So like most of the nerd world who are secretly 10-year-old’s trapped in 25+ bodies, I downloaded Pokemon Go. I did not expect to like it as much as I did. I stopped really being into Pokemon as a kid. Of course I went back and played Pokemon Yellow from time to time emulators but other than that, I let it go. Besides, I didn’t like much of anything that went beyond the original 151. Then this game came out and hit me like a Shouryken of nostalgia.
I had no idea what to expect when the screen loaded (I’d done no pre-reading) but it was incredible to see a friggin’ Squirtle sitting on my desk after loading into the game. I quickly caught on, and like I do with most games I started doing my research, started leveling up, and found that it could quickly become a very time consuming thing, especially when it came to wanting to keep pace with other fast leveling players, considering that you want to take over gyms in your area.
The very next day out and about, the first thing I noticed was just how many other players were into this game! It is astounding! I walked around a local park and saw people of all ages tracking along with their phones, and swiping pokeballs up to catch Pidgey’s and Weedles, and what was more, is that nobody seemed to mind, and everyone to understand what was going on.
At one point, in another, less populated location, someone walked up to me as I hovered about a historical house which happened to be a Pokemon Gym and I thought perhaps that they were going to ask what this random suspcious black guy was doing. I know, paranoid, but tensions have been high in the past week, and I was inclined to step off before they got into speaking distance. To my delighted surprise he asked “What team are you on? Please tell me Valor.” I smiled, and we proceeded to hunt together- and even managed a Psyduck out of it!
I’m not saying Pokemon Go is changing people’s lives, but I will say it is a light of positivity during otherwise harsh times. It is bringing the innocent, cheerful child out in all of us. We can discover more than pokemon out there on these hunts. We can discover other nerds, because face it, if you’re playing this game, that’s what you are, and that’s okay! Embrace that! Embrace your inner child and hunt to your heart’s content! Take a moment and cast aside all the hatred and malice that’s been darkening our spirits, come together with an unlikely companion and laugh over those failed attempts to catch that snarky Haunter, or marvel as you finally find that Articuno. Go forth and catch Pokemon, and maybe a new friend!