In 1995, Pocket Monsters, or Pokémon, was created, and we have been growing up with the franchise ever since. Growing up, I was quite infatuated with this game and I wanted to be the very best like millions of other people. Like many of my peers, I didn't keep up with the new handheld game systems that Nintendo kept creating for the new Pokémon games and so I haven't been able to play a new Pokémon game in years. Until now that it's available on my phone with Pokémon Go.
In this era, there are very few people without smart phones and that's where they got me. As soon as I heard about it, I downloaded the application and began to play. Well, once the servers stopped crashing. Once you can play, you catch them all again and again. Unlike the actual Pokémon games, in order to evolve your Pokémon you need a certain amount of candy. How do you get said candy? Simple. Catch that Pokémon a lot. Before you know it, you are walking around with your head in your phone trying to find another Eevee so you can evolve the Eevee with the highest experience at random.
On Friday, my friend who also plays Pokémon Go and I went out to dinner. The restaurant that we were staying at happened to be a Poke Stop and we spent our dinner with our phones on the table and our conversation consisted of what Pokémons we saw and what level they happened to be. It was a nightmare for anyone who argues that technology is putting a wedge into being in the moment. The more you play, the more experience you can have, and the more you are walking around with your head in your phone. But while you are playing the game, it is like you are a kid again, playing Pokémon for the very first time. Except this time, you feel like you are a real live Pokémon trainer. The app uses your camera so it's like there is an actual Pokémon in front of you. You become addicted very quickly because it is so gosh darn fun and you just need to catch them all.
The thing about Pokémon Go is that it steals your phone battery and your data, and it gets you to walk a lot. It gets you to get out of your room and walk to find Pokémon, Poke stops, and gyms. Every day that I have played Pokémon Go, I have beat my walking goal for the day. I have also loitered quite a bit in order to catch a lot more Pokémons and to beat gyms.
The game has been available for less than a week and people are already getting hurt playing Pokémon Go, despite the warning page that shows up every time you play the game. Tennessee's Department of Safety and Homeland Security has already made a poster about it.
It's an amazing game, and that's the problem. We are already getting wrapped up in our phones trying to catch them all even when we are driving, dining, or discussing. As fun and real as it seems, we need to remember that it is just a game. The Pokémon really aren't going anywhere, but your summer is.