Pokémon Go, the augmented reality mobile phone game, is taking the world by storm. We asked one of our flock (a term we have for our lovelies who like to remain anonymous) to share why she is such a fangirl of this game …
It was Tuesday morning when I realised I’d hit rock bottom. I knew I was hooked and I didn’t care anymore. No amount of pleas from my family or threats that this habit could take away my privacy could stop me. As I stood in the food court at my local shopping centre pointing my phone at a concerned pair of senior citizens, I knew I had gone too far. The friggin Zubat would not get in my pokéball and my kids were jumping up and down wanting their turn to catch it. Not this time kids. The elusive Zubat would be mine….and then I ran out of balls. Just like that I’d gone from the dizzying high of catching Charmander in my lounge room to the low of losing all of my pokéballs on a Zubat in the middle of a shopping centre.
While this isn’t the first time I’ve chased imaginary bats in public (that’s a story for another time) it’s the first time I’ve done it with kids in tow. I downloaded Pokemon Go on Monday as a bit of fun for the kids and I during the holidays. The game has quickly taken the world by storm leading to stories of people finding dead bodies, a girl figuring out her boyfriend was cheating on her based on where he’d caught his Pokémon, and a couple’s plea to be left alone after their home was listed as a Pokémon gym.
There have been celebrations of the game as it encourages people to get outside as they attempt to catch em all’ and has some great benefits for mental health. There have also been concerns raised about the developer’s access to personal information.
Now I’m a massive nerd from way back. Give me a TV show with a dragon, zombie or an alien cover up and I’m all over it. I even watched Pokémon when I was a kid (OK I was 23, what can I say, I love Meowth). As soon as I heard about the app I had to download it and I was out the door running after any sign of movement I could see on the screen. With a herd of kids behind me (my two girls and my two nephews) we ran around the street collecting pokéballs and whatever Pokémon we could find. When my sister pulled up at my house we kicked her out of the car and jumped in to get to the other side of the neighbourhood to track down a rare one.
While all of this may sound a little crazy (you are totally right, it’s 100 per cent cray), I can’t explain how much fun we’ve had. And we had it outside, running around together. With kids that range in age from 6-10, it’s tough to find something that everyone is interested in and that’s actually fun. The best part of it, later that night I got a Facetime call from my sister. When I answered it was my 10 year old nephew holding a Pokémon book. He wanted to show me the Pokémon he thought we should catch so that we had a really strong team. While I was on the phone I got another call, it was my other nephew who was in the room next to his brother. He wanted to talk about Pokémon too.
It was so beautiful that we had connected over this crazy game. As the kids get older I don’t know how often this kind of magic will happen, for now I’m hanging on to it as tightly as my pokéballs.
If it feels like you were just reading a foreign language, here’s the down low:
Pokémon – cute little creatures that can be caught and used in battle
Pokémon Go – augmented reality game that allows users to ‘catch and battle’ Pokemon using their smart phones
Pokéballs – red and white balls used to capture Pokémon
Pokémon gym – place to battle Pokémon
Pokéstop – place to stock up on pokéballs
Meowth – slightly evil catlike creature
Zubat – ridiculously hard to catch stupid bat thing
Have you caught the Pokémon Go bug?? Let us know how many you have already caught!