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Monday, March 21, 2011

Ask a Nerd: WTF is Pokemon?



Do you ever see things on the internet and you are overwhelmed with confusion and WTFness? Oftentimes I have to ask my dear friend Daniel what it all means. He is usually up to date on all things “internet” so I need him to explain it to me. I just learned what NSFW means not all that long ago. So I struggle a small bit when it comes to technology and the latest internet craze (don’t even get me started on memes).

I know a few things about lots of stuff and we all know how much I hate research so I just like to ask someone. Preferably someone that knows what the hell they are talking about. So I usually ask a nerd.

Enter Chris Bryant. He is one of my new work friends (read: only, and, yay! I have someone to go to lunch with!) and he is a nerd. No offense to nerds. I am one and I love nerds. I try and surround myself with nerds. Nerds unite! So let’s all welcome Chris (there are a lot of Chris’ around here, please try and keep up) to the blog. He’s a cool dude and not only has he been very patient with my dumbass but he also learning nerd culture more fun.

Anyway, on to my questions:

So Chris, what qualifies you as a nerd to answer my “Ask a Nerd” questions?

I’ve been playing games since I got an NES in ’88. When I was young and still full of hope, I planned on going to DigiPen and getting a job with Nintendo.  For a few years, I ran a website called Focal Point Forums/l33tn1nj4/Delightful Strawberry that focused on game discussion. My gamerscore is over 62,000 (nerds will know what I’m talking about). I caught swine flu and pneumonia after attending PAX ’09, the epitome of nerdy game conventions. I almost died because of videogames!

Nowadays, I read the hell out of some technology and game blogs and listen to nerdy podcasts, like The Geekbox and Giant Bomb. I also tend to be “that guy” when it comes to fixing family and friends’ computers and all things technical.


I don’t know what a lot of those words mean…moving on. In my daily blog reading, I have found all kinds of ridiculous Pokemon references. What is with this new Pokemon craze? Did that make a comeback? Was it not for kids back in the day to collect cards or something and it seems like it is in full force now with actual adults? What the duck is that about? Can you explain?

The first Pokemon game was released in 1995 Japan and proved to be a hit and was later released in the US in 1998 and blew up in popularity. There were trading cards, Gameboy games, movies and a kid’s cartoon show to keep them hooked. I managed to avoid this plague as a kid and only viewed this phenomenon from a safe distance and never fell prey to Pokemon’s evil mind control. This is where we get the idiom “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” from. Every few years Nintendo releases new games in the franchise to keep the 30 year old virgins coming back that have been playing since high school, while at the same time introducing a new generation of drooling toddlers to Pokemon that have no idea it was popular before their dad forgot to wrap up that fateful night.

Pokeman Black & White were just released this month and broke all previous sales records for the entire franchise by selling over 1 million units in less than 24 hours. If anything, Pokemon is stronger than ever and will continue to addict millions of nerds the globe over for the foreseeable future.

Oh so Pokemon is a video game? What does it do? Do you unlock new characters or some such nonsense? I am so intrigued.

The goal of pokemon is to collect all the pokemon monster/animal thingies and train them to fight for you so you can be the ultimate pokemon master, or some shit like that. They get the kids to buy all the card packs trying in vain to collect them all. In each videogame there are probably 150 pokemon and they come out with two versions at once (black & white, green & blue) and each version has specific pokemons you can’t get unless you own both. Instant money making machine.

This guy is a good example of what happens to child fans of pokemon that don’t drop the habit - 

I see…sort of. It all seems kind of dumb, right?

Pokemon is dumb (to me). Millions of others love the shit out of it. I myself would never play it, or WoW, or Farmville. To each their own. I’m not gonna lie and say I’ve never been addicted to one specific thing, though.

What one thing have you been addicted to? Come on, now. You know you are going to have to explain that.  

I was addicted to Phantasy Star Online for Dreamcast. It was an online RPG and you played with 3 other people in your party. PSO was one of the first online RPGs for consoles, so it was all new to me. I put around 1,000 hours into it across two summers in 2000-2001. This was before everyone had broadband, so I was constantly tying up the phone lines in the house to use to dial-up. We had two phone lines in the house (one was for my mom’s work) and my friends would come over and use the second line in the living room with me in my game room and we would play all weekend. I can’t say that a 24 hour session of PSO fueled by Mountain Dew didn’t happen a few times. I’m pretty sure I set a new personal sleep record that summer when I missed an entire calendar day after I woke up after staying awake for 48+ hours. When you’re a kid with an entire summer to dedicate to an MMO, it’s fine if you want to do that. As an adult, they are a black hole that will suck you up and spit out a lonely, broken shell of a person. I’ve seen it happen.

More recently, since Call of Duty Modern Warfare came out in 2007, they’ve released a sequel every year in November. For 2-3 months a year, it’s the only game I play until I’m burnt out on it. I’ve been COD sober for 6 weeks now.

What is an MMO? Come on, Chris. I am nerd-retarded here. You have to break it down.

MMO- Massively Multiplayer Online
RPG – Role Playing Game

Can you please describe to me the most pathetic nerd you ever did see?

Load this up on your iphone or at home, I wouldn’t look at work. That kid is obsessed with Sonic the hedgehog.

Thanks for your time, man! Preesh! Chris will be back on the next installment of “Ask a Nerd” when he explains to me, “Just what the fuck is World of Warcraft???”

2 comments:

Slevin said...

This comment section is kinda quiet... did I kill your blog? Sorry!

Stacey Garrett said...

Oh Chris, no one ever comments. I assure you, it is not you. Ha ha.

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