Back in the days of Pokemon…

Aimee Brown

I remember the days of Pokémon, back in fifth grade when having my own Pokémon backpack, notebook, and Pokéball added up to the status of one of the coolest kids in class.

Although a lot of time has passed since then, I figured, why not go back and see what the big fuss was about?

Upon arrival, I took in my surroundings. Overhead fluorescent lights reflected greenish hues off the gray-white walls. The shelves lined around the room were packed with games, figurines, backpacks, cards, and cases. Crowded in the room were wooden tables situated into rows, all marked with numbers going down the center. The people inside all had their winter jackets and hats on, trudging in snowy sludge when they walked in.

My first Pokémon buddies were ninth grader Zach and fifth grader Nicki. Zach, sporting a backwards white cap and a gold dollar sign necklace, was not shy at all when I told him I had no idea how to play Pokémon. Both he and little Nicki did their best to give me a general outline of the game.

When the tournament was set to begin, opponents were announced, and I was to be against Matt at table one. A little uneasy with what I was doing, I let him know I was a beginner and he nodded and adjusted his glasses while thinking of what to do. 

I was completely annihilated. The game basically consisted of him telling me the smartest move and him trying his best to keep my Pokémon alive so I could learn enough to play on my own. Finally my one wounded Pokémon was relieved from its pain.

While struggling through a couple more battles, I met a few interesting people. One was a guy named Steve who must have been about 35 and was jittery with a Monster energy drink. He kept a case of red marbles to match his red game board and red card sleeves.

After looking around I noticed that most people had huge five-inch three-ring binders, packed with Pokémon cards. I also noticed that apart from myself and a couple of others, everyone there was between five and thirteen and the remainder were their parents.

After finishing my third round, I resigned from the tournament and watched others play the game. It did not take long for me to feel I had my fair share of Pokémon for the day, so with a final goodbye, I left the battlers to their game.