90s: Video Games
After a long day of Molecular biology and biochemistry courses, Jorge Marquez will return to his room, curl up with the remote control, grab his handheld gaming system, and turn on Pokémon.
His is a process he said he has repeated since 1998, when he played his versions of Pokémon Red and Blue.
“I can’t imagine a time in my life with Pokémon,” the senior said.
Marquez said he plays Pokémon several times a week and hasn’t gone without playing for more than two months.
“Nostalgia has a lot to do with it,” he said. “Our generation is getting to that point that we’re becoming adults, and we don’t want to. We’ve been kids all of our lives. This is the media’s way of providing our nostalgia for the ‘90s.”
Marquez said he appreciates the simple formula of Pokémon games, despite the developers adding new features every generation.
“I think the news one are a way to keep the older Pokémon veterans interested, … but I think it’s a good way to attract new people and incorporate technology, like Wi-Fi. I can play my friend and talk in another country with Pokémon.”
Sophomore Bryan Miller, who said he has owned almost every video game console, prefers the older games.
“Sometimes it’s nice to not have this overcomplicated stuff,” he said. “You can go up, move left and right. It’s a simple formula, but you have all these intricate puzzles to solve.”
Sophomore Kevin Zimmerman said though he enjoys playing older games as well, he also appreciates the details of contemporary gaming.
When he played award-winning Xbox 360 game Assassin’s Creed, he said he actually learned Italian history and culture.
“It’s set in Renaissance Italy,” he said. “The attention to detail is so great you honestly pick up the layout of Florence and interacting with real historical figures and real events that happened.”
Miller, who played the same game, said his girlfriend went to Italy and was impressed with the accuracy of the images.
“I would show her the map,” he said. “And she would say, ‘I’ve been there, it looks exactly just like Rome.’”
Marquez said there’s a lot of intelligence and patience that goes into Pokémon games. He researches stats, some of which involve complex math equations, before compiling a Pokémon team.
He said this process can take up to three weeks
“I will sit down with a pen and paper … and make sure my team is well-balanced,” he said. “You can breed Pokémon to battle.”
A whole invisible system exists with Pokémon, Marquez said, like stats and moves that can only be transferred through exact Pokémon parentage.
“It’s all worth it in the end. You get into a battle, and you’re neck-in-neck, with your heart racing, waiting to see your opponent’s next move,” he said. “The pay-off is awesome.”
Miller agreed that despite the fact that many don’t understand the rewards of gaming, the personal satisfaction is enough.
“It’s like reading a good book,” he said. “You’re not really doing anything. You’re just with yourself in silence, taking in the experience.”