Pokemon Go

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Pokemon Go

MSRP: Free with in-app purchases

Platforms: iOS, Android

Release: 7/6/16


Somehow, I never got into Pokemon. Not the trading cards, not the handhelds.  It just wasn’t something on my radar back when it was all the rage. Now, Pokemon fever is everywhere again due to the release of Pokemon Go, the augmented-reality version.

Since its release about two weeks ago, it seems like everyone everywhere is talking about it.  Yet again, I didn’t see this as a game for me – dealing with both chronic illness and social anxiety made Pokemon Go sound like the complete opposite of what would make a video game fun for me.  Then my husband downloaded it onto my phone for me, hustled me into the car, and took me out to go Pokemon hunting.

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And although I’m still not convinced that this game is the best game ever, it definitely satisfies something in me. I get jazzed about collecting virtual stuff (as my Calibre and Steam libraries can attest to), and let’s face, most of those little critters are freaking adorable.  I still don’t entirely get the mechanics, and just glancing at the Pokemons hanging out at the local gyms I’m very much aware that there are people out there far more hardcore than I will ever be.  I have developed some crazy double-thumb, double-phone Pokestop On the Go skills, though.

Though I’m not physically capable of traipsing through the woods, walking for miles to build up my Pokedex, I’m still enjoying playing it at my speed. If I were a fighter instead of a collector, I feel like it’d be an extremely frustrating experience.  But putting my personal enjoyment aside, I think it’s absolutely fantastic that there’s a free game out there getting people up and moving.

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But like most free things, Pokemon Go could get very spendy very quickly, especially for people who want to play but can’t – or don’t want to – play as intended.  Sure, you could get a ton of Pokemon without ever leaving the comfort of your home if you buy a lot of incense (which attracts Pokemon to you, wherever you are, for a short while) and Pokeballs (which most people collect for free from Pokestops).

In our house, we frequently play out of our car.  My husband drives, and I check the maps as we wander.  We hunt Pokemon in parking lots, mostly. We fight at gyms accessible from businesses where we can get something to eat or drink and play from inside.  It’s not a game that caters to folks with disabilities of any type, but we make it work.

I absolutely understand why this app is so immensely popular, and I’m grateful that games like this exist. Though I’m so far from the target market, it’s a little embarassing, I’m also thrilled to see young people leaving the comfort of their televisions and computers to do things out in the world. It’s a seriously interesting time to be a gamer.

3 thoughts on “Pokemon Go

  1. […] someone whose entire Pokemon career is encapsulated by playing Pokemon Go on my phone, I jumped on this chance to try to see what the hype was all about. Due to not having […]

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  2. […] but has only recently come to Steam for Windows PCs. Although I have very few games on my phone (Pokemon Go and Two Dots manage to suck up enough of my time, thank you), I collect puzzle games for PC, […]

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  3. […] iPhone 6. I don’t keep many games on my phone – usually it’s just Two Dots and Pokemon Go.  I tend to prefer my mobile time waster games on the Kindle Fire, however, for no reason I can […]

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