Back in the late 90s I owned a copy of Pokémon Blue for the original Gameboy which I played extensively. I favoured Bulbasaur of the starting three and had a great time playing it. Some time later, a year or two maybe, I picked up the game again and started making my way towards 151 Pokémon.

It was long ago and as such I can't recall if I started a new save file or whether this is a false memory. I think it's true and I definitely went back and played it. I also recall trading with a kid in Northumberland for the few I was missing, including Mew.

I cannot recall whether my save got wiped or not though, and if it did, which save? Did my original playthrough get wiped or did I start a new game entirely and then have it wiped by some clot once I was done?

I think I sold the cartridge on eBay some time ago so it's pretty irrelevant either way. I never managed to purchase Gold or Silver as the price back then, £25, was more than I could afford. There were no price cuts and so I never bought it, as much as I would have liked it.

Now it's 2012, I'm soon to be 26, and most people I know seem to have a Nintendo DS hiding somewhere. I'm thinking it'd be fun to get some folks my own age, ish, to start playing Pokémon Black/White 2 when it arrives in October. I'm not looking to power-game it, just casual play. I think it'd be rather fun to have a pint and compare/battle while waiting for other people to get to the pub.

That said I'm not willing to pay a premium to do it. I will probably not be paying for games, shall we say. That may sound childish but as it happens I've found that my piracy habits are dictated by the ecosystem, not by the money available to me. I used to pirate most things on PC with the occasional purchase, these days Steam has provided a platform and a pricing structure (through sales) that makes piracy the more tiresome option.

I do not buy games if they cost more than about £7.50 in most cases. There's the odd exception once in a blue moon but generally speaking I only buy stuff when it's at a price point I'm happy with. Usually I'll wait until it's available, other times I'll pirate it and then buy it when I feel the price is right.

This doesn't seem to be an option on the DS and as such rather than getting some money from me they will receive no money. Just as before if I can't find a way to play without paying, I'll do without. Flashcarts provide a way to play without paying so I'll be going down that route I expect. If the game was on hand for £7.50 or so I'd just buy it and save myself a lot of hassle though, assuming it would download to the device rather than requiring me to lug around a cartridge. The idea of needing physical media for a console, particularly a handheld, feels rather silly to me these days. Flash memory is cheap, let me download them to the device and have them linked to my user account like Steam. If I need the space let me delete them and allow me to retrieve them later for free.

A DS Lite costs about £20 - £30 in Crime Converters (Cash Generator/Cash Converter). So, Pokémon anyone?

Polyglot polemics

02 September 2012

I’ve just seen some folks on Reddit seriously question why one would raise a child to be bilingual/multilingual.

It hadn’t occurred to me that anyone would consider being bilingual a bad thing, or question the benefit. The idea that there would need to be tangible benefits boggled my mind. There are certainly job prospect benefits, of course, but it hadn’t crossed my mind that anyone would focus on that primarily.

Some commenters questioned the value of learning Spanish due to the fact that Mexico and South America are “merely” developing nations. The concept of being able to better communicate with other cultures seemed irrelevant to them.

Putting that stuff to the side there’s the simple fact that being multilingual is good for the brain! [Source]

I’m always surprised when someone only speaks a single language, admittedly. Most folks I know speak at least one additional language, although four or five isn’t unheard of.

If you had the opportunity to raise your child to speak additional languages, wouldn’t you?

I’d like my children to be able to speak at least three if not more. I want them to be able to understand the world better than I can. I’m good, but if possible I want them to be better. That seems a normal response to the circumstances, I feel.

The conventional wisdom is that knowing another language is valuable, but I've honestly never seen the benefit, unless you're truly interested in another culture. I learned French in high school, promptly forgot it, and never understood why I was forced to take it in the first place. [source]

Ideally learn useful languages but either way it’s good for the brain.

That’s all, I just was dumbfounded by the comments.