As much time as I spend on the internet, I’ve seen plenty of Pokémon GO at this point. I’d say too much, but I honestly don’t mind seeing the crazy popular phenomenon keep expanding. I’ve played it a few times, but I ultimately removed it from my phone — but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate how happy it’s making millions of people out there. Which is awesome all by itself.
Truth is, as I mentioned in another article, I think Pokémon GO is pretty special, and it’s certainly awesome. When I was a kid I played games like Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue, but I never really attached myself to the franchise. But I can remember thinking how cool it would have been to be able to walk around and catch real Pocket Monsters.
While we can’t run around and catch a real Pikachu or Squirtle, Pokémon GO is a pretty strong alternative.
And while seeing it in videos published to Twitter and other social networks is certainly one way to experience it, I can’t help but get a huge smile on my face when I hear personal stories from friends of their experiences with the title. Taking their kids to popular areas and trying to catch a rare Pokémon that pops up, and seeing everyone around them having a good time trying to do the same thing.
I experienced it last night myself for the first time since the game launched. I headed downtown and walked around, and I saw nearly 50 people standing around, talking to one another, laughing as they showed other people their phone’s screen, and could hear the sounds of the game emanating into the night air. There is certainly some competition in Pokémon GO, but from what I saw last night it’s outweighed by a sense of camaraderie that has sprung up along with the game.
I live in a pretty small town and that was a healthy congregation of people — and it wasn’t the only one! As I walked around I saw smaller groups scattered about, but the amusement level seemed to be the same from one to the next. I can only imagine how this must be in huge cities, even after I’ve already seen groups turn into stampedes trying to catch a digital Pocket Monster.
So I have to ask the most obvious question here: Are you playing Pokémon GO? Is this a title that’s taken you by surprise, too? Or have you been able to ignore it for the most part? If you are playing it, what’s the best Pokémon you’ve captured so far?