Ever since Google released their April Fool’s joke of the Pokémon Challenge in 2014, I have dreamt about how cool it would be for a game like that to exist. Pokémon Go is pretty much everything I had hoped for. It’s fun, addictive, and it can really exciting when you come across a rare Pokémon hanging around your neighborhood. What I could have never guessed, though, is how a game like Pokémon Go could change the world.
Everywhere I go, I see people coming together to catch Pokémon, discuss tactics, forming clubs, and otherwise hanging out with people they would have never thought to before. It is a huge hit and the Pokémon phenomenon seems to only be growing. Recently, my friends and coworkers have told me stories over the past few days about their experiences with the game. Here are a few of the highlights:
Pokémon Go brings people together.
A couple I know is celebrating their wedding anniversary this weekend. They have been together for around 17 years. That is a pretty long time! They are really great, but sometimes it is hard for them to put aside quality time for each other. Pokémon Go has become a great excuse to go out on long walks and talk for an hour or two while keeping an eye peeled for rustling grass.
Pokémon Go can be inspiration for change.
Matt, a personal trainer, is always looking for more ways to help his clients. He said,
“I have started recommending it to clients (who are into that kind of thing) as a tool for getting fit outside of the gym. I’ll also will be using it as a tool for Community Cleanups (pickup trash & catch Pokémon) & fundraiser walks.”
For a lot of people, it is easier to find the motivation to go outside if they have a purpose. I have also heard some people saying they are trying to start programs with their local animal shelters to let kids walk the dogs walk Pokémon hunting. Matt is also considering starting Pokémon GO Runners Club. His trainers are going to be in great shape!
Pokémon Go can make us laugh.
Kevin, my coworker, told me a quick story about the first time he went out looking for Pokémon learning experience.
“Last weekend my girlfriend and I were driving through Griffith Park looking for Pokemon at the various stops throughout – the zoo, the pony rides, the antique trains, all that. So as we’re driving on the main road through the park, I see it: A Pikachu.
So I shouted ‘PULL THE CAR OVER!!!’
and she sort of did her best to put her blinkers on and pull over to the curb. I got out and grabbed the Pikachu. It took, like, five balls. I’m new to Pokémon (this is my first game) and so I didn’t know yet that you could eventually run out of Pokeballs. I found an Ekans a few hundred yards down the road from where I caught my Pikachu. I went to catch him, and the app told me I HAD NO POKEBALLS LEFT. Which means I had caught Pikachu WITH MY VERY LAST POKEBALL. After that I just went ahead and fainted.”
Everyone can enjoy Pokémon Go, including museums!
The Detroit Institute of Arts has been busy cataloging their local Pokémon. They created a created a day-long meet-up for Pokémon trainers and recently they put up this post about all the ways you can enjoy the museum while collecting Eevees.
“Are you on the hunt to catch ‘em all? We’ve caught various types of Pokémon in and around the DIA using Pokémon Go. There are also multiple Pokéstops throughout the museum. And, once you get to level five, you’ll have access to the Pokémon gym situated in the Great Hall! The museum is free for residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.”
Andrea, a black belt from my karate class who is also a part of a local lightsaber training class told me a quick story about one of her outings.
“A group of teens sitting outside the fire house, a Pokestop, had set a lure. I walk by to hit up the stop. One teen says to another – ‘dude – she’s old enough to be your mom…and she’s playing’. I just smiled and kept walking.”
Pokémon Go is a journey we can all take together.
I live in a big city and when I first moved here, I loved to explore. I would go walking for hours, trying to find places I had never been before, but life got in the way. I went on less walks. I spent less time outside. For me, personally, Pokémon Go has been a reminder. It encourages me to go back out into that big, beautiful world. After a few days of playing, I found myself spending more time outside. I’ve wandered the streets near my home watching others doing the same. We recognize each other as fellow trainers, even if we have never met before, and there is a sense of community. As trainers we are all a part of something larger. Maybe it won’t solve the worlds problems, but it does give us a way to connect and share a positive and expansive experience. I’m looking forward to seeing all the ingenious ways that people will use Pokémon Go.
What’s your Pokemon Go story? Let us know in the comments below and we will work on a sequel to bring your story to the page!
Image Credits: Pokémon Go