Proving that we really do live in a small world, a few weeks ago I was eating lunch at my favorite local pizza joint when who should walk up and say hello but Robert Alsbrook. Long-time PTB readers may remember back in late 2010 when, in conjunction with a now-defunct local Internet television operation that predated homemade YouTube shows and Twitch livestreaming, Rob and I launched the tragically short-lived and ahead-of-its-time The Press The Buttons Show where for thirty minutes each week we would offer up gaming news, commentary, and reviews. We produced eight episodes (six of which aired), after which the owner of the network ended the operation and moved out of state on to new opportunities. Rob and I lost touch soon after, but now here we were in the same pizza place, so we got to talking and ended up having a conversation about Nintendo's upcoming Let's Go! Pokémon pair of titles based around Pikachu and Eevee.
Matthew Green: How long have you played Pokémon? I can't say I ever really got into it. I pretty much missed the boat in the beginning; Red and Blue were just coming out when I was first driving in high school, so I wasn't sitting in the backseat with my Game Boy like I had done for years on family road trips. I didn't really get to know Pikachu until Super Smash Bros. Melee, and then the other Pokémon that were in that game as well. I can recognize a Squirtle from a Charmander, but any of the newer or more obscure Pokémon? Not a chance. My first actual Pokémon game that I played was Pokémon XD for the GameCube when I was assigned to review it for Kombo years ago, and not knowing much about the world, I was totally lost.
Robert Alsbrook: I did most of my Game Boying outside before I got a Game Boy Pocket (that poor contrast in early Game Boy screens!). I couldn't play for too long in a car before I got car sick. I started playing Pokémon shortly after Red and Blue came to the USA. At the time I was in high school and I baby-sat these two boys who loved to play video games (an easy job). They were both very much into Pokémon and they eagerly showed me the game. I watched them play and I thought to myself, "This isn't a bad game at all!" The rest is history! Short answer: 20 years.