Mention PokemonGo, and you are likely to get one of three responses.
Response 1: What is PokemonGo?
Response 2: I love it! I’m totally addicted!
Response 3: I don’t get PokemonGo. It’s a kid thing.
If you chose number 1, what rock are you living under? PokemonGo has even been featured on Fox News. If you chose number 2, right there with you. Number 3? Well, if you had tried the game you’d be answering with response 2. I never played Pokemon as a kid. I’m just too old. My 10-year-old son, however, has been a Pokemon fan for years. He was so excited about the launch of PokemonGo and insisted that I download the game to play with him.
I’ll admit that I was hooked within a few minutes. Here are six reasons why I love PokemonGo.
- You get to customize your Pokemon trainer character. All fashionistas love being able to personalize their account. Plus, if I’m going to be running around town chasing after Pokemon, I want to look good.
- You find out that Pokemon have been secretly inhabiting the world around you without your knowledge. Suddenly, you can see them everywhere. Plus, the Pokemon that inhabit the world are different depending upon your geographic location. For instance, water types can be found near bodies of water. Playing PokemonGo is also a lesson in biology.
- PokemonGo utilizes GPS technology. Locations around you are designated as PokeStops where you can collect goods every trainer needs (like Pokeballs, potions, etc.) and PokeGyms where you can battle against other Pokemon trainers. Finding PokeStops and PokeGyms will take you all around your town, and you might get to find some new things that you didn’t know existed. For example, we found a new park while hunting down PokeStops.
- Hunting for Pokemon is a fun way to spend time with my kids. It can be hard to find things that a 12-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy want to do together, but they both love hunting and catching Pokemon. Well, other than the time that one of them caught a Pinsir and the other did not. Then a battle erupted that would put any Pokemon battle to shame. Still, for me, it’s fun to have fun with my kids. My daughter said she feels bad for kids whose parents won’t drive them around to play Pokemon (you can’t walk to PokeStops in our town). I feel bad for them and for the parents because they are missing out on a great way to bond as a family. I’ll drive them around and pull over to catch Pokemon as long as they will let me.
- Exercise. Generally, Pokemon are not going to just come to you while you sit on the couch watching Netflix. You find more when you go outside and walk around looking for them. Plus, you get eggs that only incubate and hatch when you walk around with them. It might be better than a Fitbit for getting in those extra steps each day. Lots of people are tweeting about how fit they are going to get from playing Pokemon. So, your kids will actually want to get outside and play. A novel idea.
- In a world where people feel more divided than ever, PokemonGo brings people together. Okay, I’m not sure that PokemonGo is going to bring about world peace. What I can tell you is that it brings people together to talk to each other when they would not have done so for any other reason. For example, while at a prime Pokemon location on campus last week, I struck up a conversation with some other trainers who I would not have met otherwise. This weekend while in San Francisco, we saw so many people hunting for Pokemon and talking to each other about where to catch a Squirtle. People are actually looking up from their phones and communicating with one another, which is pretty amazing.
Have you tried PokemonGo? If not, are you ready to try it now?