Aside from the recent tragedies, social media is all abuzz about Pokemon Go. The beta dropped on July 6th and it was an instant hit. My husband told me about the game and I let it pass through my mind like most of his rants and excitement about up coming games. It didn’t register actually what the game really was. On the release day when he downloaded it and said, “look I caught a Pikachu”. Time paused, and I thought “wait a minute, what?”. He showed me the Pokemon character sitting right in out living room and I instantly downloaded it, to experience the fun for myself. Here are the top 4 things I’ve gotten out out the ever so popular fad.
1. Increased Physical Activity
There is a meme currently circulating that states “Pokemon Go has done more for childhood obesity in the past two days, than Michelle Obama has done in 8 years.” Please don’t get me on that soapbox, but yes Pokemon Go gets you up and moving. When you see that symbol that says a Evee is 300 years away, it doesn’t take much for you to jump up an go after it. You travel through neighborhoods and parks going from Pokestop, to Pokestop to gather pokeballs, potions, and eggs, and ect. Mind you, its not vigorous physical
activity for the most part, but its better than nothing. Its been great for me because during the summer, even while teacher summer school I am up walking around only a fraction of what I usually do on a typical school day. Since my everyday calorie burn has decreased it had become difficult for me to lose weight even with proper eating habits and exercise. So the extra steps that I’ve been taken looking for Pokemon will do my body good.
2. Bringing Gaming to the Real World
Pokemon Go is essentially the opposite of virtual reality. Instead of bringing you into the gaming world, its brings the game into the real word. You are actually embarking on a Pokemon adventure. You can choose to remain within your neighborhood, or venture out into your community and even the world period. There are water Pokemon available around bodies of water, and common Pokemon like Pidgey, Rattata, and Weedle are found around are home. You have to travel to places that are verified as Pokestops to get supplies and go to gyms to fight your Pokemon. It is like living the game and I’m loving it. You could literally get a backpack and become Ash Katchum.
3. Creates family bonding
We have created a routine of everyday after I get off work, my husband comes with me to pick up our son from daycare and we go to a nearby park that has an abundance of pokestops and gyms. We walk together and stop and each pokestop, my husband beat gyms, and our son enjoys walking and running through the park. It is a historical park so my two year old looks at the forts and historic buildings in amazement. He actually said today that it was “the best day ever”, and that’s just from walking around the park. We also witness other families and couples playing Pokemon as well. This could replace T.V., video games, and social media for some. Although people still have their phones in their faces, the interactive part make it a little different, and more personable. This only works if everybody’s into it thought. If its just the husband or children its pretty much just another video game.
4. Takes me back to my childhood
As a mentioned in My Kind of Nerd, I felt into nerdom late in life. Pokemon is different. I grew up watching he anime (although I had no idea it was called that at the time) and playing it on my Game Boy pocket and pocket color. My sister had the blue verson and I had red. She also chose Squirtle first and I Charmander. Just for nostalgia I picked Charmander first for this as well. I have seen some post on social media pretty much making fun of or blasting adults playing this game. And I’m thinking how is the different that people obsessing over the outcome of a basketball or football game. Or any other hobby or interest that is thought of as “adult”. I do a lot “adulting”, so this is just one more thing that helps me keep my sanity. This was especially good timing with all the turmoil that has been going on in the world. I can escape all of that and catch me some Pokemon.
Amazing though it may seem, it has not been all peaches and cream. My experience has been overall positive. Of course their are serious problems with the server, but this is a beta with an enormous amount of traffic so that’s to be expected. Then there’s the “play to win aspect”. You can pay real money for money within the game or earn it. But it is very difficult to earn it, especially where pokeballs are concerned. I’m not trying to create an extra expense to I’m just playing the best I can with what I can get for free, needless to say I won’t be able to be “the very best, like no one ever was.” The game itself has some questionable aspects. The whole action of catching the Pokemon sometimes seems random, although that could just be my lack of skill. From Girlie to Nerdy offers some great tips about how to be more successful catcing Pokemon and battling gyms. But you have to remember that its still just in the beta stages. There are also be reports of things like car accidents, robbery, and harassment due to the game. I even read a post about how Pokemon Go Could Be a Death Sentence for Black Men. Pretty much stating that black men could get in trouble to looking suspicious while travelling various neighborhoods looking for Pokemon. So even while I was playing it as an attempt to escape the realities of the world, they still have a way of finding me. People have to be better than this. Play the game responsibility and just to people have their fun. I sure have.