We work. We play. If we don’t do both, we’ll wind up either broke or miserable. That’s why when Pokemon Go launched the other day, I hopped on board, even though I never really played Pokemon previously.
I am aware of the potential hazards of playing this game, which requires one move about in the real world. There are already reports of injuries as a result of people not paying attention to their actual surroundings. There will always be ignorant people, regardless of the distraction used while walking, biking or driving.
Pokemon Go, though, is lots of fun and educational, too. For those who spend plenty of time in meetings and sitting at a desk, it can serve as great motivation to get out and play. Here are some key benefits:
You’ll get moving. While you can drive to to PokeStops and PokeGyms, you’ll need to move more slowly (get out of the car and walk) to actually visit them through the game. You’ll also need to walk if you want to incubate eggs (rather than having to pay for incubation). If you want another excuse to get off your duff and log steps, Pokemon Go is it.
You’ll discover cool things. I knew most of the landmarks in my hometown village (where I was when Pokemon Go launched), but I discovered a few I’d never noticed before, as well as several along the outskirts of town. It was pretty cool, too, to see so many registered locations back home, where the population is just over 1,200. Pokemon Go provides a decent history lesson in many areas, and hopefully it will spark interest in learning about non-tagged locations as well.
You’ll find discrepancies. Mostly, these will be places that have changed physically since the landmark was logged (typically in the past four years). For example, a now-closed feed store’s building no longer features a patriotic mural. Not that it’s reason for uproar, but it’s actually interesting to see how things have changed over the years.
- You’ll grab some cool pics. When trying to grab a Pokemon you can be in Augmented Reality (AR) mode. It uses more device resources, but it’s fun capturing a Pokemon blocking the sidewalk or sitting on a chair. Okay, some people have captured them on less desirable “seats,” but you get my point.
You’ll meet people. Pokemon Go definitely has a social aspect. While it’s not required you play alongside others, chances are you’ll meet people on the same quests. Don’t be surprised how many different kinds of people you run into at PokeStops. Many of my friends playing the game are professionals – even one of my city’s council members plays. Most of those I’ve seen playing are not young kids, but rather 20- to 50-somethings.
You’ll laugh. Pokemons, even the ugliest ones, are pretty darned cute. Especially when the are positioned well within the real world. Enough said.
If you’re thinking of playing Pokemon Go, I’ll say that while there are already thousands of web pages devoted to telling you how it’s played, there is still a lot for everyone to learn. I suggest reading up on the basics, but also learning some things as you go. After all, what fun is there in having someone else tell you exactly how to play? And, by all means, if you just want to have some fun discovering new places and taking cool pictures of Pokemons, there’s no rule that you must battle with or trade Pokemons. Play however you want – just have some good, safe fun!