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Pandemic Bright Spot: Finding A Nostalgic Video Game Console At A Garage Sale

Wesley Kaopio from a birdseye perspective. He is sitting on a couch while holding a handheld video game console and is looking at the screen.
Courtesy of Terri Meister
KUNR Youth Media’s Wesley Kaopio playing Pokémon Ruby on his Gameboy Advance in Reno, Nev., on April 7, 2021.";s

The past year has seemed monotonous for some with lots of time spent at home due to the pandemic, and that’s been the case for KUNR Youth Media reporter Wesley Kaopio. In this audio diary, he shares how a treasure found at a garage sale helped break up his daily routine.

Looking back on this year as a whole has really made me realize just how boring and monotonous it has all been. My exact schedule for this past year has been wake up, do online school, eat, watch YouTube or play games and then sleep, on repeat. After a year of doing that, it gets pretty tiring. But recently, something really cool happened and took me aback a little bit.

For some context, when I was younger, I had this Game Boy Advance and I used to play on it all the time. I think I was like 10. I don’t even remember if it was a real one or not because it didn’t look right. It kind of looked like a bootleg, but I still loved it. I absolutely loved it. But we lost it on our move here from California.

But recently, my mom was looking around some garage sales and found a Game Boy Advance and she gave it to me. It had a copy of Pokémon Ruby. And what happened was, she bought new batteries, I opened them up, put them in and just played that game for hours.

It really just took me back to a nostalgic place that I really needed at that time. It was something pure, something wholesome, something I don’t really experience that much in [my] current school life. It’s kind of just work and then nothing else. So, it was a really changing thing to happen and it was a very nice change of pace to deal with. It was kind of like a light at the end of the tunnel. It was almost telling me, “It’s all gonna be OK, just keep going,” and that’s all I could really ask for.

Wesley Kaopio is a junior at Earl Wooster High School in Reno. KUNR’s Youth Media program is a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists.

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