Let Off Some Steam is a new section where we let you guys get something off your chest – it can be a vitriol laced rant, a sappy love letter to whatever, or anything inbetween. Send your ranty words in this direction, and try and keep it under 600 words. Today Gordon Mackenzie talks about the bittersweet love that exists between man and Pokéwalker.
Pokéwalking I thought I'd share a story with Kotaku about something that left a hole in my life, something I never knew I would miss. My Pokéwalker.
I had known the Pokéwalkers destiny since the first day I laid eyes on it. And sure enough, late one Friday night (maybe even early one Saturday morning) I stumbled through the door and hastily put the washing on before collapsing in bed, forgetting to check if I had left anything my pockets.
Bye bye Pokéwalker.
And yet, for all the inevitability of the Pokéwalkers demise, I'd never once considered how much I'd miss it.
As a product I found the Pokéwalker little more than a novelty and a clever marketing device. Due to its levelling mechanics, the Pokéwalker provided little of practical value to HeartGold (the version I invested in). It was mainly used as a method of keeping my character in a good supply of items such as Pokéballs and, occasionally, catching a Pokémon.
As a concept, however, I found it to be astounding.
I like to think of games, and fiction in general, as alternate universes. Entire realities that exist because we choose to imagine them to do so. When we play a game we largely stop interacting in our own reality to become a character and influence theirs. I'm not playing Pokémon, I'm shaping the events of an entire universe.
Where the Pokéwalker becomes interesting is that it allows a person to actively participate in both universes at the same time. As I amble about my daily tasks, so does my alter ego from the Pokémon universe. Sometimes, from the corner of my eye, I can see a Squirtle walking next to me. Depending how much I'm suffering from sleep deprivation I can even start asking more mind-melting questions such as; if there is temporal coincidence in my actions and that of my character, am I walking him or is he walking me?
As much fun as these mental exercises might be it's not the main reason I found myself missing the Pokéwalker. As I suspect is the case with much of the Kotaku readership, Gaming has grown to form an important part of my personal identity. Enjoying a good story in single player, having a blast online with friends or just talking about games with them is a integral part of who I am.
When I've been busy and haven't had two minutes all week for my favourite hobby it was reassuring to know that wherever it was, whatever I was doing, I was gaming