By now I think nearly everyone has heard of Pokemon Go. Since its release a week ago, it has officially become more popular than Internet porn. We could probably just stop right there, but let’s go further and point out all the good things I’ve seen related to it.
- Multiple instances of multi-racial groups of Pokemon Trainers forming while individuals were out catching Pokemon. This game is drawing people together. It’s encouraging people to talk to and collaborate with people that they may not have met or spoken with.
- Multiple instance where a conversation was formed with police, where it seemed like people where in the park at 3am for a drug deal, but actually were hunting Pokemon. Many of these instances even involved the officers downloading the game.
- Individuals gaining more steps, sore leg muscles and sunlight than they would have without the game.
- People learning the metric system. The searches for conversation from kilometers to miles jumped this past week as people wanted to know how many miles they needed to walk to hatch their eggs. The distances were listed in kilometers.
- An least one instance of an individual with agoraphobia leaving their house to catch a Pokemon.
- In my house personally, the first video game in a long time where all four of us were playing at once. Yes, the game even got Mark to play. We went to the park and caught his favorite Pokemon. And we have had at least three major walks to go catch Pokemon and have more planned.
- People not only inadvertently getting excercise (Now listen. I ADORE hiking. It’s incredibly soothing, but I have had more fun chasing Pokemon around my neighborhood. I can’t always get to the woods.) they are also being drawn out to historic sites. In my town, we have noticed that gardens, signs, churches, even the military tank down the road are tagged in the game with either Pokestops or Gyms. We when find one, we stop and find out what it is.
But as with any good, there are some bads we need to work on. There have been reports of people going into people’s lawns to catch Pokemon. Reports of people not knowing they were walking on someone’s property and got chased off. And probably the worst offense was the picture of a Pokemon in the Holocaust Museum. The developers do have a list of appropriate game behaviors. They do ask trainers to be mindful of their surroundings. A few people found themselves robbed while playing game. Others had bad falls because they weren’t watching where they were going. They ask trainers to be respectful of people’s property. No one should walk into someone else’s yard or into a bathroom to catch Pokemon. That’s just common sense. And please, don’t catch Pokemon in sacred places. The developers have asked that you use a ticket to report it when you find a place is tagged as important in the game when it shouldn’t be. I am hopeful that this includes blocking out places such as the whole of the Holocaust Museum so that no Pokemon will be found there. Use this link to create those tickets Pokemon Go Support.
In my gaming experience, Nintendo users tend to be some of the nicest, more respectful, most diverse, most unified players in the gaming world. I am going with that for this game as well. I am putting my faith in the good of this game, and the good of the players. But I am also hoping, no – asking, that people enjoy the world they are being drawn to explore. If your gaming experience brings you to a site you don’t know about, let your curiosity bring you in and learn why it is there. You can play hotter/colder with Pokemon after.
And to all those who are overcoming their fears to play the game, whether it’s fear of police, other trainers, or just the outside world: well done.
It all started with a comment yesterday from the husband about how Imgur was blowing up over Pokemon Go. And then came the question today from a random adult to the youngest who was wearing a Pokemon shirt, “I like your shirt. Are you playing Pokemon Go?” And then came dinner tonight. With one kid at camp, the rest of us sat at the table and listened to the littlest comment on that question, and how he replied, “I don’t have a phone.”
That’s all it took. On the sly I started flipping through the App Store on my phone and downloaded the game. Little bean noticed. While he questioned me, the husband also started downloading. On the sly. Soon it was dueling downloads and logging in. The littlest, thinking that finding Pokemon in the real world was akin to finding yo-kai, declared he got to find the Pokemon in his bedroom. Soon we were outside eating melting popsicles, and customizing our characters. Bean’s face fell when I made mine a girl. That meant he wouldn’t be getting to play on my phone. Not to worry, for dad had loaded up a blue haired boy and, after catching the first Pokemon, handed his phone off to the bean.
We quickly learned it was not finding Pokemon in stills, but running around the neighborhood playing hotter/colder trying to locate Pokemon. We threw on our shoes and walked out the front door into the steamy night, and the giggling started. We split up. I walked on one side of the street, the two guys on the other, so we could spread out our search area. Little guy found a Pokemon and hollared for me, I did the same for him when I found one. I looked at the husband who was laughing to himself over the spectacle of us canvassing the neighborhood for Pokemon. It may have been the most enjoyable walk I’ve had in the neighborhood. The three of us, in the humidity and heat, holding up our phones, trying not to laugh at how silly we were, laughing anyways, and catching Pokemon on the streets.
The little one has already made plans for our next walk. Tomorrow morning. And the next one the day after. And he wants to walk the park. And the bike trail. He even made sure the game was downloaded onto eldest’s phone so he can walk with us too. I’ve never seen him this excited to go for walks ever.
Grand total: 3.6 Km walked, 17 Pokemon captured
The littlest pulled out Harvest Moon: Animal Parade this morning. He was busy trying to figure out how to make friends with the blue haired girl, and had the screen showing his animal’s affinity towards him up on the screen. It was at this point his dad walked in and then started laughing.
The littlest can’t take all the credit. The eldest suggested the name for the chick he bought this morning.