Back in the early 1990s, the Pokémon phenomenon took hold, but you couldn’t get me to pay attention for love nor money. The game delivery system was a token device and the object of the game was to keep your Pokémon alive – no, wait, that was Tamagotchi. Unsurprisingly, I used to confuse the two and then I went through my phase of ignoring anything geeky or nerdy which lasted for almost 20 years.
Well, guess who downloaded Pokémon GO after it officially went live in Canada yesterday?
Resistance being what it is, I found a spot with free WiFi and cleared away half a dozen or so apps on my phone, including Candy Crush Saga and Doctor Who Legacy. (Nothing personal, guys, I’ll start playing again on Facebook as soon as I replace my laptop.) It took me six misses and the intervention of my mister to catch my first Pokémon.
At my age – 44 – it’s ridiculous and crazy to get into a game like this, surely?
Participation couldn’t be simpler: after I broke my right arm twelve years ago and my radial nerve got nicked during surgery, video games using a handheld controller were no longer an option for me from a pain and coordination perspective. All I have to do with Pokémon GO is swipe and tap, swipe and tap. In the approximate 24 hours since I installed it, I have collected 50 Pokémon, mostly Rattatas and Pidgeys, and 9 eggs for hatching. Churches and municipal buildings are excellent PokéStops. My mister was right into being the getaway driver last night because he hadn’t seen me so giddy and passionate about something since he took me to the NH Seacoast during the May Two-Four Weekend and I wet my feet in the ocean for the first time in almost ten years.
I’m now at Level 4 and coming close to becoming a Gym user at Level 5. My teenage daughter is embarrassed by me. My oldest son got his wrist slapped by his pregnant girlfriend today for just downloading the app after she told him that the whole thing was “stupid” and he promised her that he wouldn’t play. I’ll probably cave and get my youngest lad a new tablet so that he has something to do during car trips instead of constantly grilling us about what we’re going to buy to make for dinner a week from this Thursday.
And you know what’s funny? Spend enough time in the virtual Pokémon world and pretty soon everything starts looking like a monster to catch.