Before I really dive into the psyche of Pokemon, let me first give you background. I never played the game growing up. I collected Pokemon cards, just as I did baseball, basketball and hockey cards when I was in my formative years. I also collected beer bottle-caps for a reason that even I can't remember. I liked have the cards, yet I never played the Gameboy games. Too mainstream for me back in 1998. I hated collecting the cards because I had extremely bad luck when it came to getting the famed 'holographic' cards. It honestly took me forever to get my first one, and when it finally happened, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. This may seem petty but when you were the last kid in the neighborhood to get a shiny holographic card and you didn't have more than a dollar to spend on packs of cards because you had no job, it was frustrating. Pack after pack of cards I'd be let down, get so angry that water would well up in my eye balls and I'd normally stamp my foot in disgust and ask God why I had failed miserably at the 1 in 3 odds of getting a holographic card. To be fair, the run of bad luck in getting said holographic card was very impressive. It took me about 10 months to finally get a Dragonite from a pack my Godmother Trish got me for Halloween, and I was so excited I called her that very night to thank her for lifting this curse. Looking back on it now, I think I just pinpointed the reason of why I never played the Pokemon video games. That's the most use my psych degree has gotten me.
|The joy this card brought me was unreal.|
Flash forward to July of 2016 and Pokemon is hotter than Jessica Simpson circa 2004. Nintendo is brilliant for doing this, as they played the nostalgia card. By using the original 150 Pokemon of the 90's, they were tugging at the heart strings of the 90's youth, who, let's face it, really have a hard time letting go of their childhood. We are the reason that 'Fuller House' is around. I don't remember youth of the 80's needing a sitcom 20 years later called "Family Matters....Still!" or "Miami Vice-r". I'm as guilty as everyone else, but we cannot get away from our childhood shows. Maybe we had it better than everyone else. We still want to know what happened to Hey Arnold's parents (scurvy?) and what the hell was in that briefcase in Pulp Fiction (Hot Pockets?). All of my friends still care deeply about Mario Kart, just like I do about playing Crash Bandicoot on my PlayStation (see, I didn't even need to write a number after it, I'm talkin' OG). So anywho, Pokemon is back, and for the first time ever, I felt the urge to download it and finally give it a go. It was time. I wanted to finally play Pokemon after resisting all these years.
What a week it's been.
I think the proper way to go about this is with pros and cons. I haven't made a pros and cons list since debating the final 3 girls on the Bachelor 2 years ago, so this should be fun.
Pro 1: Meeting new people! I honestly haven't talked to this many strangers over the past week since I moved into college freshman year. Everyone is out and about playing this damn thing and everyone is just so friendly, meeting people at various 'Pokestops' and areas that are chock full o' pokemon.
Con 1: The fact that there are bad people out there waiting for people to show up to various 'Pokestops' and robbing them at gun point :-( Womp Womp. That's probably not worth the Slowpoke you were trying to catch.
Pro 2: Exercise! Boy I'll tell ya, really nice to get out there in the neighborhood and stretch your gams, checking out new areas of your hood and finding various Pokeballs and stuff. Does the body some good!
Con 2: Running around is swell, but not when you're face is glued to your phone. Some poor idiot (not me, I swear...okay, maybe me) ran into a mailbox the other day. I'm starting to worry about people running into really bad areas and getting into trouble. Oh wait, yeah, forgot about that whole story where a girl up in Wyoming discovered a body floating in a river while retrieving a Pokemon. Hope all that emotional scarring was worth the Poliwhirl!
|Poor Guy Getting Hit By A Girl Named Reality|
Pro 3: Meeting girls/guys while playing Pokemon Go!
Con 3: Never talking to girls/guys after the fact, because you're the type of person to only meet girls/guys by playing Pokemon Go.
Pro 4: Being reintroduced to a beloved character from your childhood, like Psyduck!
Con 4: Realizing that as an adult you can absolutely relate to Psyduck, and spend as much time grabbing your own head in a stressful, panic-induced manner as you realize you're doomed in the real world, and thinking man Psyduck was onto something there. Honestly, for a lovable character, Psyduck is a dose of reality. He's like an animated coping mechanism of the real world pressure entering all of the 90's kids world, and all we know is to clutch our head and run around before we go mad.
Pro 5: The game gives you a reason to say that you "went to a gym"
Con 5: Much like gyms in real life, I'm only focused on catching the damn things and not actually bothering to go to a 'gym' and battling other Pokemon. Art imitating life.
Yikes. Talk about a blessing and a curse.
Things will be calming down over the next couple months with Pokemon Go. I think that is to be expected. Sure, this is a fad that has been discussed in all sorts of different platforms over the past week, and I'm sure South Park will make an episode about this old-new again craze in the next couple months (I mean, honestly, this is a total lay up for a great South Park episode), but soon we'll be moving on to something else. What intrigues me about this fad is that for once we got to catch a glimpse of something from the past get recreated in today's world of social media. I've had conversations with friends in the past of like "Imagine if social media was around when the Titanic sank" or "How big of a douche would John Lennon have been on Twitter?" Oh man, imagine the possibilities TRL could have had with Twitter and Snapchat? It's weird to think about people tweeting, snapchatting and making Facebook posts about stuff that happened pre-social media, but here we are with a craze that came out in the 1996, only to see it die and come back in full force in the social media age, and it honestly feels brand new. Whoa that went pretty deep into Pokemon.
Who knows where it'll end up the next couple of months. People are already getting tired of certain things about the game. People are finding Zubat's and Drowzee's everywhere and they feel like it's the equivalent of seeing a bunch of jackasses from high school posting their political thoughts on facebook: no need for more. I hope to hear more weird stories about people getting phones taken from them and chucked into rivers by angry old men who won't let them into their yards. I want to hear stories of people pranking people by sending them to weird parts of town by claiming there was a Charizard over there. I'm kind of saddened that there isn't a contest held by Nintendo that the first person to discover a Mewtwo (Buckingham Palace? Area 51? The East Providence Library? Who knows!) gets a prize of a million bucks or so. This game is sadly addicting, yet it could still be so much better. I have no shame in playing Pokemon Go, but I doubt I'll be saying that in 3 months.
In the end, happy Poke-hunting. I hope you all avoid real life problems like getting hit by cars, as you chase after your Augmented Reality dreams like capturing Snorlax.
What a time to be alive. This was good. It was nice getting things back out there on the blog. Already I feel in the mood to blog about my next topic: the unofficial guide to Karaoke. Until then, here is my song of the blog: The Spins by Pottymouth.
'Til next time.