have changed so abruptly?
I just can't.
I still remember that first summer school day when, because I was the new "exotic kid from the south with a different accent", everyone agreed to play with me and by my rules; I guess the teacher had told them all to give me a good first impression so that I'd attend the school. I of course wanted to play pretend (Pokémon edition) because Pokémon was the best thing I knew and everyone agreed and seemed to have fun, although in some way it was still obvious that no one was as into it as I was. The day after –on the first real school day– everyone treated me like dirt and like I didn't even exist, like a prick of shame and disgust. And like that it continued for almost 8 years and why was that? 
– Because I liked Pokémon and no one else did. 
It was the most childish and stupid thing to like back in my school and I was treated like shit because of it. In my former school it was the cool thing to like (everyone played the GameBoy games and traded cards during the breaks) and guess if the "culture collision" was strong when I transferred?
I won't go into more details but yeah, I've been a victim of school bullying for so long and it all started because I liked Pokémon and I just can't wrap my head around the fact that Pokémon Go seems to have made the attitude and assumptions around Pokémon change. I realized it a few days ago when I was outside walking my dog and a group of young boys on bikes talked about Pokémon Go while passing me by – even in this tiny little town that I live in. I honestly wasn't expecting Pokémon Go to make it here and yet it has landed here too and people are playing it. The town where even kids I had never seen before used to bully me for it. Daily.

Please note that this post doesn't mean to say that I dislike Pokémon Go (plot twist: I'll play it too, as soon as I can) nor it's casual/new players. I also don't think that the popularity of Pokémon Go is bad or negative in any way. This post is simply meant to be more like a thought-provoker from a former school-bullied victim who suffered a lot for admitting to like Pokémon back in the days. I also don't intend to come off as any kind of "Pokémon elitist", I'm just thinking out loud here.

I'm not sure if this post makes sense and it's probably all over the place but oh well, there it is. I just feel weird about the sudden Pokémon Go explosion, as an old fan who stuck with Pokémon back in the days and never left – even though everyone else judged me for it and ruined my life, confidence and self-worth.


Lauw Claudia said...

oh my gosh your game boy is so compact and it looks cute!! I haven't tried pokemonGO too, tho, I think I'd never try it. I love PC game mooore :D

Anonymous said...

I can sorta relate to this but with rock music. When i was in elementary school, i was into rock pretty early (because of my 5 year older cousin). And everyone called me emo and stuffs cause of it. Then in like 8-9th grade everyone in my class started to like it. It made my mind go "wtf, you didnt even like music close to this before". So i understand the chock pokemon go gives. I also have a few people in my town i didn't think would play it, but they do. Probably just temporarily cause its new and "oh i remember this was around during my childhood!" kinda thoughts. I think so at least

Aki Ame Ōkami said...

Oh yeah, I totally understand this thought process.

I had a friend who was only friends with me because I didn't judge him for his love of pokemon when we were in 6th grade and up. We literally learned another language so that him and I could talk about it around other people without him feeling ashamed.
Bullying is a serious problem and it is something that most people joke off so it makes me really happy to see your blog posts when your all fired up about it.
~Aki Ame Okami