Gameboys and the Unabomber

One of the things I remember the most about my childhood is Pokemon. This year Pokemon celebrated its 20th birthday, which might not seem like a big deal to you, and you might be asking yourself, “Why does he keep bring Pokemon up, that’s so weird,” but it’s because I was only 8 years old when the first Pokemon Gameboy game came out in the United States.

Now the game was a stepping stone in my reading career. See, up until Pokemon Red and Blue, most the video games I’d played were visual based. There wasn’t much reading in them. They were sports games like Madden football for the Super Nintendo and stuff like that. No text, just pick a team and a play, run the play, repeat. Pokemon was different for me because it had a story. Of course, I couldn’t read enough to know what that story was, but I knew that all the little blobs on my Gameboy screen were saying things and every once in a while I had the option to pick yes or no, which I did.

So, of course, having fallen in love with Pokemon, I was then excited to learn the story of the game. But that wasn’t really my first true reading experience. My first true reading experience was Pokemon cards.

But wait, I need to back up, because this is years and years later.

After the lady from the public school came and tested me with Rorschach and stuff I didn’t hear much about what was going on with me. I think it’s interesting how adults will keep things secret from their children in order to protect them, but sometimes the best thing to do is tell them the truth. The truth was my parents had no idea what to do with me. My dad had a book called “The Gift of Dyslexia” and I think this helped him understand me a lot. I think it helped both my parents realize that even though I couldn’t read or do math and stuff I could imagine things in a very vivid manner that other people couldn’t. My mom wanted me to take an IQ test and so I did and I scored super low–like really really low–and that trend would continue once I hit the standardized testing of public schools. She always felt that the IQ tests were sorta rigged, but I don’t know how that might be–though there’s no doubt some very crazy people have scored well on IQ tests, like Ted Kaczynski, who, by the age of 5 reportedly had an IQ a couple points higher than Einstein–then Ted decided to send bombs in the mail. You probably know him as the Unabomber.

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