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.
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.