Words & Photos: @oliverinstead
If you didn’t know, Pokémon GO was released less than a month ago and is causing all kinds of chaos in the world as we speak. In fact, there hasn’t been a day that passed by where I could routinely scrolled through Facebook in the morning without being fed some sort of exaggerated GO-related news. Having given myself some time to digest this phenomenon of an app, I am rolling up my metaphorical sleeves, ready to criticise a few things…
one The starters are pointless.
Remember the olden days when you’d invest so much into your starter ‘mon? How they were a fixture in your main squad? Despite my fear of lizards, I once levelled a Treecko all the way up to Sceptile in a matter of days, yet still managed to go to school in between, and he was absolute boss.
In this version of Pokémon, however, you don’t train your ‘mons to evolve. Instead, you catch and transfer the same species in exchange for candy, which you then use to evolve that particular ‘mon. It doesn’t sound so bad until you realise that the starters are completely useless because they’re so rare, it’s almost impossible to evolve your first ‘mon to the final form. They just sort of, exist.
two What happens to the transferred ‘mons?
Surely I’m not the only one suffering sleepless nights pondering what Professor Willow does to all the unwanted Rattatas and Pidgeys?
three Regional exclusives
Getting a little personal here but Tauros is by far the most underrated ‘mon and definitely a fav of mine from Kanto. The love may stem from the fact that I’m a Taurean but I always struggled to relate when all my friends were creaming themselves over Mew or Jigglypuff or Charizard or Blastoise / when I was just there like “see that steroid-infused bull with three tails? He’s cool.” I hate how Tauros is only available to catch in America… or is it?
Trading couldn’t come sooner… in the meantime, I guess I should start making some American friends?
four It gets boring…
Very quickly. Even though I’ve just clocked in my first ever Geodude today, I’m no longer encountering new ‘mons at the same rate I used to when I first embarked on the journey. Actually, the fact that you cannot catch ’em all can be quite joykilling for someone like me who plays, in no small part, for the sheer nostalgia and goal to fill the Pokédex.
five It brings out the worst in people.
Notice how I say “people” rather than “players“? I find that people who are bothered are often people who have no interest or intention to get involved and yet feel the need to weigh in anyway.
Speaking for myself, I work full-time and curate blog content whenever I’m not, so sue me if I choose to spend 30 minutes daily on a walk outside, get some fresh air and hopefully catch a few digital pets as I go. The point is unless your spare time is dedicated to some humanitarian, lifesaving mission in Africa (salute to your noble soul if that is the case,) you are in NO position to judge what others do with theirs.
Sitting pretty at level 16, with only a handful of candy shy of a Gyarados as well as an arsenal of Dratinis that will make many grown men weep in envy, I feel no shame in admitting that I’m an avid trainer. Personally, Pokémon GO helps me rekindle with my 7-year-old self and remember some of the merrier moments in my childhood.
I strongly believe it’s because of gamers who pay to play, thus keep the gaming industry alive and well (… very well) that children are able to grow up believing in a world where anything is possible. Who cares if it’s fantasy? Fantasising is the only fuel for imagination and as someone who strives to be as creative as my mind allows, I don’t see how this is a problem.