Have you ever played a game and just couldn't shut it off. Maybe you just got a rare drop from an enemy mob and inadvertently walked into a inescapable boss battle or perhaps your game is just skimpy on the save points. Either way we just could not power down our consoles and were forced to implement gaming's greatest invention: The Pause feature. I thought I would share with you my most dedicated pause story and tell you how Pokemon almost compromised for me one semester of college.
Back in 1999, Pokemon had already taken the world by storm. The television was flooded with commercials for the cards and toys and that ubiquitous, seizure-inducing cartoon show. I was almost 20 and thought I was above and beyond the reach of all things pokemon and as such would roll my eyes at any product or person engaged with the silly toys.
I was in college and in on a hiatus from video games. If I played anything it was when I dusted off my old SNES or played one of the few good N64 games but for the most part I was dedicated to my studies.
It was a fated trip to a local thrift store for supplies for my college's upcoming Gay Straight Alliance event (I was the president, natch!) that would galvanize my interest in games and place a severe dent in my study time.
It was an impulse purchase of the worst kind! I was in line with my purchases when I noticed a lone copy of Pokemon Red for the Game Boy. It was marked down to $7 dollars. I thought, "why the hell not?" and added it to my bag of tricks.
When I brought the game home to my boyfriend, we popped the fire red cart into my Super Game Boy for the SNES. We were immediately mesmerized by the catch em' all concept and spent the evening immersed in the simple RPG fun. It was when we went to save the game that I began to understand the reason for the 7 dollar price tag. The save file was corrupted and there was no way to solidify our hours of progress. I reasoned that we shut the game off and buy a copy when our tight college budget would allow.
Make the jump for the conclusion
The next day I came home from my morning classes to find my boyfriend still in his PJs sitting a foot from the television hunched over an overflowing ash tray, playing Pokemon. He didn't even notice me come in! after a few moments he came out of his stupor and said "Hey! I made it to the first gym!"
I was flabbergasted but admittedly curious to what this "gym" business was and sat down next to him for the next few hours. We knew we couldn't shut off the game so we just left it on overnight!
This story is not only a testament to gaming dedication but to the quality and craftsmanship of Nintendo products because that game and my Super Nintendo stayed on for a solid two weeks without failing once! We played it when we woke up, between classes and before bed. It stayed on until we finished the game and beat the Elite Four!
It was a sad day when we finally said goodbye to that data but by that time we both had Game Boy Colors and each a copy of Pokemon Gold and Silver respectively (whose save files worked like a charm). Pokmon had officially invaded our lives and was there to stay. This sparked an obsession that would span two consoles and almost the entirety of our college careers!
Well that's my story and my embarrassing confession of how a product aimed at kids was responsible for reigniting my obsession with video games. I invite you to share your stories of your pregnant gaming pauses or anything that helped you to reconnect to your passion for video games.