I am coming out of my self-imposed isolation momentarily because I am tired of sitting in front of my computer every morning at 5:30AM and seeing the word count icon at the bottom of my computer not change. Hasn’t changed in about a week, because I am stuck. My book is not moving along as I had hoped, because of some conflicting research, self-doubt and apprehension about not stepping on certain people’s toes. So it is with great glee that I can actually type about something I know a little about.
And that is …Pokemon Go.
About 2 weeks ago, my oldest came home and said he had found the most awesome game EVER. He then began to show me how a Pidgie was sitting on the kitchen counter in the AR (Augmented Reality) mode of Pokemon Go. I was hooked. Since then we have had Veronats in the bathroom and my husband (who also is now an avid player of Pokemon) caught a Bulbosaur on the patio table (I was green with envy). Of course, since I have become savvier with the game, I no longer use the AR mode, I am told that is just for newbies.
Is the game all that bad? Not at all. I think it is brilliant!!!
Sure, there are people flinging themselves off of cliffs, while in pursuit of an elusive Pokemon, other people finding dead bodies, people getting shot trespassing on the properties of gun-wielding homeowners while Pokemon hunting, and distracted drivers crashing into police cars but as with anything we do, some common sense must be involved.
I play the game. I watch where I am going. I do not go onto people’s properties. I do not go into dicey neighborhoods in the middle of the night, because a legendary Pokemon is purported to be nearby (well I did one time, but I was in my car and with my huge strapping boys and it wasn’t really that questionable a neighborhood) and I caught an Exeggutor with an amazing Combat Power. And I certainly do not play the game while driving ( well except when I am trying to hatch my Pokemon eggs – we will drive through our neighborhood really slowly at night in hopes that it adds kilometers to our incubating eggs – but it doesn’t seem to really work).
What are some of the benefits of Pokemon?
People are out and about. People are everywhere, catching little Pokemon. It is great to see. I see people walking on the sidewalks, in the parks, sitting on benches by Poke Stops with their lure modules on, waiting for Pokemon. I have met so many fascinating individuals because of Pokemon. My husband and I went to a park last weekend (we haven’t been to a park since the kids were little) and we sat on a bench, talked with people passing by and it was really lovely. Oh, and yes I caught my first Pikachu there. My husband actually wants go back to the park this weekend with a picnic, so we can catch more Pokemon. I know, it all sounds a bit nerdy, but I think it is great. Beats the heck out of sitting at home, watching the Sci-Fi channel all weekend.
The children’s hospital, where I work is brimming with Poke Stops. My office is situated between two of them (which is great for picking up Poke balls, if my supply is running low). But I have noticed a most amazing thing about this whole Pokemon craze. The patients of our hospital are motivated to get up and out of their beds just so they can go Pokemon hunting. One of the Physical Therapists at work thinks it is the best thing ever to encourage the patients to walk, just say “Let’s go Pokemon hunting.” And the kids are out of their beds like a shot and in the halls searching for Pokemon. How great is that?
And when you tell an otherwise surly teenager you are a Pokemon Go player, well suddenly he has lots to tell you about the Pokemon he has caught, the level he has reached and the conversation leads to which Pokemon is his favorite, which is his strongest. I tell them I am a Level 18, and I have battled in the Poke Gyms (I won 4 out of 5 battles, and didn’t take the gym – but at least I tried) and suddenly I am just his peer, and not a provider who is just like every other boring adult he encounters on a daily basis. I am a Pokemon hunter, and proud of it.
So for all of the elitists and the intellectuals out there, who look down their noses at this gaming craze, there are some real benefits to this game. Of course, there are always going to be the idiots that make the news, because of some ridiculously stupid thing they do while playing the game, but maybe for once, let’s focus on the good and not the bad.
Enough said. I have to go, there is a Charmander nearby.