Pokemon Go, yet another one of those love it or hate it kind of things. Me? I’m positive to it, but indifferent. Being a Windows Phone user, my phone, needless to say, doesn’t have a version for it, nor are any of my android devices capable of running the game, meaning, I’m pretty much out of the loop as far as playing Pokemon Go goes.
When I see people playing, though, I smile. I don’t have any problems with the game, although I will agree people are posting about it on social media (Facebook, mainly) far too much. I’m not hyper obsessed, though, obviously, since I can’t play, and seeing these constant posts can be annoying, but I deal with it since I know my friends are enjoying a game they have been, in some ways, waiting over a decade for.
Pokemon Go is a variation on an idea Pokemon fans have been hoping for since they got into the game – a version of the game where they get to go around the real world and capture Pokemon in the places they live, work, and shop. As I write this I’m spending some time at Wolfchase mall, and I’ve seen at least 5 people walking around, on a Sunday Morning, playing the game. That’s awesome, to me at least. Augmented reality at it’s best, currently, in some ways at least.
The game isn’t perfect. It isn’t what I was hoping for, where you would capture monsters in real life and battle against each other, or other wild monsters – basically a real life version of the Game Boy and DS games. Pokemon Go does have this in a passive way – players get to pick between 3 teams and take over locations identified as Gyms, competing as a team for control of areas. I’m sure the game will expand to include more direct Player VS Player features, but that’s for the future. Maybe that will stop the constant war on social media over which team is the best. Oi, that gets old faster than anything!
The game has some major problems in general functionality in the US, too. Namely in that most places chosen as Gyms, Pokestops, and the pokemon hunting mechanic, which while very in depth, can require people to go to quite random if they wish to catch a given monster – you have to pretty much be right in the exact spot of the Pokemon to try to catch it, and as such, you might need to hop a fence, or something, to succeed – not good if the area is off limits. Other areas are out in the middle of nowhere or are otherwise just plain weird. Like, really, just go look up some of the locations – they are insane!
Let’s not forget to mention at the time of me writing this, somehow, people playing Pokemon Go have found dead bodies not once, not twice, but three times. Creepy, you go hunting for a Horsea, and find a corpse.
The game also, thanks to location data the development team gathered in their previous Augmented Reality game, Ingress, churches are often gyms or pokestops, and they often have more Pokemon near them than other areas – granted plenty of Americans go to church weekly, but it is just inherently odd, to not go into details. The worst example of this is that the notorious Westboro Baptist Church is a Pokemon Gym. Anyone can look and see that’s a bad idea.
The only other thing I have to say is that Pokemon Go, and it’s incredible popularity, has brought up a new rash of “I don’t get why these adults are going crazy over a Pokemon game” type posts. Sometime in the next week I will address this argument in it’s own post, but I will say this: The game has caused Nintendo stock prices to rise by billions of dollars. That should give you a clue that it’s something done right. People are getting out, making friends, and having fun. Where is the harm? Just because you don’t “get it” doesn’t mean it is automatically bad or something is wrong with these people. It’s just a different hobby than what you have. Get over it.
I could be mistaken on some elements of how the game works – Like I said, I lack the ability to play it, but it looks like a fun time, even with its flaws.
Seriously, do a search for some of the crazy stuff people have seen in, or done via, Pokemon Go. It’s wild.