Pokemon is inarguably one of the most influential games ever.
Nintendo struck gold with these fanciful superpowered critters. Satoshi Tajiri, the genius behind this franchise, could have never guessed how far things would evolve.
It grew from a groundbreaking 16-bit experience to the first widely successful AR game, Pokemon GO. It has transcended cultures and been wildly successful on every Nintendo console.
When Nintendo first released the Pokemon GO app, I tried it, didn’t get hooked, and deleted it after a day. I’m not enough of a weeb to be in the target demographic, and I prefer to play my video games inside, sitting down.
But the appeal was clear.
I lived in San Jose at the time, and one particular park became nearly impossible to skate through because so many nerds were out there hunting for elusive rare pokemon.
Haters always gonna hate, and a lot of critics made fun of the gamers wandering around, glued to their phones, living in some digital quasi-existence overlaid on the real world.
But those people should just shut up. Pokemon GO is great.
It gives gamers a fun easy outdoor activity to do. It’s also a great connection to a global community of fantasy wildlife enthusiasts. It sounds like a joke, but I want a peaceful global community and I believe Pokemon GO helps get us take a baby step in that direction.
And today, as I just found out, is #PokemonGOCommunityDay! I found this out because on my 6-block walk to the dispensary I passed about 80 people playing the game.
Some were alone, some were in groups of up to 15 people.
I could tell people’s commitment to the game based on the amount of pokemon merch they were wearing and the number of phones and battery packs they carried. One old guy had 4 phones, all plugged into portable battery packs.
Getting nerds outside
Now, I honestly don’t know what’s different or special about Pokemon GO today. Maybe there are more pokemon running around, or some super rare ones like Entei are easier to find. Who knows.
But these people walking around look like they haven’t had much physical activity or exposure to the sun in a long time. It’s a beautiful hot midsummer day, though, and these nerds are out moving their bodies, talking to each other, and getting that sweet Vitamin D.
For that reason, I think Pokemon GO is one of the best things ever to launch in the app store.
Anything that gets people out of their houses and in the sun so effectively is a great invention.
I do worry that these AR games are habituating us to the VR mind control matrix I’ve been researching, but for the time being, I’m glad it exists.
So here’s the verdict:
Even though I don’t use it, Pokemon GO is officially Snaktak Certified to enrich communities and generate happiness!