Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

Pokemon Go

The hit iPhone/Android app that came out.  I’m writing about this because it’s the latest fad, but among all the positivity I’ve seen about it, I’ve seen some pretty ignorant comments I want to address.

First off… Check out this link if you have no idea what the heck I’m talking about when I say Pokemon. Tell Me What Pokemon Is!

Now… here’s an article explaining what Pokemon Go actually is: Pokemon Go Site

Now that you have some details, let me explain why I LOVE THIS APP. I think it’s one of the most innovative apps to have come out recently and it’s doing a lot of good for mankind. Now that sounds dramatic, but hear me out…

  1. Pokemon Go came out on Friday, and it already has about 5 million downloads on Android alone (Source: Google Play Store- checked on my phone just now) This app is POPULAR, you guys. It’s appealing to many different generations- the 90’s kids who grew up with these little “pocket monsters,” the adults who either had their kids play Pokemon so they joined in or they’re avid game/anime lovers who had to check it out, the youngsters who were fetuses when the concept of Pokemon first started, etc. This app is the closest thing we have to actually catching Pokemon in real life, seeing as the Pokemon appear in various locations in your area. It’s a great way for me to relive parts of my childhood and bring back that joy. This leads to my next point…
  2. It’s getting people to go outside! Gamers…outside…? What a strange concept! (I say this as a gamer myself, people. It’s a joke.) But in all seriousness, it’s encouraging people to get up and moving. In order to catch Pokemon, you have to walk around and travel to different areas. You have to walk a certain distance in order to hatch eggs that are found through various Pokestops. The day this came out, my boyfriend, some friends and I went running out of the house and walking around my neighborhood to catch some. There are a few Pokestops and gyms near my house too, which will cause me to get out and moving around more (I have been running since March of this year, but now I have an exciting reason to get moving, since running gets boring by itself after a while). I love having another way to get healthy!
  3. Speaking of being outside, you know what else this app does? It gets you to travel to areas of your community that you may not be familiar with- whether it be new restaurants, stores, historic landmarks, etc. It’s getting people to explore different areas and try new things. It may also be helping local businesses get more business- especially if they use this app’s popularity to their advantage!
  4. It’s getting people to team up and work together! It’s a great way for existing friends to bond and show team pride (by the way…#teammystic ) It’s also helping others meet for the first time and have a common interest that they can discuss. I know when I’ve been out with my boyfriend doing random errands, we’re able to pick out all the Pokemon Go players based on the movement/placement of their phone, their enthusiasm, etc. I’ve heard many stories of new friends being made because groups of people have been in the same area trying to catch different kinds of Pokemon. I think it’s amazing that technology, which has been talked about as a way of distancing us from others, is actually bringing people together in an impressive way.
  5. It’s actually helping people with their mental health, as well! I’ve already talked about the benefits of this game for physical health, but did you know that people with depression, anxiety and other conditions struggle with finding the motivation to go out and interact with others or to even get out of bed in the morning? Check out this article for some more information: Yay Pokemon Helping Mental Health!
  6. It’s free! What’s better than that?! There’s ways to spend real money with this app, but you don’t have to in order to have fun.

Now that I’ve written about a bunch of positive aspects of this app, I will address some of the concerns this app has created…

  1. This app is not meant to be played in the car, i.e, DON’T BE STUPID AND PUT THE PHONE DOWN WHILE DRIVING. Once you go over a certain speed, it stops working as well. It’s done as a way of preventing cheating and also to keep people safe- people can just drive around and hatch their eggs, find new Pokemon, etc. (PS: That news story of the man causing a car accident because he was trying to catch a Pikachu? FALSE.) Snopes Is a Lifesaver! That being said… again, DON’T BE POKEMON GOING AND DRIVING! Your life is more important than a game!
  2. People are apparently being targeted for armed robberies because they are playing the game. I’m guessing this is because they are flaunting their expensive technology around and getting distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings (which the app tells you to do every time it loads, by the way, so no excuse to not remember). Be safe, everyone! Here’s an article about this: Sigh. Why do People Suck Sometimes?
  3. People are addicted to the app, which increases the phone addiction. Yes, I’ll admit, I went out to eat with friends last night at Cheeseburger in Paradise which is a Pokestop… every 5 minutes, we were on our phones refreshing the Pokestop to get more items and catching new Pokemon. But we were also talking to each other and bonding. So it depends on your point of view if this is a positive or negative thing… people have been on their phones a lot anyway, even before this app came out so this is not a new issue.

Some of the ignorant comments I have seen about this app:

“The Pokemon thing is out of control. I get that some people grew up with it, but when you’re in your twenties and thirties, pick a new thing to do…”

“I said, I  can tell you it wasn’t by chasing virtual Pokemon around the world like you… What a colossal waste of time. Seriously, if you want to not work for someone else, stop playing video games, stop watching endless hours of TV, sports or whatever…”

Yes, those are direct quotes. They have been shortened to the main points, but that does not detract from the overall meaning. No, I will not say who said them because I am not trying to shame anyone. People have the right to their opinions. I WILL say though…not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am an actress/model/VO artist and I work and own multiple business endeavors… I AM on the grind pretty much daily. But I also make time for Pokemon Go. For example: This past weekend, I had an acting gig. When I was not needed, I was walking around finding Pokemon when I had service. I was not slacking off, I was doing the job I was there to do, but I was making the most of my downtime with a game I enjoy. Oh, just in case you don’t know? I’m a 23 year old woman. I do not enjoy or appreciate feeling shamed for playing a game, just because someone thinks it’s “just for kids.” That’s the equivalent of me taking one of your passions and talking down to you just because I don’t like it. I think watching sports on TV is boring, to be honest, but I’m not going to make you feel bad for watching your Sunday football games.

So the point is… Don’t knock something unless you try it. It might surprise you. And if you don’t like it? That’s cool too, but don’t make someone else feel bad for having fun because it doesn’t fit your mold.

Overall, I think this app is here to stay and can only get better and better.

Want to check it out for yourself? Download it here for free:

iPhone

Android