It's safe to say that in some way, shape or form, all of us millennials have been exposed to Pokémon. Whether it was watching the show, playing the game, trading the cards, etc., Pokémon has played a role in many of our childhoods. Personally, the first three generations of the Pokémon games on the GameBoys were huge parts of my childhood. They were something I was largely interested in and influenced me in many ways. Recently, my interest in Pokémon has been rekindled. As such, I will justify getting in touch with my child-side again via this list of life lessons learned from the Pokémon games of my childhood.
First and foremost, the whole concept of Pokémon can be boiled down to catching and raising Pokémon. Both can be very tedious. First, raising Pokémon is a long, long process that is often over ridden by trying to catch stronger Pokémon. As the game progresses, higher level Pokémon are harder to catch. Mewtwo will NOT be caught on your first, second, third... or even seventeenth ultra ball. But there is nothing like witnessing the above screenshot taking place in between your hands. Without perseverance, both in Pokémon and in life, we will never catch our Mewtwo.
2. Good things can come in small packages
The Pokémon, Magikarp, evolves into Gyarados. Now, for those of you who are not super familiar with what this means....Magikarp is useless and Gyarados is one of the strongest Pokémon in all of the games. You never know what may come out of the most unlikely of packages.
It is a pretty common stereotype to believe that boys struggle with organizational skills. The Pokémon Box Storage System was always a place where I would strive to keep similar Pokémon together. I thought that they would want to be with others who were the same. Not only did I find it easy to find the Pokémon that I wanted in my Box, I subliminally taught myself how to organize things in all aspects of life.
4. Task management
Pokémon offers a WIIIIIIIIDE variety of side quests aside from the main story line. Some of the side quests provide rewards that make going through the main story. However, there is not a specific itinerary in which to follow when completing the missions. Learning which tasks to complete first and remembering which to return to complete is an essential part of finding one's way through Pokémon, and life.
5. Even the best have weaknesses
Let's face it, every single Pokémon has a weakness. Consider the starters. The starting Pokémon are meant to be near the strongest so that players develop an attachment and keep them throughout the game. Even they all have weaknesses against each other. There is always a weakness. Building a team of Pokémon that all help out each others' weaknesses is key to being successful. Building a team of people that can benefit from each other is key to being successful in life.
6. Where there's a will, there's a way
The Pokémon world is filled with trials and tribulations. There are many near impossible trainers, caves to navigate and puzzles to solve. Even when I am at the end of my wits, I always end up finding a way to conquer the Pokémon League or make it through Victory Road. There is always a way to success, even if your first attempt fails.
7. Stick with your decisions
There is no one path to success in Pokémon. From the very beginning, there are choices that a player makes influencing the road that he or she travels on. Some decisions you may regret, but no one decision will make or break your entire existence. We are all on long journeys that are meant to have both successful and trying paths.
8. Success is measured in different ways
To some, Pokémon success is accomplished by defeating the Pokémon League/Elite Four. To others, success is accomplished by completing their Pokédexes. Every person will feel success in different ways. Do not feel discouraged when others flaunt their successes in front of you, for you may not be striving towards the same goal.
So, morale of the story, Pokémon should be essential to every child's development. And to those of us who are no longer children, there is nothing wrong with reaching into your nostalgia and rocking some Pokémon.