Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How Nintendo controls our lives.


On the day it came out, I was at Uni. I knew what that day meant, and I’d be damned if I missed it. All of the others had been incredible, so there was no way that this one could be any different! I was at Uni that day, but I could surely find time to sneak to JB HI-FI and buy myself the newest version of Pokémon. That’s right, I’m twenty years old, and still playing Pokémon. What’s more, I purchase every new game from the series that Nintendo release, despite knowing full well that they’re going to be almost exactly the same. You’re still going to wander from town to town beating the shit out of random animals, because that’s the way to go in this whacky Pokémon world.

I encountered Pokémon for the first time when I was about six, and the show had just come onto television. It was my first taste of anime, and it probably changed my visual interests forever (though they’ve somewhat evolved since this point in time). It’s strange that the mention of Pokémon, even now, still interests me. I know that the cartoon just involves the hero winning the day, every day, and several suspicious people with colorful hair incessantly attempting to steal his small, electric rat. But when my friend, another fan, mentioned that he’d downloaded the first five seasons of the show over the previous week, I almost jumped with glee. What could be better!? FIVE SEASONS OF POKÉMON?

But why the hell does my interest in such juvenile things continue? Nurse Joy wishing me well in a Pokémon-centre, and my love of RPG games doesn’t explain why I continue to pay good money for games that I know will be almost exactly the same as those purchased previously. It’s because nostalgia, and Nintendo, control my life. I have little to no interest in platformers, but Mario still brings a large, stupid smile to my face. And don’t even get me started on Zelda. If Pokémon has been repeating the same formula, it’s only because they got the idea from the team developing Zelda. Just how many times can one small, blonde mute defeat the evil Gannon?
After I bought Pokémon, I tried to explain why I had to my father, who was highly amused. He mentioned that the last time he’d visited Greece, he’d spent a good deal of time talking about nostalgic memories with his old friends. Of times that had occurred forty years before. Not my dismal fourteen year old memories about fuzzy animals with super-human powers, and the spirit to unite foolish adolescent children. 

Anyway, I expect that I’ll never really learn any self-control when it comes to these childish impulses. I know my girlfriend; Emma, of Hypothetical Ducks has basically purchased the last five Pokémon games, and played each for half an hour.  I’ll probably still be playing Pokémon when the artistic team has completely given up on designing any new ones, and just started painting stupid names on colourful blocks and throwing them at us. Do you think Nurse Joy will still heal the blocks? We can only hope so. 

- Kostas

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