The Release of Gen 2 Pokemon

From the point of view of a 9 year old mega-fan

August 23, 2020

If you Google search synonyms for bittersweet feeling the top results are:

None of these accurately describe how I feel about Pokemon Silver Version, so I will write a blog about it.

It's the year 2000. Backstreet Boys and N*Sync are super cool. Star Wars Episode 1 just came out. We all just found out about the Harry Potter books. It is such a fun time to be a kid. And Pokemon was the coolest thing on the playground.

It is hard to overstate just how crazy me and my elementary school peers were about Pokemon in 2000. The video game was super popular, the trading cards were like lottery tickets and we were all hoping to hit it big with a shiny Charizard, and the WB channel was the place to be at 5:00 to watch the Pokemon TV show. It was PokeMania, and I was all-in, completely obsessed.

That summer, in 2000 I had heard rumors of new pokemon. The internet was terrible for pokemon rumors, but I heard about them in the Pojo Pokemon Magazine from the drugstore. They had a source in Japan, who already had new Pokemon, and did a write up about the new ones, and even more exciting was that it said new pokemon games were coming out! And it had screenshots of the game, it looked amazing. Later that summer, KMart was advertising preorders for the games--Pokemon Gold and Silver versions. My mom said we could pre-order it and it would be my birthday present when it came out that fall. I was so psyched.

All summer, Pokemon was still the cool thing, at least in my neighborhood. New trading card expansions kept coming out, and it was still cool to get together with the neighborhood kids and see everyone's collections. So as the summer ended, I was hyped for another great schoolyear being excited about pokemon.

But then, when fourth grade finally started, Pokemon was suddenly not the cool thing anymore. I could not believe it. I can't describe exactly why it wasn't cool anymore, that just seemed to be the consensus among the kids at school, people stopped caring about it. I thought ok, maybe when the new Gold and Silver games come out, maybe then it will pick up. October rolled around, I got the game and it was amazing, every bit as cool as I had hoped it would be. But at school...it was still not cool. I only knew of one other kid who got the new game, and he wasn't even in my grade.

Fall of 2000 was bittersweet. I had an amazing new Pokemon game with tons of new pokemon, and nobody to share the excitement with. I don't need other people to be excited about something of course, but with the fun PokeMania the previous year, part of the fun of Pokemon was everyone else being excited about it too. I finished the game, and mostly finished with Pokemon after that.

In the 20 years since then, I've met a lot of people who love Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions. (Seems like Crystal is the most popular one). Where the heck were all these people back in fourth grade?? My theory is that other people really were still into Pokemon, but they saw that it was no longer the cool thing anymore and just kept their excitement to themselves. Gold and Silver really were fun games, but for me it is mostly just sad memories of a great game.