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25 July 2016

Pokémon Go! My Thoughts

Hello Dreamers and Happy Monday!

I remember being a kid and watching the original Pokémon with Ash, Pikachu, Brock, and Misty as they traveled around the world to catch Pokémon and achieve their dreams of becoming Pokémon masters. The original Pokémon was my favorite! It was my absolute favorite cartoon at the time and I even collected the Pokémon cards and played the game. I swear I had hundreds of cards and I worked to build up my decks and play other players. As I got older I remember having a red Gameboy Color and the Yellow and Blue versions of the game, and playing that all the time.

I don't know what it was about that show and game that caught my attention, but I was fascinated. Sadly I lost interest after the next couple of iterations of the show and I hadn't thought about it in many years (I'd blame it on the hazards of growing up.... but I'm a self-proclaimed geek and therefore that statement in invalid).

Fast forward to the beginning of July... and I hear about this app on our smart phones.... it's a resurrection of my past! I'm skeptical at first... I don't use my phone for much other then networking on social media (I run this blog, a photography business, manage the band, and am starting a virtual assistant business). Most of my storage on my phone is of phone numbers and pictures (I have my old iPod for music), and there are no games on my phone. 

It wasn't until I was with the band one weekend that I decided to give the game a try. Thankfully our band mates are nerds like I am, just with varied interests. I can't say that I was hooked immediately, but I was definitely intrigued. It was nice to see Pokémon that I recognized and have conversations about the show from when I was a kid. I had to explain some of the Pokémon to Chey because she didn't really watch it when she was younger. 

One morning we sat around a table at a Denny's and everyone was playing and talking about the game. Roger even got up from the table to go outside and try to catch an Abra! It was the funniest thing! It was something that brought us together (well... something else really).

That's the thing! I know there are people that don't like the app! Many adults think it's pointless and dangerous (people are paying more attention to their phones then their surroundings)... but I think it can be a great thing. Think about this. Today's society is known for having a serious weight problem here in America. People (including Children) would rather spend more time watching television or playing video games then going outside to play (I used to love playing outside as a child - I still like going outside depending on the weather). In the first 24 hours, this game got a large population of America off the couch and outside! You have to walk around to play this game!!!! It's genius really! It got people to exercise! It also got people to interact with other people!

Example 1: One evening Lee and I decided to go Downtown to see what Pokémon we could find there. There is nothing in our neighborhood (no Pokémon, no Pokéstops, no gyms), and earlier in the day I heard someone mention how much there was Downtown. I kid you not, despite the fact that it was sprinkling outside.... downtown was filled with people walking around trying to catch Pokémon! All ages of people at that! There were families that were walking around together, friends, people of my age, people who were younger, and even people who were older. Someone had turned one of the structures into a Pokéstop with a Lure on it, and there were so many people sitting there and talking with each other! There were so many people there that the servers kept crashing the closer you got. How wonderful is that?!? To see all those people outside and walking around and interacting!

Example 2: While Lee and I were in Virginia, a bunch of his buddies decided to come over and they wanted to go Pokémon hunting! So we all piled into the back of one of their trucks and we road around the neighborhood's. We went to a lot of different places and I caught a lot of awesome Pokémon. As we were pulling up to a stop light we happened to glance up and the lady in the car next to us was holding up her phone and pointing at it with glee, she was playing the game and asking if we were playing as well. Everyone got excited and held up their phones with a smile, showing her that we were doing the same thing. We also went to a local park, since it was a Pokéstop, and there were so many people walking around there talking and catching Pokémon! It was fantastic.

It happened while we were at Bush Gardens too.... I caught some awesome Pokémon and people were telling other people where they could find some as well as Pokéstops!

It's bringing people together and making them interact in a way that they enjoy!!!! I call that a win in today's society!

So, in case you missed the point of this, I really think the app is awesome! I am not the type of person that plays it every single day (again.... there is nothing near my house and I don't want to use all of my data on the app), but I do enjoy playing it. Lee and I will drive or walk around playing the game together. I think it's fantastic what it's done for the mobility level of our country (someone who's blog I follow mentioned that she's actually sore from all the walking she's done thanks to that game) as well as the different kinds of positive interactions that people have.

Before I go, here is a video that I just saw on Facebook about how a hospital is using this game to help kids in physical and occupational therapy!

Until next time!