When I found out I could play Pokémon Go here my brain froze for a second. You’re telling me I can freaking catch Pokémon in real life? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MON – wait, what? I can do this for free?? I think I died briefly. I did not waste time downloading that app (yes, I know Ghana isn’t supposed to have it but this is the Internet era. There are Ways And Means), and I did not waste time beginning my Pokéquest.
Charmander, I choose you!
After almost a week of playing however, I have uninstalled Pokémon Go, despite being a fan and really enjoying the game. But before I tell you why let me tell you about yesterday.
So, yesterday morning I woke up at 7:30am and was out of the house at 8:00am hunting Pokémon. Thankfully, the servers were behaving (Niantic if your servers dey crash ah wear them seat belt, eh. Logic🙄) and the game ran smoother than it ever has. Armed with a fully charged power bank I took a trotro to the only gym and Pokéstops in my proximity, three churches about six miles away. I roamed in circles for long enough to look like a mad man but it wasn’t my hood so I wasn’t worried. I played for a while, caught quite a few Pokémon, trained at the Valor gym (which was frustrating because it was guarded by a high-CP Pinsir) then headed back to my hood. I knew where I was going. I was going to this place:
I was going to see if I could catch flying Pokémon at the top of the thing. I mean, flying Pokémon will be in the air, or?
The funny thing is, I’ve been meaning to visit this site for at least six years, but before Pokémon Go I never bothered. This game eh? I saw parts of my hood I didn’t know existed in the eight years I’ve lived here.
To my chagrin (I tried to think of a Pokémon pun for that. How about charman-grin? No? Ok), the security said no one’s allowed up the machine. He did give me a tour though. Now I know how bitumen is made. Yay Pokémon, enabling on-site education!
I wandered around catching Doduos for a while, evolved one into a Dodrio, then headed back to the gym to see if Dodrio could beat that damn Pinsir (he could not).
I checked the time and it was 2:00pm. I had just spent six hours of my life hunting for imaginary pocket monsters. It was at this point that I realized this could not continue. I quietly uninstalled the game, got on a trotro back home, and just reflected on my life choices. I mean, if I had spent the last six hours on something more … productive, I’d have something to show for it. All I had were imaginary pocket monsters. I was kind of torn up inside, because Pokémon really meant a lot to me.
A lot of people who don’t understand the hype never played Pokémon when they were younger. Pokémon was a big deal for me growing up. My earliest memories of it are from third or fourth grade at least, when the other kids with their Gameboy Colors wouldn’t let me play, and I had no clue where to buy the trading cards they brought to school to battle with. I just remember it being the coolest thing my nine-year old brain had ever seen. Later my sister got me Pokémon Stadium for the Nintendo 64. I was addicted by now; I was reading the Tracey West Pokémon chapter books, and I read the Pokémon handbook till the covers fell off.
In my early teens I figured out how emulators worked and played a lot of the original games on my computer. Pokémon Gold was epic. I remember beating Red on Mt. Silver;
that was like, the highlight of my year (I’m exaggerating, but you get the point). It’s got a lot of hype because it meant a lot to us when we were younger. We all secretly wished we could travel the land catching Pokémon for realz, and now we can. Sort of.
But I can’t justify playing this game. First off it takes way too much dedication. Yes, it gets you to exercise, but I have a running app for that. Yes, it gets you to go outside and (maybe) socialize, but I have a social life. I leave the house two whole times a week, like a party animal. I just think it’s a little too escapist for twenty- and thirty-year olds to be so invested in this game. Trying to recapture the nostalgia of ten years ago and live out a childhood fantasy is not enough motivation for me to continue playing; I have present-day goals, and I gotta catch ‘em all. This is not a knock on any of those playing, far from it. I’m talking about my own experience. Feel free to walk around in circles trying to find Caterpie, it’s your life.
Also, this girl I’m into thinks it’s really lame.
Pokémon Go is a fun experience, but until they release Pokémon Stay-In-Your-House-And-Have-A-Life, I think I’m done.
This post makes some great points too. Check it.