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Anna Schultz-Girl In Arcade
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Why Our Childhood Loves Stay With Us

When I was six years old, I got a Nintendo DS Lite and with it, my first ever video game: Pokemon Diamond. Last week, I stared at my Nintendo Switch for hours on end, hatching 457 eggs in Pokemon Sword to get a shiny wooloo (adorable). Over the years from 2008 to 2021, I’ve accumulated God knows how many plushies, cards, and video games from the franchise and have spent an insane amount of time consuming various content such as the official anime or fan made videos on Youtube. I don’t think I could say Pokemon is any less a part of my life now at eighteen than it was when I was in the first grade, and I don’t know when it will be.

Wonder Woman to my mom is what Pokemon is to me. She’s forty-eight and still gets super excited over the new movie trailers or Gal Gadot on Dorito bags at the grocery store. She has a box set of the show that she watched on TV as a kid: Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter. For my boyfriend, it’s Halo— he has been playing it every chance he gets ever since he picked up the Xbox 360 controller in 2006.  So what is it with us? Has media just gotten worse after the 2010s? Why have we clung so tightly onto these franchises since childhood? 

Really, these things that endeared themselves to us in our youth have stuck with us for so long as a form of comfort. Think back to how awe inspiring and exciting it was for us as kids to catch our first Starly, watch Diana’s transformation sequence, talk to Cortana for the first time (or whatever it may be for you!).  In adult life, most of us haven’t felt that for a while. The pure elation and joy only kids can really feel, at that carefree part in your life. The high of those moments, even so long ago, remain in our memories when we experience them again in the new instalments in these franchises. It’s different, but it’s just similar enough to make us think back to those times. These franchises become almost like friends to us, growing and changing as we do throughout our lives. It’s okay that we cling to these things, especially as an escape from the stressors we face now in day to day life— which is probably why so many people have been returning to old music or television that they loved years ago during the pandemic. We all need something to get us through to tomorrow. Sometimes, it’s something as small as your super cute new wooloo. 

I'm Olive-- an English student at Ryerson University in Toronto. I spend a lot of time playing video games, listening to too much Taylor Swift, and harassing my friends about letting me edit all their papers.
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