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Chippewa Valley celebrates 25 years of Pokémon

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - The very first Pokémon game was released 25 years ago and ever since, people all around the globe have been trying to catch em' all, including in the Chippewa Valley.

"The thing that drew me to go the game to start with was the collectability of the game," said Ryan Maki, who first played Pokémon on a Gameboy in 1999.

"When the game Pokémon Go came out in back in 2016 in July, it was kind of neat because it was something I could harken back to when I was younger," Maki said.

That nostalgia and popularity among players of any age is what Tyler Holzmer at Gaming Generations said makes Pokémon special.

"It's been around since the late nineties and it seems like every time they come out with a new game, they are able to get not only the adults from the previous generations interested in but a whole new generation of their kids and children as well," Holzmer said.

In honor of the game's 25th anniversary, the coffee bar Shift made sure to celebrate by selling Pokéball decorated cookies and even a drink based on the iconic sleepy Pokémon Snorlax.

"Pokémon has always been a very fun, very lively, just a very fun experience to play and to be a part of," said Shift Café Manager, Colin Carey. "I just feel like it's something to celebrate right now."

That celebration is certainly needed during such difficult times, so players are rejoicing in a day of reflecting on the past quarter of a century and how far the game has come.

"You can play it through a card game, you can watch it on movies and TV, so being that it isn't delivered in just one format has helped the games longevity," Maki said.

"They're great games still to this day," Holzmer said.

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Felicity Bosk

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