I’m playing Pokemon Go. Okay, Pokemon was kinda my little sisters generation, more than it was mine. I’ll admit too, that I mostly watched it for Team Rocket, and that even then, I mostly hoped that James would come flying out of the closet one day… I guess I was more into Digimon.
Recently, I made my boyfriend watch the two first seasons of Pokemon. I had no idea that the game as about to be launched. But we had a lot of fun watching them. And now, having just re-watched them, this game feels like coming home.
First of all, the concept is BRILLIANT. One day in the future, people will look back on Pokemon Go and know that this was where the future began. The game that created virtual reality, that took computer games into the real world, and blurred the lines for good.
First of all, the game is designed to make people exercise. I have walked about 20 km a day, since I got it. No kidding. Walked and run. And my boyfriend, who never left the house unless he had to, has walked and run with me. My friend and her kids has been going on long walks, and there has been no “when are we going home, mom,” questions. No, “I’m tired, lets sit down,” nothing.
This game is bringing all the nerds outdoors, making us jump through hoops to hatch eggs, catch Pokemon, and beat up the other trainers.
Oh, there is war in my neighborhood. All hours of the day. And the night. Rain or sun. The gyms change color every hour.
The boyfriend and I joined Team Instinct, because we were told it was the smallest team, and we kind of wanted to fight. One thing we love, is to beat computer games, with the odds stacked against us. This is a computer game that takes us outside, at 4 am, in pouring rain, fighting like a team, to win the local pond.
That is another beautiful thing about it. Those who don’t play, have no idea. We have this parallel world, that only we can see. When we stand innocently beside a statue, looking at our phones, we see fighting, thunder and lightning.
Others see a fountain, for instance.
Or a statue one has walked by a thousand times.
It is like bringing the world of fantasy into the real world. I cannot begin to describe how fantastic that is. As a fantasy writer, this is a dream come true for me. It is like living in a shadow world, that only those who play, know of. And those of us who play, are deeply invested. I swear, even at 4 am, in pouring rain, the war is on as soon as you step out of your front door.
That is another brilliant thing about this game. It does NOTHING unless you walk or run. When you are at home, sitting on your ass, working, it does not contact you, it does not play. You can turn it on, but it will not interact with you. So it is not keeping you from working. But it will make you get up and go outside, when ever you have a moment.
And when you do, it’ll be waiting. I’ve met people with flashlights in the local forest, in the middle of the night. Places that are usually deserted, are now swarmed by people, day and night.
Even our dying mid-city, is regaining life. We have had a lot of road work in midtown lately, forcing most of the shops to close, because people didn’t bother to go there anymore. Now, with pokestops and gyms everywhere, we are coming back, just to stock up on pokeballs and potions. This game could potentially save the remaining shops in our midtown, along with saving our generation from obesity.
Our friendly neighborhood cats have tons of fun following us around as well. Especially the nighttime hunting is something they can get behind.
I actually get to know the world around me much more than I ever did before, because Pokemon is making me walk around in it.
I have met a lot of people, shaking their heads at us, or posting mean stuff on social media. I will never understand that. First of all, the need to put someone down, for something that brings them happiness, is just… pathetic. Second, I truly believe that this kind of gaming is the future.
Pssssst, Hasbro, we need a My Little Pony game like this. I swear, if I could play with Rainbow Dash on my pasture without photoshop, I’d walk more than 20 km a day without blinking.
Also, every computer nerd, world wide, is playing this game, walking, going outside. This game could save lives, making us exercise. I get how dangerous it is when people can’t stop playing in traffic, but truly that is hardly any worse than when people are texting and driving. That is nothing new. Not that that makes it okay. But I really don’t feel that this game gets enough credit for how truly brilliant it is.
I love too, how the other players are just awesome. We point each other to where the Pokemon are, disregarding team colors, and when we fight over gyms, there is NO hard feelings at all. No anger. Just playing the game, in real life, taking defeat with a smile, no matter how sneaky and underhanded the opponent may be.
Granted, it has a LOT of problems, mostly with the servers and the Pokemon Trainer Club. It is unstable or offline a lot, which is truly frustrating. But I keep coming back, just because… One day, there’ll be a Ponyta on my pasture… Oh, and the nearby gyms just turned blue… Bastards, logging in with Google when PTC is down. I’ll get ya…
It is so on!