Since the rollout began for Pokémon GO, the internet has been bombarded with Pokéballs filled with news, rumours, screenshots, tales of good and bad, and business related updates. It has been phenomenal. Is it a fad? Is it a change in the mobile gaming scene? Is it absolute nonsense? Either way, there’s a tonne of Pokémon GO hate, and I have reached boiling point.
I’m sure that part of the excitement and hype began when the game began rolling out in Australia and New Zealand, before hitting the US. The rest of the world looked on in anticipation, some even downloading the file in their own region before it was officially available.
From the get-go, Pokémon GO saw players leave their houses, venture out into their neighbourhoods and surrounding areas with phone in hand, chasing after non-existent Pokémon, thanks to the wonders of Google Maps and GPS technology.
Social media feeds began filling up with images of Pokémon critters near landmarks worldwide, near local fountains, stores, people’s gardens or gas/petrol stations. There were pictures of Pokémon stats screens, with players boasting about the creature they found, how much CP (Combat Points) it had, and how they were capturing gyms, which are just various locations around towns, villages and cities.
If anything, I have noticed less Snapchat filter pictures taking up my feed, so that’s a good thing, right?
We then learned of stories such as dead bodies being discovered, private property being intruded upon, men falling off cliffs (and surviving) and even last night, July 19th, a man driving into a police car while playing the game. Blame Pokémon GO all you want for the latter, but if it wasn’t that, he could have been tweeting or browsing his Facebook feed.
And that’s the thing. Pokémon GO has swept the globe like wildfire, and yet people are unhappy about it. They call it a stupid distraction in a time when the world is on the tipping point of war and social aggravation. Protests, police shootings, terrorist attacks, bomb threats, Brexit, scandals. Pokémon GO.
Yay, something fun to keep people entertained for free, as long as you have a decent phone that can support the app. My phone is under-powered, so my only taste of the game is when I’m with my partner and her phone. We’ve been getting out and about quite a lot. A little more than usual, but our adventures take us back and forth through fields, up and down roads we don’t usually visit on our treks, and feeling like we’ve accomplished some things as we did so.
Pokémon is a series that captured the hearts of fans around the world since the late 90s. I was one of them, with my Gameboy Color and Pokémon Blue. I loved the TV show, but I didn’t really follow on with the game series since then. Seeing the original Pokémon coming to the forefront of media attention again is fantastic for me, and for the long time fans. What’s wrong with reliving your childhood in your 20s or even your 30s and up?
Yet comments that follow articles on news and media sites just begrudge the game for no other reason, other than it’s cool to insult people for enjoying something that encourages activity. A few select quotes include:
“Because you are all sad people who have nothing better to do…… GET A LIFE YOU SAD LOT……”
“Got to take your hat off to governments and their intelligence gathering methods though”
“If you are an adult and play this, you are a pathetic cnt.”
“Kill me now. Theres to much stuppid in this world and now theres pokamon. Kill me please.”
“Oh how sad are these people. Get a life”
Yet, I think this meme below sums it up rather well.
Ok, maybe the current generation has been spending too much time behind a tv playing games or watching Netflix or Amazon, but in the modern age, we’re all connected by internet connected devices. We stream our content, we want everything on-demand, and we’re active on social media hourly.
People moaning about Pokémon GO probably have their say, then return to scrolling newsfeeds, or binge watching a TV show, or revert back to another match in FIFA or Madden, or a few rounds of Call of Duty and Rocket League, Overwatch or League of Legends. But leaving your house to play a mobile app? Heresy!
There are those who mock the app because it’s not a real Pokémon game. I’m not sure who’s stating this, whether it’s the hardcore Pokémon trainers, or gamers who know of the Pokémon game and want to insult the app for the sake of it.
Sure, it’s not like the full handheld releases, but does it need to be? Let’s talk about Batman for a second. How many Batman games have you played? Are they all the same? No, they’re not. What’s wrong with diversity? Pokémon GO has enough of a taste of Pokémon, with the finding and capturing of creatures. It doesn’t yet feature player vs player battles, or ask you to weaken a wild Pokémon before you attempt to catch it, but that would be nice. Maybe in the future?
It is its own thing, and it’s fun. It gets people out and walking, exploring, talking and having fun. It gives them a goal, and it lets them live out a fantasy of being Ash Ketchum from the animated TV show. All of this ‘grow up’ nonsense bothers me intensely. As if the person saying it doesn’t like the LEGO games, or doesn’t watch entertainment on tv because ‘they are grown ups’. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can enjoy books, movies, shows, toys and even games at any age. Pokémon GO is no different.
Will it end up being a fad that disappears one day in the future? Maybe. Will it grow with updates and keep players invested for months to comes? Very likely. Will the winter affect its use when it’s cold and rainy? Depends on your location, but time will tell.
This could be the beginning for new mobile apps that get people out and about, with a sense of fun as encouragement. Nobody likes counting steps and calories, but send them after imaginary monsters, and watch those numbers shift.
Then again, some people just want to be the very best, like no-one ever was…