I have to admit that I got into the entire Pokemon craze very late in the game. I was in my senior in high school, loved video games, and went to a New Years Eve party at my cousins place. My cousin Savvas is my video game kindred spirit, we’ve logged in more man hours playing games then I can ever attempt remember, and he introduced me to the the world of Pokemon. I caught on fairly quick, became addicted (as I always do) and we would get together and battle our Pokemon like the awkward teenage/early twenties guys we were. But for me Pokemon was a phase that slipped by. The love burnt bright and then went away… I guess you can say that about most of my relationships with women. Oh god… that’s sort of tragic. Quick! Someone give me a hug.
I am well aware that Pokemon didn’t slip through the cracks for the rest of the population and it’s height in popularity never really faded (good for you guys!). When I read about the release of Pokemon Go I knew in an instant that it was something I needed to do. There was no question about it. No hesitation. Pokemon Go and I were going to be acquainted and I was going to experience this thing like the rest of the world. Although I was hoping to avoid finding any dead bodies in rivers, like a certain nineteen year old girl. Eeeeep. But I’m also kind of lying about that because who among us doesn’t want a Stand By Me moment? Guilty.
With Pokemon Go I knew that I wouldn’t be doing this thing alone. I wanted to experience the ridiculousness of it with my friends so quickly recruited my sister and Michael to join me in this journey. And much to their geek cred it didn’t take a whole lot of convincing. All I had to say was we can dress like Pokemon hunters and I had them. Easy as that.
When Tuesday night came we met at the Fortress of Nerditude and prepped ourselves for our journey. We discussed the “hot spots” we would go visit and see what happened from there. I ran into some problems with the app loading on my phone which kind of delayed our adventure, and I think partly annoyed my sister (sorry) but eventually it loaded and away we went.
The first place we traveled to was the beach and we cleaned up. There were Pokemon every where! And I quickly realized how addictive this game could be. Michael had a clear knack for capturing creatures and quickly became my Pokemon Go mentor. As we traveled further down the beach we ran into other Pokemon hunters (at least seven) who were all more than willing to point us in the direction of Pokemon worth catching. The whole thing was ridiculous and wonderful. It was dark and I didn’t get a clear look at these people but everyone was happy and giggling and friendly. It was just a solid environment. We didn’t go and get beers afterwards, not sure if they were even old enough for that, but we shared fleeting moments together, and that alone was enough to sell me on the game.
From the beach we met up with my friend Tim and his son and traveled to the high school, which was surprisingly Pokemon free. I was kind of disappointed in that. During this little adventure I explained to both of them how to play and hope that I got at least one of them addicted. Either one will be fine with me. Looking back and trying to be an outsider looking in, explaining how Pokemon Go works to a nine year old and a thirty-seven year old has to be one of the highlights of my summer. It’s also something I never expected to happen in life.
We ended the night by going to a park and collecting a couple of more creatures, but all and all the night was a success. I know I bagged twenty-two and I think Michael grabbed more than that. Jennifer had trouble downloading the app so she was kind of our selfie taking cheerleader. I think she lost interest some where between interacting with a group of Pokemon hunters and walking in the sand towards the Pokemon they suggested. I do think if she downloaded the app she would sing a different tune.
I have only dabbled with the game a little since Tuesday, but I’m not looking to delete it off my phone. As a matter of fact I’m sure I’ll turn it on from time to time during my walks or if we decide to go on another Pokemon hunt (which is always possible). As the internet fills itself with memes showing it’s hate for Pokemon Go (of course it would because the internet tries to hate everything you love) I have to say I found the whole thing enjoyable and sort of positive. Parents always complain that their children just want to stay inside and play video games. At least this has them outside exploring their neighborhoods and getting exercise. As for the older kids… who are they bothering?
I was recently courting a young woman, and spied on her Instagram feed, a meme that said “That if your man plays Pokemon Go it’s okay to cheat on him” and it really left a bad taste in my mouth. Not because I’m a huge fan of the game but more of how it promoted thinking less of people who enjoy something. I get it if the app isn’t your jam. It’s clearly not for everyone. But for those who enjoy it, it doesn’t make them less people. I just hate reading and seeing acts where people are cut down for the things that they love and enjoy. It’s just a shitty way to be. No one should be treated like less of a person because of what they like and what makes them happy. It’s that whole Felicia Day mentality that is the backbone of this website.Needless to say I lost interest pretty quick. If she thinks that way about Pokemon Go my pop vinyl collection doesn’t stand a chance hahahaa.
I say go out there and give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose except some data on your phone plan and battery life. Gather some friends, act ridiculous, stay out of Holocausts museums, and let it fly. You might find that you have a good time. If nothing else you’ll be able to see what everyone is talking about. Or enjoy yourself to the point where you have something to look forward to every day. Either way it’s a win win.