In retrospect it’s not surprising that I’ve been sucked into a video game, because that happens all the time. But this one is something special. Not just because of what I take from it, but because of what I’ve seen it do to and for the people around me. It was also inevitable. As a long-time Pokemon player (it was my very first game for my very first handheld console), the dream to catch Pokemon in real life was always there, and now we have this — far, far sooner than I ever expected.
I’ve had it for about a week now, and I love it for a number of reasons. On the surface it’s pretty simple, and it’s a lot like Ingress, which I also enjoyed. But last night I went downtown where a bunch of people decided to get together and throw a Pokemon Go event. By “a bunch,” of course, I mean “about five thousand at least.” Every parking structure in the area was full, and there were so many people it was hard to get around. Bands were playing, people were handing out badges and water bottles, grouping up to help each other find Pokemon, etc. And everyone was so friendly. My friends and I met up with a couple hunting a Bulbasaur and we walked together for hours. And there were so many PokeStops I almost couldn’t get to them all before the first ones were refreshing again. Not to mention everyone had a lure. Continue reading