'Pokémon Go!' From An Outsider
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'Pokémon Go!' From An Outsider

I have yet to download the app, but it still seems pretty great.

'Pokémon Go!' From An Outsider

I never played "Pokémon" games while growing up. I watched the show when I was like, five, but I never played any games or kept up with the series. Therefore when the new "Pokémon Go" app came out, I was unaware and uninterested. When my co-worker told me that she deleted apps and pictures off of her phone so that she would have enough memory to download the game I was skeptical.

Then, slowly, everyone I knew began to get it. Starting with a few friends who mentioned that they had always played the "Pokémon" games while growing up, and soon transitioning to people like my brother who just wanted to see what the big deal was. As someone who still has yet to download the app, I have to say that I’m impressed, but also unsurprised by the size of the audience the new app has attracted.

Considering the dozens of "Pokémon" games that have been released throughout my lifetime, and the general modernity of the game, despite how old the television series is (well not that old, but 1995 is my entire lifetime), the popularity of the series has managed to remain very current.

I will say it was amazing seeing just how far the game has stretched. Ever since its release just a few days ago, whenever I see a person around my age with their phone out, they seem to be playing the game rather than texting or Snapchatting (something I’m not used to encountering).

The other night I went to a local café with some friends of mine and saw two 20-something year-olds sitting by the side casually sliding their phone cameras around the room. I was about to comment to my friends about how creepy these people were being, when suddenly one of them turned and revealed their screen, which displayed the game brightly. Although I was surprised to be seeing someone playing the game so quickly after being introduced to it, I wasn’t shocked to see that it was popular among young adults.

Then, I was introduced to a "Pokémon" hot spot. Without the app on my phone, I went to Lake Eola with a friend of mine who has recently become obsessed with the fact that she’s got to catch them all, of course. Several points at Lake Eola were marked as "Pokémon" hot spots, meaning that Pokémon were drawn to certain locations, making them easily accessible. As we neared these hot spots, suddenly the crowd thickened and my friend and I were met by nearly 100-plus young adults, all of them holding their phones in the air while they attempted to capture the invisible creatures on their phone screens.

Not only were we encountering dozens of other people doing the same thing we were doing, but also we were all suddenly drawn together by this common thread. In any normal situation we might have walked through the crowd and not said anything to anyone, this time people joyfully remarked us as I stood there while my friend captured her Pokémon, commenting on the swarming bugs and the absurdity of it all. When I pulled out my phone to email a professor of mine, a group of people passing by said, “Look they’re both playing 'Pokémon,' that’s what’s up!”

So, while I will probably never understand the obsession behind this game, I think it’s great that it’s able to pull people together in such a way. My generation can really be defined by something like the "Pokémon" series, and now that locating people who have the same interests as you has become so easy, it’s simpler to communicate with others. All I’ve heard about is how people have made friends by going around and bonding with other "Pokémon Go" players. I mean, any app that gets you moving around and making friends can’t be bad, right?

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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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