Monday, July 11, 2016
Going Crazy for Pokémon GO
People on their cell phones. Not exactly a news flash in this day and age. But people walking the streets alone or in groups with their cell phones out and not texting? Talking to each other? Now that is a little different.
Up until a few days ago, I knew nothing about Pokemon GO. Well, other than the fact that the servers were a mess and players were having a terrible time of just trying to start the game. After mulling it over for a bit, I decided to join the ranks of other Pokemon GO players.
I'm not the world's biggest Pokemon fanatic. I own the first six generation Pokemon games, have several Pokemon plush toys, including a sick Mewtwo and an adorable Pikachu. While I may not be a Pokemon die hard, I do like the Pokemon franchise and was happy to have a quick accessible Pokemon game on my phone.
I think I really underestimated just how powerful the Pokemon name is. I assumed that only a handful of people at my job would even be aware of Pokemon GO. Much to my surprise, Pokemon GO was the number one topic of conversation at work. My co-workers were discussing the rare Pokemon they had caught. Kelly had managed to catch a Jigglypuff, Heather bagged herself a Pikachu. Keith celebrated prematurely on his capture of the yellow rodent who broke free of the Pokeball and quickly escaped. I caught a Bulbasaur during some down time by the lockers. Throughout the work day their was a positive buzz in the air and I can't help but think this game about catching fictional creatures had something to do with it.
When I was leaving for work, I had planned to spend some time around the area searching for Pokemon to catch. It seems plenty of other folks had the same idea. I'd heard that people were in the area after 3AM the previous night. But actually seeing so many people walking about with the phones hunting for Pokemon was still very surprising.
I've noticed Pokemon GO getting criticism for not being like the handheld games on the Game Boy or DS systems. Pokemon GO encourages you to explore your surroundings by getting up, going outside and taking walks. You venture into areas, places you probably wouldn't explore otherwise. As someone that enjoys going for walks, I can appreciate Pokemon GO's approach. The second word in the title is there for a reason. You're supposed to be on the move when you play this game. You can sit on your can and catch all the Pokemon you want when Sun and Moon release later this year. Pokemon GO isn't designed to be like the GB and DS Pokemon games. If you're not seeing too much Pokemon action at home, as the cool kids say, you're doing it wrong.