’90s video game regains popularity

A look at the Pokémon video games that have recently become more popular among high school students

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By Photo by Madeline Lamons

Junior Caleb Latas plays Pokémon on his Gameboy Color on Wednesday, Jan. 15. “The best part of Pokémon is catching them all,” Latas said.

After walking away from a battle against another trainer in Pokémon Emerald, senior Joe Gunter celebrates another victory. Gunter is one of the students who plays the Pokémon video games, part of a franchise from 1996 that has recently experienced a revival among teenagers.

“It’s a nostalgia factor,” Gunter said. “People are going back to what they played as kids because they remember having fun playing it.”

In the video games, players act as trainers who collect and train creatures with special powers called Pokémon. They then use them to fight against other trainers. Players attempt to evolve (train until they change into a new Pokémon) their  Pokémon and catch as many as possible in order to fill their Pokédex, an index of all existing Pokémon.

Gunter said he plays the game because it’s both enjoyable and simple.

“It’s something that’s easy and mindless to do,” Gunter said. “It’s just fun for fun’s sake.”

Fun and ease aren’t the only reasons for playing the video games, though. Junior Caleb Latas also enjoys Pokémon because of the whimsy and childishness associated with it.

“I used to play it when I was little, so I kind of feel like a kid when I play it again,” Latas said.

For junior Peyton Barton, an interest in Pokémon stemmed from the appeal of the different Pokémon.

“[I started playing] when I was like five,” Barton said. “Ever since I was little, I just wanted all of these creatures to be real.”

While Gunter, Barton and Latas both agree on many things about Pokémon, there is one difference of opinion: their favorite Pokémon.

“I like Squirtle,” Latas said. “Squirtle’s pretty cool. He’s a turtle that shoots water.”

Barton chose her favorite based on evolution choices.

“[I like] Eevee because there’s so many possibilities [for evolutions],” Barton said.

Gunter had a different approach to his choice altogether.

“[My favorite is] Tyranitar,” Gunter said. “It’s a giant freaking dinosaur.”

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