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A Tale of Pokémon Pride or Pokémon Shame

pokeplush.jpgMy good friend told me a story the other day that I just had to share with all of you because it not only relates to Pokémon, but it is also quite funny. My friend is a gamer, likes Pokémon, and is 24 years old. Here is the story of her quest to get the three Legendary beasts that were offered at GameStop this past month.

As some of you know, GameStop was giving away the three Legendary beasts of Johto to anyone that stopped by their stores and downloaded them via Mystery Gift to their Pokémon HeartGold or SoulSilver games. The special thing about these Pokémon is that they are shiny and once you trade them over to Pokémon Black and White, you can acquire the rare Pokémon Zoroark.

My friend just got into Pokémon again, and SoulSilver is the first Pokémon game where she has actually made it all the way through the Elite Four. Because she plans to get Black and White, she decided to head to GameStop and get them herself. Her first step was a bit daunting because it made her feel weird going in to download something - especially when there were other kids half her age doing the same thing. When she went in to get Raikou, she had to awkwardly ask the clerk how to use Mystery Gift, but he simply pointed to a sign that gave her the instructions.

Getting Entei was a bit more dramatic. Instead of going into the GameStop, my friend parked briefly outside the store, still in the radius of their wi-fi signal, and downloaded the Pokémon from the comfort of her car. She then drove off with the new Pokémon in hand. She told me she felt like a thief who had committed "drive-by Pokémon." Sadly for her, the punishment for her crime was ordained when she went back to the store to get Suicune on the last day of the giveaways. Unfortunately, her game gave her an error message stating that her Mystery Gift was full (I'm not really sure what that means.) And so she left empty-handed and disappointed.

I am a lot more subtle when I go into a GameStop to download one of their Mystery Gifts. But even when I go in with my DS in hand, I do feel a bit strange, perhaps even a bit embarrassed since most people, even other gamers, have a thing against Pokémon, and are under the impressions that it is a little kid's game. When I play a Pokémon game on the train, I sometimes hide my DS so people don't see what I'm playing. But then I say to myself, who cares what people think? Pokémon is a very complex game and anyone that plays it competitively understands how crucial it is to get your IVs just right and to maximize your EVs so that you get the most out of your attacks. Pokémon is a game suitable for kids, sure. But there is a deep layer of complexity and strategy behind its battle system that can appeal to anyone.

I wonder if others feel the same way I do about Pokémon or any other game that might be considered childish for someone in their 20s to play. Or perhaps you have a story like my friend's trips to GameStop. It is a haven for gamers and geeks, after all. There should be no reason to be embarrassed about anything.


Scizzy said:

I felt the same way. I'm 25 and I had to in every time with 5 different games (3 were my own and 2 are my nephew's). ^_^'

Her Mystery Gift is "full" because of the wonder cards. The game can hold up to 3 at a time. She just has to delete one of them and she'll be able to download more Pokémon.

She can still get Suicune. They're available over Wi-Fi right now, with a different dog available every week. :)

Jake said:

LOL you're not alone, (well, your friend isn't)
i do the same thing with my bf, were both in our mid 20s and STILL play Pokémon, why not? i grew up playing the games since blue came out. :)

Its the only game that i still play from back in the day and yes
there is a lot of complexity to this game.


As for the Pokémon drive by, we've so done that too,
it does feel weird but hey, think of it as if you just pulled a team rocket!

Purplexir said:

Oooh, thanks for thet tip! I thought it lasted only until February 6 though... I'll let her know! She'll be happy to hear it.

The game can be as complex as you make it. I had never heard of parking your car outside the store to download a Pokemon before. It's good to know there are other Rocket gtunts out there.

Greg said:

Well, I am 40 and I go get the downloads, on all 5 of my games. Mainly, I don't go into Gamestop to download because I don't want to be bothered by the staff about pre-orders.

Of course, I am also a person that wore his pokemon shit to the gym, so there you go.

I wish they were more upfront about the WiFi option after the gamestop promotion of the 3 beasts. Would have saved me a trip.

ThomTurtle said:

Maybe I'm an outlier. I go in, shmooze with the staff. I go to a pokemon club at my university, although I don't compete. It's fun.

VoiceOfGosh said:

Ugh! I pretty much had the same problem of not even wanting to go in, especially alone. I'm a 23 year old MAN and I was NOT about to walk into a Gamestop on three different occasions to get mah legendary poochies!

I had a bad/embarrassing time at my local ToysRUs about a year ago when I wanted to get Giratina for my Platinum game. I pretended to be shopping around looking for games/electronics. Got asked my 2 sales clerks if I needed help finding anything but just told them I was "just looking." I found a quiet spot next to the electronic keyboards and got my DS out and started the mystery gift process. I leaned back on the shelf a little to wait for Giratina to pop into my DS when I accidentally hit a key on the synth to put it into demo-mode. It started playing its tune over and over and loudly and I was like, "OMFGosh how do I turn you off?!!?!" A worker came and told me not to play with the buttons on the display while I stood there looking awkward with my DS... Bad times...

Anyways, I needed to find an alternative way to get my wireless pokes and found this link on reddit that allows you to get many current and previously available wifi pokemon! :D

All you need is your DS and WiFi for this. The instructions are pretty simple and this has worked almost flawlessly for me (I have weak WiFi so my connection got dropped a few times). All the pokemon are legit and act as if you got them at the store locations (OT reads the right thing and all stats are random and legal). Enjoy free WiFi pokemon!!! :D

Noa said:

Well I'm not as 'hardcore' into pokemon as I was but I still am into it. I mean I will buy the games and that's about it (save for maybe a strategy guide now and again too). If it's fun and you like it, then who cares, it's not like your spending 'their' money. But I grew up with the games and 'anime' (god isn't Ash like 20 something now?) and still have the occasional plush or toy hanging around.

Jay said:

For the first dog I went in and talked to a super cute guy all about how great pokemon was. Turned out he was not just straight but uber-Christian... meh.

For the second and third dogs I committed a "drive by Pokemon download" as well.

For Ash's Pikachu, I was just very sly and quick about it.

Being a 25-year old adult gay male who works for local government and has completed higher education most people are surprised that I am into something to CHILDISH as pokemon. They just don't understand.

Hater's gon' hate.

Ageman20XX said:

Hahaha, I knew there were others out there like me but it's nice seeing them speak out.

I'm a 23-year old adult gay male (turning 24 next month! :D) and I imagine I look a bit foolish downloading the little monster to my DS, but who cares?

I mean, I used to get picked on for liking Pokemon when I was in highschool and my boyfriend still gets all up in my grill about it, but if it makes me happy and it isn't hurting anyone than who cares? I'm still a productive member of society, I still play other games on other systems and in different genres, and I try not to be annoying about it. So honestly, why is it anyone else's business?

As for the drive-by download, the EBGames by me in a plaza on a stretch of street that wouldn't really allow for stopping, so I have to go in person to download. I've had to go in the store - there's this little sub-plaza under the main one and I just stand below the EBGames stairs and download from there. It's a little uncomfortable in the winter, but it gets the job done. I always have everything turned on and prepped before I walk by so I get it done pretty quick, but there's still time for the awkward stare here and there. :P

Whatever, Pokemon rocks and they're just missing out.


Legacy said:

I am 27 and i also still play pokemon, i've been playing it since red and blue back in the day and have bought and played at least 1 game from every one of the mobile games. I also get a lot of folks with a thing against pokemon. If someone doesn't believe me when i talk about the depth or complication of pokemon i usually direct them to bulbapedia's article on experience or on capture rate. Both involve some pretty complex math to execute....

Purplexir said:

Awesome feedback and comments, guys! It's good to know there are many adults who still play the games and are proud of it!

Thank you for your stories too! I'm sure many gamers out there now have a support group to turn to :)

Neosaturn said:

I am 30 years and I play this damn game on and off. Franky I don't care about the looks I get from my EB (the game store that was giving these pokemon away up in Canada) because frankly my gaming habits are supporting them! Most gamez are actually older.

Anyway I also don't care what others think, do you know how hard it is to get a shiny pokemon in the first place! :)

Seriously, though people should not be ashamed it's game and also if the clerk gives you attitude just call head office. That will teach them or ideally you can always bring your young child or nephew/niece as well but ya know that's just creating more work :)

I'm 24 now, got Blue when it first came out in Europe. Loved it. And then got Gold whilst on holiday in the US for my birthday [so I got it ahead of its EU release, which just felt awesome]. Loved the series even more.

Third gen I invested in too, but my interest did wane around this time. Not necessarily due to the pokemon [as even first gen had some terrible ones in my book], but it did feel like a step back from the added features in second gen [and I didn't care for the contests, at least as there were in-game].

Whatever it was, however, I was fully back on the Pokemon adventure ride by the time fourth gen hit [due to the adventure console titles of Colosseum and XD methinks].

I don't run around advertising the fact I'm a fan anymore than I am gay [with folks who aren't close friends], but if someone asks, I've always said that I am one. I've never felt any shame in it.

Currently can't wait to get my copy of Black [Reshiram! Tears at no 'Nucleus' pokemon in this version!] and Aqua Blue 3DS not long after - and also my first experiences with Wifi events in regards to Victini and Zoroark [at least]! :D

HonestDragon said:

Yeah, I'm so far deep into Pokemon that I've started an online group to meet other people who play it, too! I don't usually get disdain, as most of my friends and family just accept it as part and parcel of my overall "immaturity", but like Ageman says, I'm not hurting anyone, so bully for me!

It's just such a solid, deep game with so many ways to enjoy, whether you're a "catchem all" player, a "battle" player, a "breeding" player, or even just like the story, it's easy to understand how the game sells tens of millions of copies...

HonestDragon said:

Oh, and the clerks at my local store are really supportive of older gamers coming in for the special promos. They don't even mind when I promote my meetup group!

Purplexir said:

You're totally right. The game offeres different things for different gamers. They even have those contest minigames that I personally don't care about. But I'm sure there are people who like dressing up their Pokemon and doing them. The game caters to a wide audience, and that's why it's still going strong today.

AJ Rollo said:

I work in a jail, and deal with some interesting people all day long. But I usually have my PokeWalker on me. And you know, I've seen white supremacists covered in blood and handcuffed to a wall smile and talk about Pokemon when they see it on me.

It just makes me happy that Pokemon can make so many different people happy.

strawhat137 said:

It is awesome to see so many pokemon fans still out there. It made my day reading this article/comments. I still play at 23 and looking forward to black and white. Haters can say whatever they want, and they are just jealous.

wohdin said:

It's really shocking to me how many people don't know that you can delete Wonder Cards once you have recieved the gift associated with it. The game really should tell you that.

jay c said:

Tell your friend that if you missed out on any of the Legendary Beasts at GameStop that you can get them again now in the convenience of your own home or any place with Wi-Fi.

Just select Mystery Gift like always and then choose "Get Via Nintendo WFC" to get them. It's too late to get Raikou (that was last week) but this week is Entei and next week is Suicune. And Celebii is coming up shortly thereafter. Just note that you won't be able to download any of the same Pokémon you already received from GameStop.

And like the poster says above, delete any Wonder Cards you no longer need (you can't have more than 3) because you've already received that Pokémon. If you're unsure, the Wonder Card should say on it that you already got that Pokémon, and if you delete any card with an undownloaded Poké on it you'll get a warning telling you that you haven't received it yet.

Good luck!

Gamescook said:

I had absolutely NO IDEA that I could delete those Wonder Cards! I thought they were just a limiter set in place to keep the monsters rare! Not that I ever set foot into a Gamestop for these things, but knowing that I missed out on that adorable Mew... I play for fun, but knowing I missed something for good tends to bug me a little.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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