Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Pokemon Go...

So as anyone who has access to the internet knows that pretty much everyone has suddenly been turned into a group of zombies walking around staring at their smartphones catching Pokemon...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not being a naysayer, most people were a group of zombies before; Only instead of Pokemon we were walking around sending text messages, checking in on Facebook, generally not paying any attention to. I guess nowadays people seem to be incapable of surviving without their Smartphone, myself included.

However this feels different, I guess as all the articles and many people are saying, it's a phenomenon, perhaps it will just turn out to be a fad, but even people I know who never expressed an interest in Pokemon seem to be playing.

In some ways it seems to be promoting a sense of community, or at least conspiratorial smiles between people playing the game, whether some of that comes from a secret shame, or just that happiness to discover other people have a similar interest to you. This alongside the fact that you pretty much have to go outside and exercise in order to achieve things in the game can only be positives.

Surprisingly it came to Japan; home of the Pocket Monsters, a little later than it did to other places, but when it arrived it seemed everyone was excited. After work on Saturday I walked around Shibuya before meeting friends for dinner. Everyone seemed to be playing it! And there was even a guy walking round dressed as Pikachu!

Now the following comes from an outsiders point of view, but, Japanese people don't often communicate with strangers, in general they're reserved and shy, however I saw groups of strangers communicating with each other, smiling, nodding, even talking to each other, people even smiled at me when they noticed I was playing too, it felt good to be part of something.

Another positive for me is that being new here I'm not sure of all the landmarks and places to see around me, but now with the Pokestops, I've been stopping and looking around trying to find these places of interest. I've actually been paying more attention to my surroundings.

That being said, personally I can already feel the novelty wearing off. The game is time consuming, and I fell like I don't have the time to devote to doing well in the game.

However, I've enjoyed my short time playing it, and I don't think I'll delete it, but I feel like I've done all I wanted to do with the game. I've explored my neighbourhood, I've got several Magikarp, what more can I achieve? World Domination? Not with those damn Magikarp!

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