Yes…. I too am part of the Pokemon craze that is currently sweeping the nation. Do I care that it’s a child’s cartoon; no. Pokemon was one of the first Japanese cartoons to finally make it to the states; as a child who spent a good many developmental years overseas in Okinawa, Japan, I grew up with anime, Godzilla and the less-sweet Japanese candy.
You seriously have no idea how excited I was the first time I saw Pocky on the shelf. My friends thought I was nuts.
Anyway, back when Pokemon made it’s debut here in the states, I was a teen, and thus to old and attempting (and failing) to be too cool for a silly thing like Pokemon. Even though, behind closed doors I still watched it and played the card game with my younger brother…. and when the movies came to theaters…. guess who was the only one willing to take my little brother to see them…. you guessed it. Me.
All in the name of sisterly duty, of course…..
Now, I’m in my thirty’s and I have hit the ‘I don’t give a shit’ phase of my life; so I can do all the nerdy, geeky things that I never would have attempted out of embarrassment a decade ago.
Anyone who says bullying doesn’t leave a lasting impression; take note…. you’re in denial. It left enough of an impression that it is only now, nearly two decades later, that I’m able to cast off some of the baggage I’ve been carrying round from the bullying I received when I was in 6th grade. Not all of it, Goddess forbid that my pants ride up past my ankles when I sit down; but I can now geek out about the things I love without feeling embarrassed by it.
Partly because being a ‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’ has become more socially acceptable.
So now I can proudly proclaim that YES! I AM A POKEMON TRAINER!
And I really don’t give two shits what you think about that. So 😛
Ah… how enlightening.
Anywho, for those who have had their head under a rock for the last week and are wondering what the F*** I’m talking about; I’m referring to the recent launch of the AR mobile app game: Pokemon Go! A game where players get out and walk around their neighborhoods and ‘capture’ Pokemon. The key to this is that you actually have to get out of your house and WALK AROUND.
*pauses to listen to all the gamers hissing as they are forced into the sunlight for the first time in ages*
So, this game uses the camera on your phone to superimpose the images of pokemon in the real world. I’m not the only one who will tell you that it’s majorly cool. I don’t know a kid in the 2000’s that didn’t want to break out and travel the world as a Pokemon trainer.
And the Pokemon pop up everywhere, in the oddest locations…..without much rhyme or reason. Like, I found these guys at the gym:
And these at my work:
In addition to being able to go out and ‘catch’ these mostly cute creatures; there is of course, another aspect of the game that anyone who is familiar with the series will know is a must in any Pokemon game…… Gym Battles.
If you have any Pokemon knowledge; you’ll notice that each team corresponds with one of the three legendary bird Pokemon:
Now in order to participate in the Gym Battles, you have to join a team.
Then, there’s of course, a few fan based teams/alliances that are attempting to keep things light, carefree and peaceful, because OF-FREAKING-COURSE there are those overly-competitive people out there that want to take things a bit to far.
The first, pulls from the Pokemon 2000 movie and the ancient prophecy that surrounds the legendary bird Pokemon.
“Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice or lightning
Lest these titans wreck destruction upon the world which they clash.
Though water’s great guardian shall rise to quell the fighting,
Alone it’s song will fail.”
This is the Lugia Alliance or Team Harmony
(Now if you’re a Pokemon enthusiast, then you probably know that’s not the WHOLE prophecy; they’re of course missing the part about the world turning to Ash.)
The other fan base team, is kinda a no brainer, because they were iconic. You can’t have Pokemon without…. you guessed it….
Though, so far, most of those claiming to be Team Rocket are using the iconic villians to do more pranks and less actual…..villiany.
In fact there’s even a Team Rocket group that’s more about charity work then villiany; check it out here.
I have to admit; I’ve joined Team Rocket. Just last night my son and I were walking our dog around the outside track at the gym hunting Pokemon, working on hatching the eggs, and all around killing time until my husband got off work. It’s late, after 11pm, and we are NOT the only ones on this track; in fact there’s another family of 6 walking the track too.
We pass them a couple times, when on one pass one of the boys – who is bout my son’s age- calls over and asks if we had caught a Psyduck. To which MY son exclaims, “I TOLD you they were playing too!!!”
Anyway, I had to restart my app, but I told the kid that yea, I had caught a couple. After they passed us, my app loaded and suddenly I realized that there was a Psyduck NEARBY and that was what the kid was asking about…. So, I immediately start looking for the goofy fowl – I want my Golduck dammit.
I quickly find it, and tell my kid, showing him the Psyduck standing next to the fishing lake. He cheers and exclaims, LOUDLY, “WE FOUND THE PSYDUCK!!!!!”
I catch it-because, yea GOLDUCK!- and again my kid cheers, proclaiming loudly that we caught it. To which I exclaim; “TEAM ROCKET BLAST OFF AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT!!!!!” And race off to my car, leaving a stunned kid and a cackling father in my wake.
Back on track; once you’ve chosen one of the 3 main teams, you can then participate in gym battles in one of two ways… Attacking an Enemy gym (or one that defended by a different team) or by Sparring/Defending at a Friendly gym (or a gym that’s defended by one of your own team members).
Sparring with your team mates is a great way to level up your Pokemon, and defending a gym nabs you some cool prizes. Don’t be overly disappointed if your gym is constantly overtaken; it’s going to happen.
Eventually, the game is supposed to roll out neat features like trading options and global leader boards. Also, eventually, there will be mass city wide events to capture rare and legendary Pokemon…. but considering the game is barely a week old, I’ll give the developers a little slack. I’m still attempting to get my 3rd and final Evee evolution still, and haven’t even catch half of the 135 Pokemon that are available at the moment.
Honestly, I’m looking forward to the all the upgrades. It’s unclear how long the craze surrounding this game will go on for. Will it still be popular once everyone’s data bills come in at the end of the month? A month from now, will people still be milling around in-mass at the poke-stops? Who knows….
Personally, it gives me something to do while I walk. I could honestly walk around all day just collecting Pokemon; but sadly the heat drives me inside to the a/c, and both my kid and dog lack the enthusiasm and stamina I seem to possess. Not sure how…. you’d think a 7 yr old and a dog would be able to run circles around a 32 yr old librarian….buuut apparently not.
It makes things doubly interesting since I’m planning on going into the military soon; so I’ll really be ‘travelling across the lands, searching far and wide’ on my Pokemon journey!
So, until next time! Be safe all you fellow Pokemon Trainers! No Catching and Driving!