My Pokémon GO Experience // Lifestyle


Hey cats!

Yes I know, another person bringing up Pokémon GO. It's everywhere and I'm sure many of you are sick of it, but as it's current and I want to use this blog as a place for memories to look back on, I really wanted to write something about how I've experienced this app. Plus the fact I adored Pokémon when I was younger (and still do), I'd watch the TV show every morning before school, play the Gameboy games, read the comics, collect the cards, the whole shebang! I got the app as an ode to my childhood and I guess that's also why I'm writing this post.

The Facts

  • I downloaded the app just over a week ago 
  • I'm currently Level 10 
  • I have 35 Pokémon from the Pokédex, 60 Pokémon in total and 9 eggs 
  • I've walked 12.4km so far and visited 99 Pokéstops 
  • I picked Team Mystic because it had the word 'mystic' in it & I still don't know what the importance is of being on a team 
  • I haven't been to a Gym and battled anyone yet

Pokémon in my world

I downloaded the app in a moment of absolute boredom one evening and to start with I was underwhelmed. Naturally a lot of this was down to not really understanding the point of the app despite it being all over my Facebook feed 24/7. I sat at my computer with it open to the side of me wondering where all the Pokémon were, since so many people had put up pictures of the little monsters hiding all around their home. I closed it, disappointed and frustrated. This is usually my attitude towards any kind of newness or change. 

The weekend came around so my parents and I ventured to Cheshire Oaks as you do. I decided that this was the best time to give Pokémon GO a real shot and this time I wasn't as unenthused. I walked around, excited every time a Drowzee or Rattata would pop up and frustrated that the lurking Zubat wouldn't show itself. It was also my first experience of Pokéstops; I tried to figure out where each one would be on our walk round. As we settled down for breakfast naturally I'd peaked my parents' interest. My Dad asked what the aim was, I replied "to catch them all, and be the very best"...he just grinned at me for the rest of the day. My Mum got me to explain all I knew to her so far about the app, showing her what to do. She contemplated downloading it for all the times she's waiting around at the hospital with my Grandpa. She still hasn't got it but I keep trying to get her to come on Poké success yet but I don't plan on giving up! 

Long story short, I had a great day. All the times I would usually be waiting around bored whilst my parents were in shops I didn't like, I spent entertained. All the shops I would tend to go in and buy from for the sake of it I avoided, eager to stay outside and enjoy the weather (and catch Pokémon of course). I also noticed that I was much less anxious when I was out because the app gave me something to focus on, goals to achieve, places to get to. I'm thankful to have a tool to curb both my spending and my anxiety to some extent.

Typically that Saturday was the day the servers went down in the afternoon for around 4-5 hours. Naturally I was fuming, I'd only just started the game and as soon as I join, the app nosedives. I was beyond frustrated, especially since I'd planned to have a walk around my estate once we got home. I'd been looking forward to getting outside and actually experiencing the weather more, rather than sitting inside and resuming my usual hermit status. If the servers went down now, I don't think I'd be too bothered even if I'd planned to walk. I would still go out.

Fast-forward to the next week, I'm being teased by my boyfriend for finally giving in to the trend and bugging him to go for a walk. I was only joking (sort of). Then after stuffing myself with a full portion of veggie chow mein he exclaims "Come on then! Lets go for that walk". Cue lots of whingeing from me about my stomach/not wanting to be bothered/it's 7pm lets just watch Netflix; 10 minutes later I'd been shuffled out of the house on a Pokéwalk. The weather was roasting and we didn't think we'd be out long.

At 9.30pm we got home. Naturally of course there was that element of low-level fear during our walk about being mugged & I was cautious not to keep my phone out at all times. We'd been up and down the town, seen places we'd never been to despite living in the area our whole lives, smiling at others also on the game, we saw parents & children running around laughing together and by the time we were heading back I felt so free that I didn't want to go home. In truth I spent more time enjoying the walk than the app, but if it hadn't been for the app existing in the first place then neither of us would have left the house, as bad as it may sound we'd have had no reason to. We also spent half an hour round at a friend's house when we passed by on our walk, again another sociable activity that wouldn't have normally happened. 

I've been pushing myself to be more sociable lately anyway but I do think this app has aided me and others in my life in doing so. Just the other day I went out with a close friend on the pretense of not only spending time together but also getting ourselves to Pokéstops (she was in dire need of Pokéballs and I needed to hatch eggs), enjoying the last bit of warm weather that we'd been blessed with. I had a wonderful time seeing her, spending time together and guess what? I got another damn Pidgey! 

Naturally an app like this appeals to my hoarding tendencies in collecting everything I can like items, Pokémon & eggs without me doing real damage to myself. I have no interest in spending money on an app, I never have and never will. I'm not so much interested in the battling aspect and I'm put off from hearing people's bad experiences. I'd rather not have my memories of Gameboy battles tarnished by a poor battle system. Maybe when I finally do get round to battling then all the glitches will have been ironed out.

Pokémon in the real world

Time for the more opinionated bit I guess. I'll start with the bad and end on a high. The game itself is far from perfect, and that does ruin the enjoyment somewhat. The developers have a long way to go in making this app reach it's full potential. I also worry about the lack of awareness/warnings around making sure people use it safely. Not everyone is your friend, people have been mugged for their phones, people have gotten hurt from not paying attention. Many may be getting themselves into a pickle money-wise by spending on the game rather than walking to get more items. Parents need to keep vigilant that if their children are using it, they're using it supervised.

I've seen many people being rude to others, saying it's sad that they're playing it, telling people it's a children's game. I feel it's for everyone, especially when rarer Pokémon can be found at night and I don't think the developers really had it in mind that 8 years olds would be wandering the streets at 12am. At the end of the day if you don't like it, it's not your cup of tea and you don't have anything nice or constructive to contribute, I think you're better off not using your energy to slag off and try to bring people down for enjoying something. To those who are unnecessarily impolite to Pokémon GO players, maybe find something you enjoy to focus on rather than pushing your negative vibes onto a creation that may just have gotten someone out of bed that morning, may have helped someone lonely make a connection, may have helped someone to overcome their anxiety that tiny bit more or may have just become the starting point in someone's new exercise routine.

Yes there's complaint that places such as museums & art galleries should have enough lure (puntastic) without the need for an app. At the end of the day the people that will go off their own back will go regardless, and those playing Pokémon GO who wouldn't usually go may end up there for the first time and experience something great. Who really cares if it's actually getting people active and exploring? I've heard of many great things be bourn out of this app. I've seen countless events go up on Facebook for Pokémon GO parties & meet-ups; I'm all for something that bring people together and promotes positivity. From an eco-friendly standpoint this app may encourage more people to walk to work or to the shops rather than using their cars; in my personal opinion there needs to be more focus on making & using things like this to help save our planet and our earthlings! Plus the fact, play is an important human urge no matter what age and Pokémon has brought that in the form of an imaginary getaway merged with the real world, after all don't we all need an escape sometimes? 

The takeaway point:

Young or old, age is irrelevant in relation to imagination. A special thanks to my fave lady for encouraging me to write this post <3

Positive vibes all round whether you like the app or not! Please, be kind to one another. 

Where do you stand on the Pokémon GO hype? I'd be really interested in hearing your opinion!

Stay curious

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