Pokemon Go!

So, there is a new game out that is taking the world by storm. Whether it is the next professional sport or just another fad is yet to be seen, but so far people seem to be enjoying it.

If you are unaware, the basic concept is you walk around your town or wherever and pokemon will appear. You catch them, level up, train them, earn badges, and battle at gyms. Finally, we all get to be Ash Ketchum (ugh, I hate puns). There is, of course, many haters.

With every new game or technological advancement there are crumudgins who grumble about “kids these days” and how the world is immature and we are going to hell in a handbasket… grumble grumble grumble. The unknown is, by default, bad and regressive and a sign of how the world was better in the past.

Haters suck. Don’t be a hater. If you don’t understand something that makes other people happy then you should just be happy for them. Understanding why something brings someone joy is a good thing, but if you don’t have the time and energy for that (and all of us have finite of each), then at least be ambivalent. I’m sure there is something you do that confuses the “kids these days”.

There are, of course, some things in Pokemon Go that could be dangerous. I’ve seen a few reports of people wandering into traffic or getting their phones stolen while playing the game because they weren’t paying attention. That is true of all things… remember the shithead kid who was using Snapchat and ended up killing some people? I don’t think that justifies making something illegal though, and I’m sure some paternalistic 80 year old asshat in DC is going to try and make Pokemon illegal at some point.

For me, the game has been a lot of fun to play. There is something in my lizard brain that likes getting rewards and seeing what new animals will pop up. There is also the thrill of competition when trying to take over a gym and be the first to catch a rare pokemon (unfortunately, I know very little about the pokemon mythology and have no clue if I’m doing well or if that Exeggcute has any value). The game has encouraged me to add time to my daily walks though, instead of just wandering to the corner and back with my dog I decided to walk to the beach this morning and then after catching a Bulbasaur and getting to level 5 I added more miles on my way to get my ass kicked at the local gym. In fact, I think my new morning routine will be coffee, meditation, and Pokemon Go… just use a little incense, put Higgins on a leash, and walk a mile or two along the beach or in the forest.

I think Pokemon Go will be around for a long time. As technology improves the world will become more immersive, and inevitably they will add more pokemon to catch. I’m sure we will see some sort of professional tournaments where kids can earn money doing something they love… and isn’t that what we are told to do? Find something we love and make it a money-maker? I don’t think that is limited to traditional jobs (whatever that means… today’s tradition was yesterday’s revolution). The world is becoming more leisure based, life is becoming easier and more fun, we are heading towards an era of prosperity where we can all spend our time making art, studying nature, building inventions, and catching pokemon. I, for one, am happy to live in this amazing time and am excited for what the future will bring.