Personally here's my gamer journeys before pokemon changed the way I saw video games. I view video games as more of an exploration to the realm of video games.
-Started at 5 yrs old with a pirated copy of New super mario Bros
-At 6 yrs. old, I began learning the fun elements of video games from Playstation 1 with harvest moon back to nature, legend of Legaia, and a few others.
-at 7 years old, I am getting hooked to the art of video game stories (hence why I wanted to be a video game story writer as my business). This is my age where I am beginning to find the game that suits my own personality. It was at naught at first (with 2 games from digimon, a syphooon filter game, and many other sci fi games) but it bring me closer to finding pokemon. I only began recognizing pokemon on the first anime series that focuses on butterfree (the day the hero caught caterpie until he released butterfree).
-At last at 8 yrs old, one of my relatives showed me the hoenn region of pokemon. But like before, I was merely exploring it and find it quite comparative to Harvest moon back to nature with the Legegnd of Legaia combined. It perked my interest for it. Then, my sister bought a GBA for both of us. While she tried and played it, her passion to pokemon wasn't as strong as mine the more I played it. Eventually, that was the time I find pokemon to have the biggest influence and package for me to savor and treasure.

PS. the Pokemon themselves wee my inspiration for my first video game project