So I just got back home after my friend, Joseph, had to boost my car. Why did I need the boost? You may ask. Nope, it’s not because it’s minus 40 outside.. it’s still the middle of summer (besides, my batteries still haven’t drained once due to the weather). It was because I forgot to shut my headlights off while stopped at a Poke Stop.
Hmph. Yes. I needed a boost because I was playing Pokemon Go. And that’s only the second weird thing that has happened to me today. The first one was a few hours earlier when I rushed outside of my house in search of a Squirtle that was supposedly nearby. Completely ignoring that it was damp out, I started walking around with only my t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops, when, about a half-kilometre away from my house, it started raining. Le sigh.
Anyway, I know Pokemon Go has become quite a phenomenon recently. And it has drawn quite an assortment of responses, from enthusiastic players like me, to the down right nasty jerks exclaiming “can’t you get a life?” Well, not necessarily in response to these, I’ve decided I wanted to write down my reasons for why I want to play Pokemon Go, and why I think it’s a good idea.
- For those who don’t know, Pokemon stands for “Pocket Monsters”, and originated as a Nintendo Video game for their Game Boy platform. It is a “Role Playing Game” where the player takes on a character in the game who catches and trains these “pocket monsters” and uses them to battle other trainers and gym leaders. The video came out in 1996 and eventually spawned an anime and a huge franchise of various material. The date there is the key point… In 1996, I was 11 years old, Pokemon’s target demographic on its original release. So is it any wonder that I would look back on it with fondness and that I would be excited about a rebooted game using present day technology 20 years later?
- On that note, some of the ironic memes that I’ve seen out there that have been negative towards Pokemon Go players has been the ones lamenting the people playing who don’t have jobs and whatnot. And I think… um, thats ridiculous. If most of the people who are super into Pokemon Go players got into it at a young age when it came out, like me (plus or minus 5 years) they are likely working pretty good jobs, earning pretty decent incomes. Like me, some may not be married either. Or some may be married but don’t have kids. In other words, people who have ridiculous amounts of purchasing power! Is it any wonder that there are some reports that say Pokemon Go has added a whopping $11 Billion to Nintendo’s value? On that note, it is was more than a little satisfying listening to some kids outside my car today, also playing pokemon, talking about using a lucky egg that he got for free at some stop. he was debating whether or not to use it because he didn’t want to waste it. And I was like… yeah that’s what credit cards are for! hahaha
- I realize of course that Pokemon Go is based off Niantic’s other game, Ingress. But um, who has heard of that game? Anyway, my point is, Pokemon Go is a literal game changer in the world of video games. It is changing the very way people play games, making use of current technology. It’s incredible, really, what needed to come together for this game to work. From mobile computing to GPS to electronic maps. Given that when I first started driving when I was 16, we still had paper maps of the city of Toronto in our family van (you know the ones where to find a street or intersection, you look it up in the back and it gives you a page number and a coordinate), this is incredible!
- I’ve lived in my city for almost 3 years yet, and the first time I visited the river front area (The Snye) was when I went to the pokestops there. Ditto the Legion, historical centre, and just about every poke stop in the city I’ve been to so far. In other words, I’ve gotten to know my city much better as a result of chasing these little creatures around.
- It hasn’t quite happened yet, but I can see myself become more social. Except for the lady outside the church that I full out had a conversation with (she just beat the gym at the church and she wanted me to add pokemon there since we were the same team), most of my interactions with other players have been acknowledging nods through the car window. But that can’t last. Everywhere I’ve gone where someone has put a lure up, there have been other cars there. And I’m starting to recognize some of them who I’ve seen at other lures in other days. Haha. I especially want to find OilLeak26 who is the same team as me, and who is always conquering the church’s gym.
- Finally, it’s just frikin fun!