Kevin Lewis


One evening in a flea market, two (seemingly normal) Pokémon cards sat untouched by the onlookers slowly walking through the isles. However, this wouldn't last long, and eventually they were picked up by one curious collector. To senior Kevin Lewis's surprise, these were generation one Pokémon cards from the late 1990s, and he had just scored big time.

Lewis, who is an avid collector and player of Pokémon, was lucky to get these two cards, of which were the respective cards for "Lapras" and "Dragonite." "I looked up the prices [for that specific generation] of Lapras and it was worth around $300 while the Dragonite was worth $400," said Lewis. "Getting them both cost a little over $20, which was a complete steal."

Lewis began his Pokémon journey at age eight when his older cousin introduced it to him. "I liked obtaining Pokémon that I thought looked cool," said Lewis, "and defeating opponents was very satisfying." Since then, he has continued to feed into his interest by collecting new (and old) cards and playing the countless Pokémon video games. "I mainly play the Pokémon [video] games," said Lewis. "The card game can be complicated to learn so I only collect cards."

Lewis is no stranger to the Pokémon video games. "The games have a very good and interesting story and each have unique settings with lots of new Pokémon," said Lewis. "The battling and leveling system is very fun and grinding for legendaries and shinies is very accomplishing." With this, Lewis specifically likes collecting "shinies" and takes great effort to do so. "In the older games, there's a 1/8192 chance of getting one [shinies] and in the newer games, there's a 1/4096 chance," said Lewis. "Getting shinies is very satisfying and is worth the time spent on getting them."

With all of the years Lewis has spent on his interest, Pokémon has influenced him in a myriad of ways. While many would be surprised to hear that Pokémon helps develop beneficial skills, Lewis states that patience is something he acquired because of his interest. "With leveling up your Pokémon, resetting your game or searching for shinies," Lewis said, "Pokémon requires you to wait a lot and play for a while, even if it gets boring." Personal skills aside, it also helped Lewis develop personal style, for he sometimes buys Pokémon branded clothes, decorations and accessories.

From an outside perspective, Pokémon could seem daunting to some people -- whether it be the thousands of different cards one could collect or the many video games spanning three decades. However, Lewis sees it as something more simple to get into. "Watch videos on the franchise, whether that be over the lore, gameplay or card-collecting," said Lewis. "You develop a bond with a certain Pokémon and it makes you really love them."

Story by Cameron Haughawout