Pokemon GO GO GO!

I'm playing Pokemon GO. And so are you, probably.

Pokemon GO was finally released in Japan last Friday. I wasn't going to partake, as I was already sick and tired of other people talking about it. However, I soon relented and was hooked by the end of the day. Now I can't go anywhere without hunting for a Poke or two, running down my battery in an effort to catch them all. Or, more realistically, fifteen Doduos and a dozen Pinsirs.

Before GO came along, I knew next to nothing of Pokemon. It was that game that children played, the one with Pikachu and the boy in the red hat. I missed it at inception and never cared to catch up. GO educated me, earning a spot in my phone-checking routine (LINE > Emails > Pokemon > Twitter > Data Usage) and teaching me the difference between a Bulbasaur and an Ivysaur. Our house is PG mad, as my wife is also hopelessly addicted. Just yesterday, I caught her checking out external phone batteries online. We've taken more family walks in the last week than all of the last year, and we've been blessed with a Pokestop right outside our living room window.

Peeking through our curtains, we've seen people of all ages stop to claim their balls. Kids, grown-ups, the elderly; the postlady, the binmen and the taxi drivers who pull up for the briefest of moments to grab their goods. I'll admit, at first I tried to hide my app of choice, but now I play freely, unashamed of my childish habit. The parks are packed with trainers, and gyms are increasingly populated with impossibly high powered monsters and their high level masters. Don't these people have jobs?

Honestly, Pokemon is still a bit shit. Pikachu and Squirtle are cute, but some of the creature designs are downright embarrassing, as are many of their names. Geodude? Fuck right off. The servers are unreliable, the maps broken and the nearby guide has shifted from nonsensical to thoroughly pointless. And it's not really much of a game, is it? I very much doubt GO will convince me to play a proper Pokemon.

But it doesn't matter. I'm hooked, for now. The urge to collect and complete is strong, even if I have little interest in the competitive aspect of GO. The desire to capture just one more Snufflebollocks so I can evolve a Stephen is what keeps me coming back for more. That and the constant fear that I may miss something special should I forget to check my phone.

It's unlikely to last beyond the summer, though, as mobile games go, that's pretty good for me. I may even hang around a bit longer if they release a new batch of Pokemon into the wild or introduce a new feature or two.

Pokemon. Who'd have thought it?


  1. Just curious, are you planning to try any of the main games now? I'm liking Go a lot but it fits into the mold of many Nintendo games like Brain Age or Animal Crossing where I just play a little bit each day, but stick with it for a while.

    1. Hey! I suppose I'm more likely to play one of the main games now, though I still probably won't. I won't just dismiss the series now at least.

      A week after writing this post and I'm still playing GO, though not quite to the extent I was before. Starting to lose a bit of interest as leveling up slows down and there are fewer new Pokemon for me to hunt. Still enjoying it in short bursts though.



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