The Rogues Portal team are not immune to the pop culture sensations that come over the world. The latest craze to take over the internet is Pokemon Go from Niantic aka the Pokémon Company. To say that it has merely “come over the world” is the understatement of the year as virtually every single person with a smartphone has downloaded the app in an effort to “Catch ‘Em All” and battle for the top spot at gyms around their respective cities.
Some of the RP team have put together their thoughts on the game so far to share with you. Check them out:
I don’t remember going anywhere in the late 90s/early 2000s without my binder full of Pokémon cards. I wore my bright blue “Gotta catch ‘em all!” t-shirt as often as my mom would wash it. I was featured in the newspaper when I proudly rattled off all the Pokémon from memory. I didn’t miss an episode of the show, the movies, the video games—I was invested. Even though my Pokémon enthusiasm waned over the years as I got older (sigh), this past week I have found myself saying, “No! You will be mine Charmander!” and “Hey, there is a Zubat by your head” and “A Nidoran! In the panty!” You get the idea. Pokémon are back in my life, and I have embraced it. Yesterday while my husband and I took our dogs on a walk, they became confused when we went a different route (one that led to a Pokéstop), when I paused suddenly (a herd of Ponyta appeared in our path), and when I became increasingly frustrated (the server kept crashing on me while managing to work perfectly for my husband). And, it is perhaps this last point that I find most humorous—how Pokémon Go has created a (sometimes not so) quiet competition in our household. Nothing like a rare Pokémon appearing in the house to send two people, quite literally, into a mad race. And lastly, selfishly of course, nothing quite warms my heart like the metaphorical banners, flags, and whistles of geekdom waving and ringing loud and proud this week.
I’ve never owned, operated, or even watched a single Pokémon game in my life, but I decided to install Pokémon Go last Saturday after being bombarded with screenshot after screenshot from every social media feed I own. I was also definitely drunk at the time, which explains why my username in Pokémon Go, All4UDamien, sounds like if The Omen had a theme song performed by Avril Lavigne in the early 2000s. But nevertheless, Pokémon Go is in my life now and I don’t know why. I don’t understand the game and the game makes it very difficult for me to do so. There’s no tutorial, just the game’s equivalent of putting a $5 in your pocket and sending you out in New York City to go make it big. All questions I’ve wanted answered over the last few days I’ve had to field at friends or lookup online; I don’t understand much beyond the game’s basic mechanic of throwing a ball to capture a monster that appears in an AR space through your phone’s camera. Yet, I find myself at work right now (which is like Pokémon Mecca!) opening the app every so often and catching one, or two, or three, or four Pokémon. I know this game is meant for people to, you know, go outside but since I live in a state so hot you can’t land planes here sometimes, sitting in my air conditioned office and playing for up to five minutes a day will suffice for now. Maybe once I join a team, participate in a fight for a gym, or meet more enthusiasts in real life I’ll grow more addicted to the game, but right now I can’t see it as more than a temporary distraction that occasionally overlays imaginary creatures in my otherwise mundane workspace.
Pokémon Go is great for needing that excuse to go outside and get some exercise. Today I saw that there was an Eevee nearby and thought I would just go out for five minutes trying to find it and catch it. An hour later no Eevee but nine other Pokémon and an hour of walking I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Hunting down Pokémon and trying to find them is half of the fun of the game. It is still in its early stages and there are a few issues with it still, but the servers can only get more stable and the updates only making the game better.
I was never caught up in the first craze of Pokémon. I stuck to my Star Wars, super heroes, and video games. But when I saw this app released and saw it was GPS based, I was curious. I downloaded it and right away there was a rat in my front yard, I tossed my ball and caught him. Ok, this is interesting. I’ll play a bit more. A few streets over is the neighborhood pool and it’s a Pokéstop. I can refill and get goodies! Look more weird ass animals I can catch!
Overall, I’m having fun with it. Even though I was never hardcore into Pokémon, I know enough of the characters and background to enjoy the game. My Pokémon suck at the moment and I am debating on changing my name to Willard due to the obscene amount of rattatas I have, but I can’t say I’m not having fun. It’s getting some hate but that’s because it’s always cool to hate something others enjoy. Download the app and check it out for yourself!
Up until July 17, Pokémon Go wasn’t technically available in Canada. That didn’t stop me from acquiring it but I had to work some voodoo magic to make it happen. Honestly, it wasn’t voodoo so much as the process of changing the region settings in my phone, signing up for a new USA iTunes account, changing the App Store region on my phone and then downloading the glorious game and then changing everything back to my normal settings. No big deal. Whatever.
Initially I was SO LOST and that was as someone who had more or less grown up on the original Pokémon games. The concept was similar but also super different and there’s no real explanation to what to do. I had to Google a number of How To guides to really figure out what was what like for instance, the Pokéstops. They made zero sense to me initially until I figured out that you had to spin the image in the Pokéstop to activate them and get items. The throwing system is a bit odd too and the fact that the servers are ALWAYS CRASHING when I catch rare Pokémon (tears forever) drives me insane but to be fair, the servers crash at a number of other inopportune times as well. That being said, it’s a LOT of fun and a great way to encourage people to get out and about in their cities and discover new places and meet new people.
It should be noted that I have no interest in meeting new people whilst playing this game, but I can appreciate those who do. I really want the next update to allow you to add your friends to the game, challenge your friends in battle and to make it so that you can trade Pokémon with them. THAT would make the game have extra lasting value for me to continue on after the initial craze runs its course.