Pokemon Brings People Together
With a new Blink-182 album out, having Weird Al play just last weekend, and Pokemon making a huge comeback I was a beginning to think we had been transported back to the nineties. ...Where are my Pogs and Power Rangers? .... Oh shit, wait.
One of the biggest crazes that you definitely noticed over the past week or so, is the addition of Pokemon Go to our cultural zeitgeist. If you're still a bit out of the loop, Pokemon Go is an alternate reality game that will give you a computer-rendered version of your real-world surroundings, and in doing so allow you to interact and capture those once 8 and 16-bit Pocket Monsters.
The catch of the game isn't just catching Pokemon but in the fact that the game encourages the players to get out and move around. The game will place Poke-Stops at various local businesses and popular spots around town, and in order to refill supplies for your in game character you must visit said Poke-Stops. Now, a Poke Stop could be anything from a restaurant to a coffee shop, to a tourist attraction, it all depends. In order to capture, evolve, and train up your Pokemon the game encourages (read: makes) you get out and walk around. Which in my opinion is not an all too terrible thing, considering today's sedentary age of technology.
This game seemingly presents several positives as well as negatives. Obviously one of better positives would be that some people are probably seeing actual sunlight for the first time in a few years. As a person that doesn't play the game and yet enjoys a good walk or hike, I've noticed this myself. I was at Renaissance Park just the other day and noticed gaggles of people standing around all holding their phones out. I was privy to the phenomenon so I didn't think much of it, but one thing I did notice that I thought was just badass was the diversity. I noticed people of different nationalities, ages, and styles. This is a pretty damn cool thing, in an age where it's common place that we have so much hate due to minor differences.
So despite people driving and Pokemon-ing and even getting robbed while Pokemon-ing, it is great to see something like this bringing people together in a time when finding mutual things to love together as Chattanoogans, Americans, and Humans.