I’ve been following Pokémon Go for about a year, and I was always very skeptical. Originally I was skeptical about the lack of any actual footage of what the game would look like, and later I was skeptical about a lack of concrete information regarding the game.
At this year’s E3, they explained everything.
But to me, what they were describing was too small and overly-simplified to be fun. And when it came out, I only downloaded it to give myself further proof that it was bad - so that when I trashed it with my friends I had a little bit of credibility.
Now I play it every day, and I love it! So what happened?
Participation is infectious. I stepped out, the second day after its release, and there were people everywhere. I often frequent parks and bike trails around me, so I can confirm that the population of these places tripled after the Pokémon Go release. Everywhere I looked, people were playing this game.
Some people try to be discreet, but there are three ways to tell if someone is playing Pokémon Go:
- There’s a disproportionately large amount of people all sitting around a piece of public art or signage and not actually looking at the object.
- They are staring at their smartphone screen and shuffling around.
- They are holding their phone, but pointedly not looking at it. (These are the most deceptive players, since they rely on their phone to vibrate once they near a Pokémon.)
Pokemon Go quickly became part of my lifestyle
I hope this is encouraging; you don’t have to play it non-stop to participate. About once a day, when I’ve got some free time, I hop on my bike and ride for a couple hours. I hold my phone in my hand, only stopping to catch any stray Pokémon I happen to pass, or to interact with an apparent Pokestop. When I need a break, I look for a Pokestop that’s “luring” – an effect that causes more Pokémon, and thus also players, to congregate. This is fun, because I get to chat with other people who are enthusiastic about the game. And then I ride home. The exercise is good for me, and it’s something I would do anyway, but maybe only half as often. I never would’ve dreamt I’d be spending multiple hours exercising every day for fun.
Would I recommend it?
Well, it depends. If you really like Pokémon, there’s a good chance you’ll like it. If you really like exercise, it could be a fun distraction while you’re out. I’ve seen a lot of out-of-shape Pokémon fans exercising for the first time in years, and I’ve also seen a lot of jogging friends playing it, even though they have no interest in Pokémon.
It’s an interesting phenomenon, significantly more successful and ground-breaking than I ever expected. Consider me sold. *
* Editor’s Note: This is one player’s personal opinion, which in no way reflects the thoughts or opinions of TCC.