When I was 5 years old, I would sneak into my older brother’s room while he was away and play his Game Boy. I didn’t have a system of my own at the time and my brother wouldn’t let me play his, so I would take on this covert gaming operation anytime I got the chance. Although there were several games I could choose from, I found I was drawn to the bright yellow cartridge of Pokémon Yellow. I would only play in short bursts and I would never save my progress—I couldn’t have my brother finding out what I had done—but little did I know that those gaming sessions of capturing tiny monsters would be developing in me a deep love of Pokémon.
Flash forward 16 years, and Pokémon has changed drastically. 570 additional Pokémon to catch, 3D graphics, the ability to battle and trade Pokémon with your friends from anywhere in the world; while the basic game remains the same, it's evolved into something almost entirely different from where it started. However, one element of Pokémon has remained constant: the emphasis on catching them all. It goes without saying that with the release of Pokémon Go just a few weeks ago, players are trying to fill up their Pokédexes as much as they can. But as much as I've been told that I've "gotta catch 'em all," I'm not going to.
Over my years of gaming, I've probably caught every Pokémon in some form, but I've never actually completed a Pokédex. It's not that I haven't tried, but at some point in every Pokémon journey I give up. After only two weeks of playing Pokémon Go, I know that eventually, I'm going to give up on catching them all. Yes, there are only 150 Pokémon available to catch in Pokémon Go, but I'm not going to do it. I simply play the game too lazy.
I know what you're thinking: "How do play a game about leaving your house and being active lazy?" Well, to tell the truth, I don't play Pokémon Go the way it's meant to be played. Instead of searching around town for new Pokémon, I'll check to see what's around while I'm waiting in line at the movie theater. Instead of taking walks with the purpose of hatching egg, I open the app while I'm at the grocery store to increase my steps. I want to do more. I really do. But I don't have the time to play any more actively than I do. Working a full-time summer job doesn't give me much opportunity to fill up my Pokédex. By the time I'm done working for the day, I just want to go home and sleep, not wander around town looking for Pokémon.
Even if I wanted to search my town for Pokémon, I wouldn't be able to find much more than what I already have. I live in a small town of fewer than 2000 people. If I want to catch anything more that the abundance of Pidgeys and Rattatas that I already have, I would have to travel at least 20 miles to the nearest city, and even then there's not much of a variety. To truly catch them all, I would have to travel the world, as there are three Pokémon that can't currently be caught in the United States. This doesn't even account for the five Pokémon that currently aren't available at all.
If you have the time and energy to catch all 150 Pokémon, that's great. You're doing something I wish I could do. If you're like me and you don't plan on catching them all anytime soon, that's fine, too. No matter how you're playing Pokémon Go, just have fun with it. That's why it was made, so why not play it that way?