It has taken about 24 hours for me to entirely change my opinion on Pokémon Go. I initially resisted the temptation to download it, telling myself that I was above the ‘cleverly designed but ultimately pointless reward system that Pokémon is based on’ because I am a dickhead. A dickhead who is determined to not have any fun ever.
My curiousity was piqued when my flatmate reported going to the local park to see five separate groups of people all attempting to catch the same rare Pokémon. I tentatively started reading about it online; about the guy whose house is a Pokémon gym, about the inappropriate Koffing infestation at the Holocaust Museum, about the bars that are dropping ‘lures’ to attract Pokémon (and therefore trainers) to their establishments.
And I had to trick myself, because I am a dickhead. And so I came up with this: ‘well, Pokémon Go is at the cutting edge of entertainment technology, so as someone who aspires to work in the entertainment industry, and who regularly writes about it, I really should try out Pokémon Go. Y’know, for research purposes.’ And like that, I had justified my way through my own guff of pretentiousness, registered myself an American Apple ID under the name ‘B. Obama’, and was all set to begin my Pokémon journey.
Bloody hell, it’s good. I mean, really good. It’s everything that you dreamed of as a child, squinting through the glare at the un-backlit screen of your Gameboy. On my walk to work today, I caught a Hypno and found an egg at the train station. Once I get up to Level 5, I can select the team I want to join (there are three) and start trying to capture gyms for them. I am determined to defeat the champion of the local mosque.
It truly is a revolution in the way we play videogames and how the general public view them, but most importantly: it’s a hell of a lot of fun.