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Why I Like Pokemon Red

I am not sure what really got me into Pokemon. I think it was probably my amazement of Ash’s sacrifice for his friend Pikachu in the anime’s first episode from a DVD my mom’s college friends gave to me as a present. My interest in the franchise further grew after watching an outdoor screening of the first Pokemon movie. I had so much interest in traversing that world that my mom bought me a Gameboy Advance and a copy of Pokemon Red. As a kid, the only Pokemon I would battle with was my Charmander and I would evolve it into a Charizard after getting only 3 gym badges (I didn’t know how to get to Lavender Town). Now as an adult, my team would consist of Charizard, Nidoqueen, Raichu, Vaporeon, Fearow, and Vileplume (I choose Pokemon with the sprite art I like best while trying to avoid having two Pokemon with the same type). I like being the silent protagonist with no one judging my intelligence based on my inadequacy of speech. I saw catching Pokemon from the wild and leveling them up to evolve them into their higher stage forms that can’t be caught in the wild as a reflection of my desires to set myself apart from everyone else which can only be done by leaving my comfort zone. I enjoyed how the gym leaders are big hidden personalities waiting to be discovered even though they don’t have much dialogue. I saw Pokemon Red as a charming rag to riches story; a promise that if I believe hard enough that the world would accept my silence not as a threat but as something normal to everyday life, I can create this reality and go around the world and truly live life to the fullest. Choosing a starter is choosing a best friend who would stick by your side throughout your adventure in life because it can see the best in you that the random encounters can’t see. The wild battles with random encounters reflect my everyday struggles of going out into the real world and meeting people who would constantly judge me for being different. I can react to the random encounters by battling them and making them faint or I can make them a part of my team by capturing them which taught me that an enemy of yesterday can be a friend today. I was so obsessed with Pokemon as a kid, that by the time I reached 3rd grade my parents considered my obsession to be an addiction (my mom rejected the idea that I have aspergers and so was unable to understand the traits that the people under the spectrum would have). My parents then decided to ban Pokemon from entering the house but that didn’t stop me from getting copies of later generation games. Some people perceive this game as simple entertainment but to me it’s something much more: an embodiment of my philosophy.

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