Let’s Talk Pokémon!

Pokémon is celebrating its 20th Anniversary!

That fact really puts my age into perspective, but I will say that I’m impressed that Pokémon continues to resonate with kids today. It has been a very successful franchise, and actually holds onto a special place in my heart.

Pokémon wasn’t just a game to me. From the moment that I discovered The Official Pokémon Handbook at my school’s book fair, I couldn’t quench my thirst for it. I was eight years old. I read that book over and over again — memorizing everything that I could about the Pokémon. Back in those days, I could tell you anything you wanted to know about the first 150 Pokémon.

Pokémon did play the biggest factor in my development into a solo gamer. I had always been Player 2 to an older brother that owned all the consoles, but Pokémon changed all that for me. When my parents bought me Pokémon Blue for Christmas it came with my very own Gameboy Color. Thinking back on all of that, it gave me the freedom to finally game on my own!

I have to admit that this anniversary has me feeling very nostalgic. In the spirit of said nostalgia, I’ve decided to challenge anyone who reads this!

The Challenge

Find the BEST picture of your all time favorite Pokémon and post it in the comments below! Have fun walking down memory lane!

I’ll start.

My Gaming Nostalgia

Ever really think about what it was in your life that really shaped you into the gamer that you are today? Can you remember the moment? I was recently asked these questions, and it really got me thinking.

I have to admit that it’s very difficult for me to remember one specific instance that really shaped me into the gamer that I am today. If I had to choose, there are two periods of my life that stand out.

First let me say that I’ve played video games since before I can remember, and before that I was an infant lying on the floor watching my older brother play them. (Trust me, there are home videos.) You might think that this makes it hard for me to pinpoint a time that changed me as a gamer, but it really isn’t. You see, I was always Player 2 early on. My parents decided video games were my brother’s thing. He received the systems and games as gifts, and since they were his I was only allowed to play when he wanted me to.

A big turning point for me as a gamer was when I received a Gameboy Color and Pokémon Blue for Christmas. I didn’t realize until much later that the Gameboy was my first game system, and that Pokémon was my first truly solo gaming experience. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time. I was too engrossed with actually playing Pokémon. There is even a picture of me at about seven years old curled in my dad’s old grey lounger with my head hung over my new Gameboy. I’m sure my family didn’t get to visit much with me during the time I spent adventuring through Pokémon.

Everyone might be surprised that the most influential moment of my early gaming life was a time that I wasn’t even playing the game 90% of the time. I was watching my brother play through a specific game, and he would let me play the mini-games or do miscellaneous things in the game but never the story. That game was Final Fantasy VII.  I’ll never forget the summer that he got that game. I don’t even think that we really knew how popular the game was, but we literally spent the entire summer playing it. I say we because I was so engrossed by it. The story, the graphics, the gameplay; I always wanted to play, but I settled for the mostly watching. I couldn’t get enough.

This was the summer that we snacked instead of really eating. My diet consisted of nachos, Pizza Rolls, Bagel Bites, and delicious popsicles. I can honestly say that this was when we starting choosing what we now call gamer food. That is, the food that is chosen for ease and convenience. I’m also pretty sure we never changed out of our pajama’s either.

I digress. Final Fantasy VII wasn’t the first in the Final Fantasy series that I had seen, but it was the first that I got to experience more. It was the game that got me hooked on the series, and since I’ve become quite an avid fan. That game, easy snacks, and comfy clothes made up a summer that shaped me the most as a gamer. I found my niche and my passion within the gaming world, and I haven’t turned back since.

It’s nice to look back on those moments, and it was even nicer to share them with everyone. It really makes you think about the things that make you feel nostalgic. I can’t take the credit though. A representative from a company called Man Crates sent me a request to see if I was interested in writing about those key ingredients that shaped me as a gamer.

For those of you that don’t know what Man Crates are, you should — Shame on you. Haha, I’m just kidding. They’re essentially crates that contain a bundle of quality goods for any man in your life. I’m not talking about cheap colognes, ties, socks, and boxers. They also have a new offering where they cover a gift card in concrete to be smashed open by your man — No, I’m not kidding. This company really represents Go Big or Go Home, in my opinion.

Did I mention that all the macho goods come in a wooden crate? Yes, you have to use a crowbar to get these bad boys open. I feel like that’s a manly gift in itself. Give him a wooden crate, a crow bar, and watch as he gets to show off his strength by opening it.

So if that sounds like something you would gift to someone, click their logo below!

 

Man Crates Store

Not all Gamers are Created the Same

We see it all the time. A family with children goes to a public place and the scene is always the same. They walk in, sit down, and almost immediately the parents hand over their smart phones or tablets. Within minutes the kids are engrossed in their favorite games.

desktop

Now I have a lot to say about this type of parenting method, but that’s not what I wanted to discuss. I want to touch on how this may affect the upcoming generation of gamers. Does parents’ habits of handing over their smart phones/tablets shape them into gamers? What sort of gamers are emerging from this?

Let’s start with smart phone/tablet games. They can be as simple as scrabble or as in depth as an RPG, but most kids go for the colorful simplistic games. When it comes to handheld consoles such as the Nintendo DS, PS Vita, ect., there are more complicated games available, but they also remain fairly basic for the sake of kids.

I’ve always said that I would give my children the older consoles to start out. I see so many young kids receiving the latest and greatest for Christmas, and I tend to shake my head at that. I want my children to first game on old school systems at least as far back as N64, if not farther. I want them to experience video games from the beginning, but I also want them learn video games as they evolved like I did.

Retro NES Ad

It actually benefited me to learn video games in that way, and I didn’t realize this until I started playing games with my boyfriend. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that he isn’t much of a gamer. Oh, he’ll definitely pick up a controller to play anything once, but he gravitates toward the old school games that are straightforward. The next generation games, on the other hand, have so much depth they are overwhelming at times. I don’t have the same issue. My skills and understanding of gaming evolved as the games themselves evolved. It’s as if the evolution of gaming guided us gradually into what video games are today, where as his gaming experience has skipped decades of it.

However, now I wonder if I’ve had it all wrong. I want my kids to follow the evolution of gaming so that they wouldn’t be dumped into the depths of next-gen gaming, but what if upcoming generations of gamers are learning this on mobile devices, specifically smart phones/tablets?

I really don’t know why I hadn’t considered this before. My first gaming device was a Gameboy Color. Sure, I used to play on consoles with my brother, but my first true solo play was on the Gameboy. Now look at me! I’ve gamed on console and PC for many years.

We can’t dismiss the popularity or molding skills of handheld consoles, but we as a gaming society are quick to dismiss smart phone/tablet gamers. I think it’s time to acknowledge that they may be a large portion of next generation of gamers!

Renee Giroux-Nix's daughter, Bella, 3, plays games and uses educational apps on her mother's iPhone, in Cedar Park, Texas, Oct. 10, 2010. Just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice, akin to a treasured stuffed animal, for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds, a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists. (Ben Sklar/The New York Times) -- PHOTO MOVED IN ADVANCE AND NOT FOR USE - ONLINE OR IN PRINT - BEFORE OCT. 17, 2010.

There is an epidemic of children constantly playing games on tablets and smartphones when their parents don’t want to deal with them in public places and otherwise. In no way do I agree or wish to promote this! Video gaming is a fun and rewarding pass time that should be done in moderation and with breaks, especially when involving children.

Happy Gaming!

cho-g1

The Real Unicorns: Gamer Girls w/ Non-Gamer Guys

It’s crazy stupid that guys who play video games still have this misconception that girls who play are rare; that they are “unicorns”. That’s definitely being debunked in this day and age. Gamer girls are here. We’ve always been here, and we’re growing in numbers! <insert maniacal laugh>

Anyway, I’m here to reassign the title of “Unicorns”.  That’s a title that should firmly belong to “gamer girls that date non-gamer guys”.

Let that sink in. That’s right; it happens. I know this because I fall into that category. I am in a relationship with a non-gamer guy. At the beginning of the relationship, our work schedules weren’t in sync and so I had plenty of alone time to game. Now with two new jobs, they do sync up. I’m happy for more time with him, but I am also figuring out that he didn’t really have to deal with the fact that I’m a gamer until now. Now I want to game and he’s there. Now it conflicts with “us” time because we’re always together when we get home from work. This is a dynamic that crops up with any gamer dating a non-gamer, of course, but it’s usually smoothed out much earlier in a relationship.

I’ve tried talking it through with him, but there are just some things that non-gamers don’t understand. I thought we’d arrived at a compromise but when I mentioned that I wanted to game I heard that tell-tale sigh. Desperate for some sort of insight, I do what any geek would do: I hit up the internet.

Anyone else notice how many articles there are on advising gamer guys on how to handle being with a non-gamer girl? It’s damn ridiculous, I tell you! The net is overflowing with them.

  • “How to Survive Dating a Gamer”
  • “10 Things you Should Know About Dating a Gamer”
  • “Scared to Date a Gamer?”
  • “The Perfect Non-Gamer Girl”

You would think that at least a few of these would detail what it would be like for a gamer girl to date a non-gamer guy, right?  — Nope! It feels like every conversation and article written is geared towards gamer guys and their issues or lack of issues with their non-gamer girlfriends.

But what if you’re the unicorn? What if you’re the gamer girl who dates the non-gamer guy? Some people might reply, “Well then you’d just take the advice and flip-flop it!” That makes sense right? I thought so too until I googled it and began reading. I wanted to see how I could apply all this advice to my own relationship.

 *Ahem.

I saw a lot of this: “When my girlfriend does her girly things, I use that as a chance to game.”

Girls do have a lot of time consuming girly hobbies that are mostly solo activities. We do our nails, read books, watch reality t.v., binge on Netflix, do arts and crafts, and the list goes on. A lot of the time these are things that guys aren’t interested in so it works out.

So what happens when the tides are turned? Let’s put this into perspective.

Most gamer girls are a tomboy on some level. We tend to enjoy the same things that guys enjoy and our S/O’s know this. The options for what my non-gamer boyfriend does that’s either a solo activity or something I don’t want to do is depressingly scarce. It’s just not the same!

I’m certain that everything will work itself out. The dynamic of the relationship will have to change now that my gaming actually affects our time together, and I sense that he’s alright with that. However, I just wonder where all the advice is for the unicorns of the geek world.

Non-gamer guys: Do you have a girl that games? How did you adjust?

Gamer girls: Do you date a non-gamer? How does that work?

Gamer guys: Help.

cho-g1

Geeks Get Fit!

You may be under the assumption (or not) that geeks aren’t fit people — That they sit around with their video games, comics, and/or books doing nothing most of the time.

Wrong!

There are actually a lot of fit geeks and quite a community of them. From dedicated cosplayers to geeks that live the healthy life, there are so many resources for you should you want to join them!

One such resource is Nerd Fitness. (Clicky!)

The creator, Steve, has put together an awesome website with a blog, forum, his own set of resources, and finally, the Nerd Fitness Academy. The NF Academy is where it’s at, ladies and gentleman. Imagine you could gain experience and level up by doing quests that apply to your real life and that’s what this academy is. You pay a one-time fee and have full access to all of the website’s features for life. This includes a 100% money-back guarantee.

There are even several Tumblr pages dedicated to geek fitness such as:

GeekFitnessNet

CosplayandFitness

LevelUpNerd

NerdGirlFit

Also, let’s not forget blogs! 😀

One of my favorites is the blog: Geek Fitness

Geek Fitness is the blog linked to the first tumblr above, but if you like to read as well as appreciate pictures, then the blog version is for you!

And, a blogspot: Geek Fitness Network

Beyond that, geeks have quite a collection of work out attire available to them! If you followed me on Geeky ‘n Girly, you may remember me mentioning Look Human – Which has a huge selection of geeky work out clothes that include some of my favorites:

Trust me when I say that I have a huge list of work out tanks, shirts, and sweatshirts that I want, no need, to buy. Haha.

Why do I need them? Why am I jabbering on about geek fitness? Well, because I am a geek with my health on my mind. I’m not the type to diet and exercise just to reach a goal and then stop. I’m currently in the midst of making an entire lifestyle change as well as doing a walk-to-run exercise program. — And this is coming from a girl that didn’t play sports, disliked gym, and was relieved that marching band took the place of gym in high school!

So be prepared for more fitness posts as I track my progress and try to encourage other geeks to get fit too!

cho-g1