Day 2 of the Blapril post spree has arrived, and with it another quickly thrown together article since I did not plan for this AT ALL! Oh well. Bumbling through stressful stuff is the theme of life in general these days. Just gotta roll with it with a forced smile, no matter how I much I just want to break down and cry, eh!
Today, I’m going to babble a bit about Pokémon GO, the mobile walking game that was insanely popular when it first came out back in 2016, fell off the radar briefly, and then surged-ish again in popularity recently. I remember my boss was obsessed with the game when it first came out, but I was thoroughly uninterested. I mean, as a kid I loved Pokémon Yellow/Blue/Red/Gold/Silver, but the series lost me after the first 251 pocket monsters. Seriously, there are odd household objects passing as Pokémon these days. Well, back in my day…. [rant removed].
So what prompted me to try it out finally in November 2019? (Ah, the pre-corona-pocalypse days. I miss those) I’ll spare you the details of my lonely demiromantic drama, but a cool new friend I really connected with on an asexual dating app mentioned she played it, so I immediately downloaded it so I could have more things to talk to her about. Tee hee! Anyway, I fell for the game instantly when Charmander was the first Pokemon I caught. The flame on his tale is insanely adorable!!
My goal isn’t to catch ’em all or anything, it’s more like I “gotta enjoy accumulating whatever pops up and have fun sending gifts to my friends”. Doesn’t have a nice motto ring to it, but who cares. One of the cool features that got added shortly after I started was a more interactive buddy monster you can take on walks and earn friend levels with. I reached Best Friend level with my original Charmander, just because, and I’m having fun hanging out with my Haunter (soon to be Gengar) now.
In the era before the COVID-19 demon ruled over humanity, I walked about 35km a week as a commute to a work location. I know!! That concept of not working at home, and not treating my fellow humans like virus vectors, seems so weird. But yeah, I already walked a ton so adding an augmented reality game, complete with cute creatures I loved as a kid, to that walk was awesome! I was quite pleased to find out there were 2 Gyms and 4 Pokéstops on my usual route. Here it is about 4 months since I started and I’ve already racked up 687.9km with the game.
My weekly walking stats have taken a significant hit since the coronapocalypse (mostly due to my laziness since I don’t HAVE to walk anymore), but I have been using the need to seek out Pokéstops as motivation to go outside and not rot alone in my apartment prison. Speaking of that virus thing, I have to give props to Niantic for making quick changes to facilitate the need to #StayHome as much as possible.
After the corona updates, Pokémon are spawning like crazy in my apartment, the incense that attracts rare Pokémon lasts an hour, and there were cheap packages of items for sale in the game’s premium currency store.
Of course, you can’t please everyone. Lots of players were still complaining about game’s mechanics not being suitable to quarantine situations, but it is a walking game and you need to go places to play it. That’s just how it is. Having an excuse to get outside for some exercise in a safe socially distanced way is not a bad thing, either, in my opinion.
The game also has these little mission things from Professor dude you can to complete to earn rare monsters, experience, and items. I was stuck on one that required me to catch a Ditto. After the months rolled by without seeing one, I researched online and discovered the tricky little bugger disguises itself as common Pokémon. Not sure if it was part of an April Fool’s event I was unaware of or not, but I finally found one hiding as a mushroom thingy yesterday (I’m refusing to learn the names of anything after the first 250). That was the highlight of my sad quarantined life, let me tell you.
Will I get bored with this game eventually? Probably! For now, it’s nice have an excuse to go to places that aren’t my apartment and seek out weird little virtual monsters that are hiding about. This game is such a cute distraction with themes in reality that’s helping me escape depressing coronavirus chaos!
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