Imagination Can Bridge Any Gap

It only took a few hours of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, a recent installment in the long-lasting series and the first one I’ve played in years, to realize: This is what Pokémon was always supposed to be. Open roaming in a vast, 3D-world. Pokémon freely wandering about, ready for you to catch or battle them at any time. Interesting towns and people, endless side quests, and a leveling system that feels neither too easy nor too tedious.

“If only it had always been like this from the beginning,” I thought. “In comparison, the original Game Boy games look like a boring crossword puzzle.” But then I thought a bit more, and I realized: “Actually, back then, those games were like that.” To an eight-year-old’s infinitely imaginative brain, a few moving pixels very much felt like the expansive, colorful world a grown man can only see when it actually appears on his screen.

Funnily enough, no matter how many new, high-end graphics games I play, I can still go back to those old games and get the same feeling. Perhaps nostalgia preserved it. Maybe this special feature is limited to only a few select titles, but in any case, it’s a nice reminder: Imagination can bridge any gap.

When you can’t afford a real Ferrari, perhaps a virtual one might do, and if a three-star dinner is too expensive, a nicely set up table at home can still make for an extraordinary evening. Sometimes, the reality we long for won’t exist for another 25 years. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it right here, right now — if only in our beautiful minds.

To any seasoned Pokémon player, the new games are a dream come true. More than anything, however, they feel like a return to home — to something that was always there, except now the whole world can see it.

Take pride in using your imagination. If nothing else, it’ll sweeten the long wait while the rest of us catch up.