I am not what you’d call a man of faith. So I reckon today is about as close as I get to a High Holy Day.
On this day 20 years ago, Japanese game designer Satoshi Tajiri, inspired by the connectivity afforded by the Nintendo Game Boy and his childhood love of bug collecting, shared a unique vision with the world. That vision was, of course, Pokémon, a franchise that has gone on to inspire countless spin-offs, animated series, and magical childhood memories.
Whether you’re a new fan or have been with the series since the very beginning–my own earliest Pokémon experiences involved a copy of Pokémon Blue I had initially purchased for a girlfriend and a particularly virulent and wholly unexpected case of the flu–today is the day to reflect on all the fun and frivolity afforded to you and the little trainers in your life by this enduring property.
And if you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate Pokémon Day, opportunities are as close as your local specialty retailer or nearest smart device:
- Toys ‘R’ Us stores will be commemorating the event by giving away special foil cards featuring Pikachu and Magikarp from the new TCG expansion, Generations, as well as a Pokémon activity book and poster.
- GameStop stores, which will be distributing Mythical Pokémon throughout the year, are offering a Mythical Pokémon poster with the purchase of any Pokémon product.
- The official Pokémon Twitch channel will host a massive Pokémon event starting today at 1 PM Eastern (10 AM Pacific) that includes Pokémon discussion, gameplay, interviews, and other coverage. Then, at 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific), the Twitch channel will kick off a massive 24-hour animation marathon.
- But perhaps most importantly, today also marks the launch of Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Red, and Pokémon Yellow on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. As announced on yesterday’s Pokémon Direct (alongside the reveal of upcoming 3DS titles Pokémon Sun and Moon), these eShop iterations will even support Nintendo’s Pokémon Bank storage system, ensuring that you and your geeklings will be able to preserve these classic Pocket Monsters for generations to come.