What playing Pokémon has taught me about myself

I enjoy collecting things

Anyone who has seen the amount of pens I own has seen that I like collecting things. Trying to limit my collection urges is tricky, but thanks to careful reflection and fierce reduction there aren’t that many things I collect unnecessarily these days. One thing that I think helps reduce my clutter is the fact I have never ending possibilities for collecting Pokémon. The only difference is that these Japanese ‘Pocket Monsters‘ are just save files on a cart in my Nintendo DS.

Looking back on my younger life I can think of many collections – stickers, rocks, Pogs, games, DVDs and CDs have all had this lucrative collectability appeal to me. Problem is that most of these collections have just gathered dust and eventually were recycled or sold. Collecting Pokémon is something I enjoy and it doesn’t cost too much money or take up too much space. For me this is a good way to keep my collection habit contented, and I’ve been doing it for over 10 years.

I like knowing lots about a subject, and talking about it

So while I admit I’m fairly terrible with the names – and often need to use Bulbapedia, I do have quite a good amount of knowledge about how to breed and train Pokémon. There are special techniques that you learn for yourself and are taught by others who also play the game. This is much like learning a programming language or any other skill – it gives you a sense of accomplishment that you can share with others (like Emma!).

I feel relaxed when doing repetitive tasks

The main reason I play Pokémon (when I’m not working through the story) is to switch off. I actually want to ride my bike forward and backwards over and over again, only stopping occasionally to swap a freshly hatched Pokémon for a freshly laid egg. I enjoy running back and forth near the long grass for an Audino to appear to start a battle.

It is repetitive, can be done at the same time as watching a movie, and is quite relaxing. Yet at the same time, I still feel like I’m accomplishing something. Sure it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of my life, but I still find that valuable.

I’m not much of a gamer really

I used to call myself a ‘hardcore casual’ gamer. I liked to get all the latest titles, but I never played them all the way through. Even though I have enjoyed many Sonic, Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games – I’ve never wanted to complete all the titles in their respective series.

The only video game series I’ve managed to find time for over the last decade has been Pokémon (starting with Gold) and I’m alright with that. I sold my Xbox and I gave my other games away.

The Pokémon series is smart, well produced and very well recieved. I don’t need any other games.