Reliving a Childhood Dream with Pokémon Go

I’m going off on a tangent tonight – this post isn’t strictly about writing but there is still a link. We’ll get to that later.

Like many others, I’ve been playing this mobile game since release. It’s a fairly simple game. It uses a map and GPS to spawn Pokémon near you. You then throw Pokéballs to catch it. There are different versions of the catching devices that improve the capture rate and various levels of monsters that appear. Travel to different locations and you’ll find different monsters. The game encourages you to go and explore the area – although in some cases, it’s best to do this with others, unfortunately.

I’m not here to review the game, however. There’s plenty of posts for that, and I’m not saying it’s the best game ever – there are faults and great features. This is a little more personal than that.

The nostalgia

Favourite Pokémon so far in Pokémon Go

Favourite Pokémon so far in Pokémon Go

I grew up with Pokémon. I was a part of the generation that fell in love with the games, the trading cards and even the TV show. I’m not ashamed of that. Hell, I still have some of the cards somewhere – they took a while to collect.

As a kid, I was full of dreams. That’s not uncommon. Talk to any child and their imaginations are off in another world. Stories run amok. Rules and conventions go out the window. Its surreal watching and listening to them go – yet I can’t recall exactly what my thought process was like back then. It’s a shame, as I’m sure my already active imagination would be a never ending source of inspiration.

Other than wanting to be a Jedi, having my own Iron Man suit and many others, I wanted to go out and catch Pokémon. The card and GameBoy games were the closest I could get. It was fine but growing up, I realised how silly it was.

It still is.

Yet here I am, 20 years later, actually doing it. Granted, it’s on my phone but I’m going out, meeting people, discovering places I had no idea even existed after seven years in Manchester.

This whole thing has sparked something in me. I’m doing more exercise, reliving a dream and finding motivation for other endeavours I’m working on (the books I’ve been putting off editing). If that’s only thing it does, I’ll still count the whole experience as a win for me.

In the end, it might wear off, but hey, why not enjoy it while it lasts?

The opposing view

An example of the map in Pokémon Go

An example of the map in Pokémon Go

I’ve seen a lot of people bashing Pokémon Go and for the life of me, I don’t understand why. Apparently it’s sad that people walk around staring at their phones – yet we do that anyway with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram etc. We LIVE on phones nowadays, for better or worse.

I’m firmly on the side of Pokémon Go, whether people like or not. It’s done good for plenty of people – why not focus on that?

So here are just a few points I raise to people:

People are now playing games and getting exercise – it beats sitting on your backside playing Candy Crush or that ilk (note: I have nothing against those kinds of games, but I’m not bashing them either.

How many kids have the phones and/or data allowance to play this game properly? Granted, this is becoming an obsolete point but parents also won’t them wander the streets alone at all hours with expensive devices. I hope.

Twenty years ago, most of these kids weren’t even born! If this is aimed at younger generations, why not choose a later generation of Pokémon that they’re more familiar with? The first generation brought the kids in as it’s a brand they know but also mine, as we remember them!

Another note – I realised I could still name most, if not all, of the original 151.

Instead of going out of your way to bash it, decide it’s not for you and move on. Unless people are trespassing on your property or interrupting your life, they aren’t hurting you. Get over it.

Why it even matters

The Gyarados took a long time to evolve...the second one won't take as long!

The Gyarados took a long time to evolve…the second one won’t take as long!

In the end, none of this does. I’ve rekindled something that I hope will help me in the future. It’s spawning new ideas already – although I need to get the books I’ve got in good order before writing more.

More importantly, I feel better. The extra exercise is doing me good (remember that swimming thing I started a while back? It’s still going on) and my jeans are very loose on me now. Woo!

Sure, the game is a bit of a grind but there’s a nice feeling of accomplishment when you get things done – that Gyarados took FOREVER.

I suppose, we just need to focus on the good more than the bad. There’s plenty of both around and it colours how we see the world and the people in it. My writing may be dark at times, but it’s not always negative.

Next time, I’ll be back to writing related posts. Ciao!

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One comment on “Reliving a Childhood Dream with Pokémon Go

  1. […] tangent this time but this one, arguably, has more of a relevance to my writing than the Pokémon Go post two weeks ago. This time, I want to discuss No Man’s Sky, a game I have been looking forward to […]

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