Different Generations And How One Game Brought Them Together
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Different Generations And How One Game Brought Them Together

PokémonGo: Why I’m catching ‘em all and why you should too.

Different Generations And How One Game Brought Them Together

Have you been outside in, oh, the last week? Have you watched or read the news recently? What about checking social media… have you seen anything… suspicious? Unbelievable? Nostalgic?

Scrolling through my Facebook feed, various news outlets and watching several news broadcasts, I notice a common theme throughout them all: violence, protests, deaths, unlawful arrests, public figures plagiarizing their speeches and drama. This is typically what you will find on the news at any point in time, but it seems to me that this has skyrocketed.

But, along with these bad stories circulating the press, there is also something very peculiar occurring too: the rebirth of Pokémon’s popularity. That’s right, Pokémon is back on the rise. Since its initial release in the mid 1990s, Pokémon has become one of the most successful Japanese franchises in history. Starting as several video games, the franchise has now spanned to a very popular television show, movies, a trading card game and a manga series (Japanese comics), and with the release of PokémonGo, the franchise is now testing the waters of geo-caching.

In case you are not aware of what PokémonGo is, it’s an app that people can download to their phones that uses their GPS location and allows them to hunt for Pokémon. Since the creation of Pokémon themselves, fans of the game have dreamed (at least, I have) that something like this would be created, and now they (we) wait no more.

With the release of PokémonGo, Nintendo’s stock price has increased over 35 percent and has become the most played game internationally. That’s right, a game where you capture tiny little fictional creatures has beaten Call of Duty, and I couldn’t be happier. “Why?,” you may ask? Allow me to tell you how this game has changed my life in the short two weeks I’ve played it.

I have met so many interesting people through this game, in just two weeks. I live in a city with a population of around 21,000 people, so I never thought that this many people would enjoy “nerding out" as much as I do, but I was wrong. At any hour throughout the day (and night) I see people walking around trying to catch these “pocket monsters." I also notice that there is not a general age that has been playing this game. The ages of people I have seen playing this game range from 65+ to just under 10 years old. Wow. This one game is bringing together multiple generations, and guess what?

They’re communicating.

GASP. Communicating?! But don’t people just stare at their phones and aimlessly walk around without having a sense of their surrounding? Sure, you can do that, but I haven’t noticed this too much. What I have noticed is people coming together, talking, and having conversations over something as simple as capturing fictional animals. Strangers are becoming friends, groups are forming and conversation is flowing.

I can honestly say that I have met and made legitimate connections with more people from this app than any “ice breaker” at a conference. I’ve talked with more strangers than I ever have before and formed friendships I never thought possible, all from a simple game mechanic.

PokémonGo's realistic benefits exceed much more than what the developers intended. Generations of people (The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and now iGen) are coming together all because of their love for Pokémon. I'm a huge advocate for this game because of the interactions you will make with other people. Sure, catching Pokémon and battling gyms is really fun, but I enjoy the people I meet along the way more than the actual game itself.

People post statuses about how PokémonGo players are “wasting their time staring at their phones” while they sit inside staring at their computer… meanwhile the rest of us embrace nature and talk with one another face to face. Hypocritical? Maybe. Hilarious? Absolutely.

This game is not for everyone. If you’ve never enjoyed Pokémon, you probably will not enjoy this game. However, this game is not “nerdy” nor “geeky” nor any other stereotype pinned against people who play video games, so stop with the unnecessary negativity.

So, if you’re interested in playing PokémonGo, you should. Not only will you meet some pretty cool individuals, but you will also explore your surroundings.

Oh, and by the way, I’m a level 15 Mystic still attempting to “catch ‘em all." Join me if you want.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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