I have been waiting since last November for the release of Pokemon Go. I played Ingress, Niantics first augmented reality game, until I hit level 8, got bored and moved on. But the nostalgia that Pokemon Go would create from the moment I heard about it’s pending creation, I was hooked. And so was everyone else.
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game built by Niantic in which you become the Pokemon master and your entire mission is to try to catch ’em all. What a dream come true.
If you have no idea what I am writing about, then you surely live under a Golem. Because of this, I’m not going to be going into the nitty-gritty of every detail on how to play. If that’s what you’re looking for, then stop now.
What wasn’t a dream come true though was the devastation that was the release of the game. With so much hype — and money — you’d expect the game to be released with only minor bugs, especially considering the extensive amounts of beta testers that were used prior to the release.
Mikaela Taylor, level 5 on Team Valor (red), when explaining about what she has enjoyed most about the community felt it necessary to conclude by adding, “when the servers aren’t down.”
Entire articles are dedicated to how Pokemon Go failed, and it’s no surprise since, for the entire first day of release, no one could play longer than 5 minutes with the dreaded “our servers are experiencing some issues” screen.
But this hasn’t stopped people from going out and playing the game. Facebook groups have risen en mass and there are groups for anyone to join.
“We talked to one guy walking his dogs and hunting today, and I’ve seen a ton of people out and about,” said Tyler Barnum, adjunct English teacher. “That guy was nice. He knelt down to talk to my son and let us pet his dogs.”
It’s also interesting to note that the Pokemon Go sensation hasn’t gone unnoticed by those who don’t even play the game. There have been times that random strangers, with no phones in hand (that’s a sure sign that they aren’t playing) have told me that they hope that I am doing great “catching ’em all.”
On top of having fun and building friendships, the game has also done a great job at getting people out of the house.
“One of the biggest complaints lobbed against gamers is that they never leave the house because they are glued to their screens,” said Ashley Szanter, adjunct English teacher who does not play the game. “Forming a community around gaming that encourages leaving the house is really interesting to me.”
In the end, a game, that doesn’t even work all the time and still has a long way to go before being really playable, has united the ages to get out and “catch ’em all.”