Pokémon GO

“This is the world I want to live in,” I said to Zach.

We were walking down a long flight of stairs, following a group of strangers to the local marina and leaving our friends behind.

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But this isn’t a weird horror movie (thank god); we had just finished a Raid battle with Lapras as the Pokémon to catch, the friends we left behind would be joining up with us again later, it was broad daylight in a populated area, and the strangers were fellow Pokémon GO players.

Oddish is my absolute favorite Pokémon ❤

We were following them because there was another Raid battle down at the marina (strength in numbers!) with a Moltres up for catching, and I ended up getting turned around while trying to get to the end of the dock where the battle was located. I’m sure I looked obviously puzzled, and was wondering aloud which ramp I needed to take when a man walking the opposite way shouted, “Are you looking for Moltres?” I nodded at him, and he pointed us in the correct direction. It made me so happy that I accidentally dipped into agony for a second.

Good ol’ Zach captured the surge of emotion

Finally we met up with the other players. It seemed to be a mishmash of people, mostly duos who had met up to make one mega team. After an intense battle our group successfully won the Raid and I, to my great frustration, failed to catch the Moltres. But Zach caught it so that’s great for him I guess. Once the Raid was over he and I swapped Friend Codes with the strangers before going our separate ways, and now we have plenty more people to give Gifts to (and more people to receive them from, of course). I like that the game allows and encourages me to give gifts – what other games do that?

There were seven of us battling together for the Moltres

I never spend time at this marina, so it was a lot of fun to explore!

Pokémon GO is a bright spot of hope in a world that feels hopeless. It brings people together in a way that rarely happens at church, concerts, or sporting events (for me, at least, although I’m not a church-goer and I’m not big on sports, so perhaps I’m not the best person to make such a comparison. In fact, I’m a downright terrible person to do so. Oh well). The immediate establishment of camaraderie is what I’m referring to. I want to live in a world where strangers can trust one another, where community pride is important because it means where you live is a safe place to play, and where local businesses are patronized more often (or newly discovered!) because of friendly gamers roaming the streets.

I tried the Pokémon Go drink at Starbucks because it sounded delicious. It was delicious. It was also a pain in the ass. LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE SEEDS. I was pulling them out of my mouth 7-10 at a time. They should run this through a dang sieve.

As the day progressed we moved to a new location (a teeny, cutesy, quiet park near the waterfront) and met up with our friends again. The sun was out, the sky was blue, the clouds were fluffy and white. It was a cliched, fantastic good time, and I realized with a thrill that this is the world I’m living in. I was wishing for something that I already had. It’s certainly not perfect every day, but damn, the world of my dreams was actively happening around me and I’m just relieved that I realized it and took the time to appreciate it.

Pokémon Go brings people together. It’s a wholesome and unifying experience and I have a fantastic time whenever I play it, whether I’m alone on a quiet walk or running around town with my friends. As a 13 year old I wrote fan fiction about traveling the countryside with friends while on a Pokémon adventure, and dammit that’s exactly what I did on this day.

Feels like I’m making progress in finding happiness closer to home. It’s pretty neat-o bazit-o.

x – happy beast


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