A few months ago someone I know on Twitter was having an exchange about the newest generation of Pokemon. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet had come out recently, so the games were fresh on everyone’s mind. This person I know is a little younger than I am (I’m in my forties) and had been into Pokemon far longer than I. I’m not really “into” Pokemon myself, but have learned much of it thanks to my eight-year-old’s fascination with it. A dad has to keep up with what his son is talking about, after all.
Their exchange went something along the lines of, “Man, I’m just not as excited about this newest generation of Pokemon. None of them really leap out at me in a way that makes me go “I NEED THAT ONE!”
I normally don’t insert myself into Twitter exchanges, but I felt I could provide a perspective on the topic that neither my friend nor the person they were speaking to had. That perspective was that of my eight-year-old.
When he first fired up that game there was a near nonstop stream of excited shouting whenever he found a Pokemon he’d only seen in guidebooks and artwork. The excitement only grew whenever he would successfully catch one. Enthusiasm went through the roof when that same Pokemon was successfully evolved into… whatever any of them evolve into. My son’s perspective was one that we aging/elder nerds so often lack: a fresh perspective.
My friend who was near my age had been into Pokemon for years, so of course their excitement would be naturally dulled by frequent exposure. But for my eight-year-old, this was his first Pokemon game, and his first time seeing them moving and interacting with him. His attention and imagination were ensnared, and for months it was all he would talk about. There may not have been precise cries of “I NEED THAT ONE!” but the spirit was there.
Being a parent is stressful and tiring, but the infectious enthusiasm of your kid experiencing something that excites them for the first time is a breath of fresh air. It can help remind you of that wonderful feeling from your own childhood, when you felt that rush of discovery and, if you’re like me, spent the rest of your days chasing it.