So I’m a bit of a latecomer to Pokemon GO. I’ve been tentatively excited about it since the teaser trailer was released, but I was deliberately trying to not get my hopes up too much. In joining late, I dodged most of the initial issues with server crashes (woo) but joined the Pokemon Go Community just in time for all the controversy.
I was a responsible adult and held off installing Pokemon Go until I finished up some very adult-y tasks. I was forced to live vicariously through my coworker – Pokemon Go is her first Pokemon game ever. In addition to showing off her new catches every day, she often talked about the sheer number of people she’d see playing.
My boy. On an unrelated note, can anyone tell me what the implications of having an XL sized Charmander are?
On Tuesday, she and I walked down to Capitol Lake, a notorious Pokemon Go Community hangout. In addition to the regular walkers and joggers who frequent the lake during the sunny season in Washington, there were about 10-15 people milling around staring at their phones. Were they all playing Pokemon? Probably not. We walked a little bit farther around the lake, hitting up one of the many Pokestops. We approached three Pokestops in a row, complete with lures. Suddenly the ten or 15 players became more like 40 or 50. Little kids, high school kids, older people with canes, families, single people… all together to Pokemon.
I snapped this pic while out catching Pokemon. Not complaining.
I watched a few little kids unabashedly approach stranger adults and cheerily ask them “Did you see the Wartortle a couple of minutes ago? Do you wanna challenge the gym with me?” I was pleased (and maybe a little surprised) that all the adults were friendly and polite back to them. The Pokemon Go Community is welcoming. My coworker and I sat by the lake for over an hour, sharing the collective joy when Dratini appeared.
Despite all the issues with the app itself and the lack of communication from Niantic, no one can deny that Pokemon is bringing people together.
If I can borrow a quote from Star Trek: First Contact (not a JJ Abrams one),”it unites humanity in a way no one ever thought possible.”