• 46°

The quest to catch ‘em all: The Pokemon Go Universe

By BECKY CRISSMAN

becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

Most anybody that is classified in my list of friends knows that, at heart, I can be a big kid. Frozen is still my favorite Disney movie right now (Yes, I know every word to EVERY song), and well I absolutely love the Minions and Harry Potter.

This week, just like millions of others, I jumped on the “Pokemon Go” bandwagon.

It all began while sitting around last Saturday with my son and some of his friends and one of them suddenly jumps up in excitement to track one of the little critters. I have to admit it peaked my interest pretty quick. So, after cleaning off some unnecessary junk on my phone I downloaded the app and haven’t looked back. I admit, when I captured my first Pokemon I was very excited. What a RUSH!!!! The more I capture the better the feeling and the greater the anticipation of nabbing another one, especially a new one I haven’t seen yet. Every new Pokemon brings with it new tasks to accomplish to get their combat points up and evolve them into beasts of complete destruction that will make other trainers cringe at the very sight of them. 

Today marks one week since I joined “Pokemon Go” mania and I have to admit, I am having a blast. I have already achieved Level 9, I am getting better with my tracking skills, I have my first two eggs in incubators getting close to hatching (about 2 more miles left to walk for the blessed event to occur), I have earned my first three shields, joined TEAM VALOR (red team), and Wednesday night I fought my first battle in a Pokemon Gym and yes, I WON!!!!!!!!! Am I proud of myself? Well DUH, of course I am….

Now, over 10 million people have downloaded “Pokemon Go” making it an international phenomenon. You have to admit it’s funny that Michelle Obama has been pushing relentlessly the last eight years to get kids up and off the couch and outside getting exercise and Nintendo does just that in 24 hours with the release of one game. That is just how hardcore gaming fans can be. They are also loyal to what they do. Heck what’s wrong with that?

Let me paint a picture for you…. Here you have this large, and I do mean LARGE group of people that all enjoy this one interactive game. People are getting out of the house again and getting some exercise, meeting new people, forming new friendships. Pokemon Trainers as we are called, share a unique camaraderie with one another. We get groups of trainers together and go out tracking. Just Wednesday night we had four cars tracking together, mostly my son and some of his friends. We had a blast!!!! It is a great way to bond with the kids.

For the past few days I have stopped to pick up some lunch and sit at a Pokestop and earn some supplies and do some tracking. Every day I have met someone different. Our eyes meet from one vehicle to the next and we share a laugh together when we both realize we are on common ground. In a world rocked by violence, mass shootings and other forms of chaos this one game has united strangers; people of different ages, different genders, different races. They run into each other at the Pokestops and swap stories. They laugh together. They go to the gyms and battle and whether you emerge a victor or suffer defeat, you will come back and battle another day and congratulate your opponent on their success. Now there may be a little trash talk between the teams, but that just makes for good competition. It’s all in good fun. My own son teases me because I have not yet developed the mad skills he seems to have (or thinks he has). I am learning and my CP444 Pidgeot is proof of that. I know to most it just ain’t much, but to me well it is just one of the best feelings.

To my fellow Pokemon Trainers out there, you just keep right on doing what you are doing. Enjoy the game. Keep in mind though, to be respectful of the property of others, and when tracking at area businesses. Above all remember SAFETY FIRST. Now get out there and “catch ‘em all.” Lastly and the most important thing to remember second only to safety is…….. TEAM VALOR FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!