The Voyage of the Lost Pokéwalker
|This is an editorial by Tenchioak.|
Computer Science researcher by day, gaming journalist by night - is there anything that Greg can’t do? Hint, the answer is lots. Greg is a graduate student and research assistant at West Virginia University, a gaming journalist at 4 Color Rebellion, a former intern for NASA Ames Research Center, and a visiting academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. More importantly, he's also a former admin on Bulbagarden dating back to the days when we still used the .com, a pop-culture junkie with an entertainment addiction, and likely to quote Oscar Wilde at any given moment. Greg loves quirky Japanese video games, esoteric role-playing games, Tetris, film noir, Lovecraftian horror, and Irish whiskey. He isn’t wild about Russian literature or DC crossover events, both of which result in confusing, mind-shattering crises.
Being a game journalist isn’t as interesting as one might think. You get used to reporting things that you hear through the internet, there’s this layer of emotional distance between you and the stories. It’s rare to pick up interesting gaming stories in my own life, so when I heard one when out drinking last night, I had to repeat it. One of my friends, Matt, whipped out his Pokéwalker and started playing with it. This, in itself, was pretty normal, but it prompted my friend Jordan to begin telling us his story – a harrowing tale of a Pokéwalker and the most epic journey that one young Hoothoot could ever undergo.
Jordan met up with a friend one day, a couple of weeks back, at West Virginia University’s medical campus. The two of them took care of some business and hopped on the PRT (the local monorail system) to head back downtown. The pair had been to a few stores before Jordan noticed something – his Pokéwalker (and the Hoothoot inside) was gone! Frantically, the two of them began to trace their steps. Eventually, they arrived back at the downtown PRT station, unsuccessful in their attempt to locate the pedometer. At this point, a couple of hours had passed. The cars on the monorail have been all over the city, and the probability of that one car appearing again was tiny. Either the Pokéwalker had been turned in, or he was never going to see it again.
Jordan glanced up at that moment, just as a PRT car began to leave for the Engineering campus. In the corner of his eye, he spotted a red spot in the car. He turned to his friend and shouted, “Is that the Pokéwalker?” His friend was skeptical, but Jordan kept shouting at the car. A passenger heard him and held the mysterious object up to the window – it was the Pokéwalker! Unfortunately, the car was already speeding away. Jordan’s pal, sensing a way to save the day, grabbed the emergency phone.
Now, at this point, most people would just mention their lost pedometer. You’d expect them to leave out the Pokémon part. This is definitely not what happened.
“Hey, my friend left his Pokéwalker on the PRT… Pokéwalker. It’s like a pedometer… with Pokémon. We think it’s on car 24, maybe you could call that car?”
Instead of calling that one car, an announcement suddenly came crackling out of the speakers all over the entire transportation system, “ATTENTION ALL CARS – IF A LOST OBJECT IS ON YOUR VEHICLE, PLEASE PRESS YOUR CALL BUTTON.”
A minute later, the booming voice returned, Jack Bauer style, “THE OBJECT HAS BEEN SECURED. ATTENTION, THE OBJECT HAS BEEN SECURED.”
“THE OBJECT IS ARRIVING AT THE ENGINEERING STATION. A STUDENT HAS SECURED IT.”
Jordan got back on the emergency phone and asked if he should ride out to Engineering to pick up his lost Hoot-Hoot. The voice again came booming over the entire system, “NEGATIVE. WE ARE RETURNING THE POKÉWALKER TO YOU. PLEASE STAY AT THE STATION. THE OBJECT WILL ARRIVE IN 8 MINUTES.”
This must have been an interesting site for the crowd waiting for a car at the Engineering station. Instead of the doors opening for new passengers, the car simply stopped for a moment and sped away, nothing in it except for the solitary Pokéwalker. The car soon drifted into the downtown station, delivering the pedometer back into Jordan’s eager arms.
Sadly, the Hoothoot didn’t pick up any experience from the ordeal – the vibrations from the PRT car were not enough to trigger the pedometer. However, it does bear one tangential reminder of the journey. The Hoothoot, previously unnamed, was henceforth dubbed Pearte.
Jordan does not yet know if he will let Pearte evolve.