One Of Us! One Of Us!

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I don’t get this Pokémon Go thing.

It’s been out a week, and folks have been going absolutely bonkers over this game. I’ve heard a couple of negative stories, like the threesome that was waiting at a PokéStop to rob people who were stopping by for supplies, or the girl that discovered a dead body floating in a creek while hunting for the little critters. But far and away, the stories I’ve heard have been phenomenal. The story of those who were previously homebound due to anxiety getting out and exploring their neighborhoods and socializing with others. The article from Inc. magazine on how to utilize Pokémon Go as a marketing tool to maximize foot traffic into your place of business. The story of the kids who were traveling as a group, taking turns catching Pokémon, who got beat to a find by an old man walking his dog. The kid on the autistic spectrum who broke out of his routine, engaged strangers in conversations, and occasionally even looked people in the eye during his first outing with the game. The multiple stories of how the game has had an immediate and noticeable effect on players’ mental health.

I went to therapy today and discussed Pokémon Go with my therapist, and told her about these stories and more. I said that my wife had downloaded the game and was having fun with it, and that she’d let me catch a couple for her, and that she noticed that I got excited when I caught them. And my therapist told me that she thought it would be a good idea for me to download it and start playing.

So I did.

I can tell you the game is as fun as my wife made it look. I took advantage of the starter trick – let the three choices (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle) for your first Pokémon spawn, then walk away until they respawn, and keep repeating this process until they respawn with a fourth selection – Pikachu. Since I started playing about an hour and a half ago, I’ve gotten a little exercise, set off an incense from the comfort of my couch, and caught a total of eleven Pokémon while making it over halfway to level four. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of them yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Like I said before, I don’t get this Pokémon Go thing. I hope that I’ll eventually find myself out and about looking for wild Pokémon and strike up conversations with other players. It would be good for me socially, and the walking would do me a lot of good too.

One last thing – my wife’s favorite Pokémon is Snorlax, which means that I’ve grown a little fond of him as well. Neither of us have one, but the closest gym to the house is currently being held by a Snorlax.

Just don’t ask me what team I’m on. I haven’t got a clue which to choose yet.

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