Remember last week when I said we need some good news in the face of what’s happening in the world? Well, that’s still true. I’m not going to write about “Ghostbusters” and all the MRA hate. Not that I won’t talk about it in the future, but today, it’s not happening. Instead, I’m going to tell you about what I did all weekend, which a large number of you probably did as well: I played Pokemon Go.
Please don’t do the math, but I was a little bit older than the kids who got into Pokemon when it first came out. I knew about it. I thought Pikachu was adorable. I’ve heard words like Jigglypuff and Zubat. I just never played it. I was very aware of Pokemon Go coming out, but it wasn’t until people started posting pics of themselves with a Pidgey on their cat’s head that I downloaded it to see what all the fuss was about.
I was immediately hooked. Now, I play a lot of video games, but this one stands out. Why? You have to go outside! Sure, you can sit in your apartment with your phone app open, buying incense to attract the little buggers with real money. But to really make it work, you have to walk around your neighborhood to Pokestops. They’re at churches, in malls, at parks and near beaches. You have to travel around to find different kinds. You have to leave your house at various times because some Pokemon only come out at night. Imagine that! A video game that makes you exercise! You want to hatch eggs? Cool, but for some of them you have to walk five kilometers to do that. My legs are actually sore from Pokemon hunting!
The other thing is: You actually meet new people. My boyfriend (who doesn’t play but is a really good sport) and I wandered around the park in our new neighborhood at night to catch Pokemon, and as we’d pass groups of people with their heads down, I told him, “They’re playing, too!” As we’d pass, they’d yell out, “Gotta catch ‘em all!” or “There’s a Pikachu over by the baseball mural!” In Trader Joe’s, while buying snacks, I caught a Doduo and laughed. The cashier yelled out, “Hey, are you playing Pokemon Go? Did you know our front door is a Pokestop?” I shot a show today and half the people there were trading tips.
I’ve never seen a game that got people moving, got people talking to each other and let me play to my heart’s content without charging me an arm and a leg. I’m happy. It’s nice to go out and have fun, and know that most of my friends are doing the same. Now, watch where you’re walking, wear sunscreen and go catch ’em all!