Pokémon Go: an Outsider’s Perspective

Months ago, my husband started trying to get me to play Pokémon Go. Begging, more like it. He really wanted us to play together so we could go outside and get some much-needed exercise. I, however, am one of the few nerds that has never been a fan of Pokémon. Never. Sure there, are some cute Pokémon (Pokémons? What’s the plural?) out there, but thinking a few of them are cute does not make me a fan by any means.

Still, I think the concept is a good one, and though it’s not the first game of its kind (remember Ingress?) it has exploded with popularity. Young and old alike are venturing out into the world, some for the first time in a very, very long time. Friends are made as members of the same team meet up on the street or at “gyms” to catch and battle Pokémon. It’s getting nerds out and about, getting them exercise, and getting them a little more social. Even some who wouldn’t call themselves nerds are joining in, learning the joys of catching Pokémon and having fun with augmented reality.

It’s a good way to get introverts who may otherwise have sedentary lifestyles to get some exercise, and to possibly meet new friends and be more social. I think that’s very important, and I did go on a walk with my husband the other day while he caught himself some Pokémon (I listened to music instead of playing). So there’s that. It’s a good idea, and I hope that some day they have a similar game that I would enjoy. I’ve tried Zombies, Run! as an exercise motivator, but alas, I’m too out of shape even for that app. Maybe something slower? Like, Zombies Walk at a Leisurely Pace?

Like Ingress, though, I still see the dangers of Pokemasters (is that what you call them? I really am on the outside here lol) with driver’s licenses trying to “catch ’em all” while on the road. It’s not the safest thing, so as an outsider who has concern for her fellow nerds and geeks, keep off the game when driving. I can also see a risk of people tripping and falling because they’re not being aware of their surroundings, or possibly accidentally walking into traffic to get that Charizard. So for all you Pokemasters or Poketrainers or Poke-peeps, keep safe while playing.

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