Every kid in my age has probably played a video game. My dad was a huge gamer, my mom not so much. The first game that I remember being specifically my game, not one that was Dad’s but I could play was Pokemon Red. I got it when I was around 7 or 8 years old, along with my super cool teal Gameboy Colour.
I had been watching the Pokemon TV show with my dad for a while, and when I was in the third grade, when my mom gave in to my pleading for a perm, I played Pokemon Yellow for the first time. The hair salon was super cool, and had a Gameboy as well as a copy of the game to distract kids who were getting their hair done. I played for the literal hours I was there with chemicals slowly frying my hair. I got all the way to Brock’s gym in Pewter City, and since all I had on my team was a Pikachu and a Caterpie, promptly got my butt kicked. A lot.
When I got home, I informed Dad that I’d played Pokemon, it was super cool, and it was on my Christmas list. Of course, Dad is always happy to cultivate my love of video games. Therefore, my ‘big gift’ from Mom and Dad that year was my beloved Gameboy Colour and Pokemon Red.
Charmander has always been my go-to starter for Generation One, but Squirtle or Bulbasaur are logistically better choices. I just really like fire types. Now, at my ripe old age of 26, I claim it’s because you can’t get fire type Pokemon until later in the game, but really it’s just because I still think they’re really cool.
Sadly, I never finished the game. I always got stuck on Victory Road, because strength puzzles are hard. I still have that game, and I’ll always treasure it.