And I have to admit, even I have been captivated by this game. Part of it comes from the nostalgia my generation has from growing up with the original game, but part of it is just that the game is really kinda, well, cool. The augmented reality function may drain my phone's battery like crazy, but some of the little snaps I've grabbed while out on a short run or waiting in line for bathrooms at a race make me giggle.
Many people whine about the dangers of the game, and it's true that walking, biking, or even driving blindly while trying to play can be a major issue. It's also true that there has been violence and theft associated with game play. But at its core, the Pokemon GO craze has mostly been a positive force, encouraging more people to increase their activity. Just like fancy pedometers like the FitBit or Jawbone UP encourage people to hit a target number of steps per day, Pokemon GO encourages activity by requiring distances from 2k to 10k be covered in order to hatch in-game eggs for a wider range of Pokemon. Even if you're not playing to hatch eggs, there are only so many types of Pokemon you can catch from the couch.
It's not just physical activity that is heightened by playing the game. Social interactions generated by game play has astonished me. When I end up near a Poke-gym or a good location for Poke-stops, I often find myself meeting new people in my area. Even if it's only for a few minutes, I'm connecting with people over a shared interest and getting face time with interesting personalities, where other games would have me interacting only with emotionless fonts and cartoonish avatars. One night at a nearby Poke-nexus, we ended up with a huge impromptu gathering with dozens of players, covering all ages from young child to grandparent, all hanging out and chatting while we took turns dropping lures, catching Pokemon, and battling over the nearby gym. To be completely honest, it was an absolute blast!
So from my perspective, I can't help but think it's actually okay for people to be so captivated by Pokemon GO. I've had nothing but good experiences with the game, and everyone I know or have met who plays does so with common sense and caution. Any experience can be dangerous if done irresponsibly, but when proper consideration is taken, many things that are labeled as "dangerous" or "disruptive" can truly be awesome.
Have you tried Pokemon GO? Has your experience been a positive one? What fads or crazes have you seen create a positive impact on society? Tell me about it in the comments! And as always, check out the Wednesday Word linkup to see how other bloggers create consistency! Hosted as always by the wonderful Deb Runs, check back every week for another Wednesday Word and a new batch of great posts!