Tuesday, July 12, 2016

It's a short one. And it's about Pokémon...

Since it's release last week I've seen three teams evolve. The lovers, haters, and the people who can't believe they love it (or, the love-to-hate'rs). The lovers just sort of chat about it endlessly. Post pictures of what they've caught. The love-to-haters post funny meme's that acknowledge how ridiculous it's making us all, while still feverishly searching for Pikachu or Charzard. The haters seem irritated to the core that a good portion of their social media friends are playing and talking about something they take no enjoyment in. And they're getting pretty loud about how much they hate it. To the haters, let me offer you some soothing ointment for the spiritual burn that is Pokémon Go. It's actually doing a lot of good! 

People who have been or feel isolated are finding new and interesting things to bring them out of doors and into the path of interacting with other humans. I won't lie, I've felt pretty estranged since I moved here. It's a small rural town and I don't meet many people who chat regularly about the same things I like to chat about. Everyone's nice enough but there's not a lot of common ground out here for things in which I am passionately interested. BUT, two days in to playing Pokémon Go I have met and talked to a bunch of new people. And we're finding each other in the most random places. We would have normally walked right past each other, never engaged and probably not even noticed each other. But because we were all playing the same game, we had something in common to bring us together. That is invaluable to me. I just spoke to someone for the first time today that I've seen every day for the past 3 years. Every day we pass each other and - 

Her: "Good morning".
Me: "Hey". (I've never been a "good morning" person)

And that's it until the next morning. But today I was walking past while looking at my phone and I stopped in my tracks for a second and the girl says "Did you find one?" and I looked up and we started talking. (And I wasn't even playing the game at the time) I'm seeing other articles that share tweets where people who suffer from metal health troubles or are introverted to the max, are finding reasons to get up and go outside. 

Lily and I went Pokémon hunting after Girl Scouts tonight and met a TON of fellow Poképeople. 😂 It was awesome!!!

Not only that, but they've gone and made Pokéstops (places you go and collect goodies to advance your playing abilities) inside places like art museums, science museums, zoo's, opera houses, libraries, etc. This game is bloody brilliant! (When it works.) 

It's got us up and moving, out exploring and interacting with new friends. My daughter and I have a new summer nights activity when I get home from work. Last night, our hunt took us to a library where we spotted not only Poké related items, but a Little Free Library out back in a pretty park. We stopped to check it out and Lily chose a book to take home. We made a mental note to bring it, or another book, back. So in one stop we got fresh air, light exercise, a new book and met some new friends.

So, for my part, I love this game.

Please play responsibly. 

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