In Defense Of Pokemon Go

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week, you've likely heard of Pokemon Go.

The app has been taking the world by storm after it's US release late last week, with people from other countries frantically looking for way to catch em all. While there have been their problems, the game has helped Nintendo earn $9 billion in a single week, making it a success.

But, like all things in life, there have been detractors. In fact, if you're not playing Pokemon Go, you're probably on social media making fun of everyone who is playing Pokemon Go. I can definitely understand some frustration, as I banned my staff at work from playing Pokemon Go unless they meet their sales targets for the day (and I'm sure other workplace managers share that sentiment), but it seems like the more people enjoy the game, the louder the non-players get.  After all, if you're not loudly shouting on social media about why you don't want to do something, how will everyone know how outraged you are that other people are having fun?

Perhaps those mocking the app could appreciate a different perspective, one that might help them see the benefits of the game.

1. People are going OUTSIDE. You see all of the memes about how kids used to go outside, well, now they're outside! They're working together, in teams, outside in the fresh air playing Pokemon Go. People are checking out landmarks that they may not have known about before. Which brings me to my next point...

2. Pokemon Go helps local businesses. That Pokestop might be a local restaurant or store that you have walked by a million times and never gone in. But now, you might be more inclined to go in. Sure, it's just to catch the Pokemon, but you can't catch em all without purchase. To you, it's just a Seel or a Pidgey, but to them, it keeps the lights on for a little while longer and maybe, you'll find your new favourite local haunt. 

3. People are getting active. Some people are walking as far as 24 KM a day to catch Pokemon. People are adding Pokemon Go to their jogging and cycling routes. People are hiking and checking out nature to find Pokemon. In a society where people are prone to binge watch Netflix and eat chips, anything that gets people outside and moving is only a good thing (but please look up from your phones sometimes. Safety first).

But most importantly, who cares? If you don't want to play, don't play. Chances are, you have your own geeky interests. Maybe you play Magic: The Gathering, or Fantasy Football. Maybe you spend a lot of time telling some German through a microphone all sorts of horrible things about his mother while playing Call of Duty. Maybe you watch WWE programming every week, or spend hours staring into your phone playing Candy Crush. Everyone has something that they enjoy and if Pokemon Go isn't for you, then don't play it. Let others have their fun and you enjoy the stuff that makes you happy.

So, while maybe hunting for Pokemon at a graveyard or a Auschwitz isn't the best idea, but Pokemon Go is a fun way to be active and learn patience and teamwork. If you don't want to play, then don't play. I promise it won't ruin your life if other people want to catch em all.

Published by Mary-Helen Clark


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