And here I am twenty years later cursing Amazon for being out of the "New Nintendo 3DS XL," as I try to find some way to justify dropping $300 on a system I'll only use for 2-5 games tops, instead of paying off my credit card debt.
In the meanwhile I'm playing Pokemon Fire Red on a Gameboy Advance emulator because I can't not scratch the itch. I want to play Pokemon. Not Pokemon Go, but what a buddy and I are calling "Pokemon Stay," or what a coworker called "Hipster Pokemon." The real deal. It's great. I mean, it's exactly the same as it was twenty years ago, but I'm happy to look at it with fresh eyes.
The cool thing about Pokemon is that everybody in the world of Pokemon is on the same page. To live among the pokemon is a privilege. To catch them is a test of strength, will, and character. To train them is a cause of the highest honor. While Pokemon is a game, everybody in the world of Pokemon is serious about what they're doing. You can't walk a few feet without being called out and challenged to a fight. There's a ritual to it; you can't say no to a trainer battle, and you can't run away from a trainer battle. There's a singularity of purpose to the world that everybody shares. Questions like the economy, food, healthcare, and the quantum mechanics of Pokeballs are all waved away in the utopian pursuit to catch more pocket monsters.