It has been less than two weeks since the Pokémon Go app was introduced and yet millions of people are playing it! I normally ignore such apparent fads, choosing to wait until people within my circle have engaged with it. I’m not an early adopter type of person! I didn’t get a smartphone until I started my business last year (so proud of keeping a phone that was dumber than me). I didn’t jump on Facebook until peer pressure got the best of me. So why, then, am I so immersed in this game already?
Here’s why . . .
It’s a Simple Game of Collection
The point of this game is simple – collect a wide variety of Pokémon characters. There are many ways to do this which spices up the game for more advanced players. But for those of us who are happy to play along the fringes of the game, we can succeed as well with minimal effort! Yes, it does absorb great quantities of time and battery power. But I’ve found this app is a great amusement for those times that I am waiting in line and looking for something to distract me. The game is not so involved that I can’t put it down as soon as it is time for me to pick up my order at the drive-thru window.
Engaging with Others
I’m amazed at the number of people who are in Downtown Lakeland, day and night, playing this game. Young and old, parents and children, individuals and teams. It doesn’t matter what race, sex, or hairstyle, this game appeals to a broad span of people. What is even more interesting is that most people are happy to answer questions about how they are doing, what characters they’ve found, and helpful hints for progressing in the game. It’s an easy way to engage with others you might not have spoken with before.
Exercise is a “four-letter word” in my dictionary. I’ll find loads of reasons not to move my body if the sole reason is just to move my body. BUT, with the game, the easiest way to get from one Pokéstop to the next in the downtown area is to walk. When you walk with a particular goal, that is just walking, not exercising!
Going to Pokéstops is helpful in the game because you get free items that keep your game moving forward. Pokéstops refresh every 5 minutes so you can go back and forth between stops and rebuild your arsenal of Pokéballs (used to catch Pokémon characters) and other assorted items without paying for them. Plus, Pokéstops bring your attention to interesting landmarks in the area that you might not have seen before.
Another part of the game that rewards walking is the hatching of eggs. Once you progress in the game, you’ll occasionally receive an egg at a Pokéstop. If you put the egg in an incubator, it will hatch after you walk 2, 5, or 10 km, depending upon the egg. Once the egg hatches, you have a new creature for your collection! There is something satisfying in getting an egg to hatch by simply walking around town!
Pokémon Go is a delightful game that is diverting and doesn’t require massive gaming skills. What makes it a phenomenon is that players engage with each other and with the world around them. Players are rewarded for walking around town and visiting various places vs. sitting in one spot staring at a screen all day. Why not jump into the fray? You might surprise yourself at how much fun it is!