PokéStay or PokéGO: Musings of a Veteran Pokémon Trainer

This Monday morning, instead of waiting for the next V/Line at the platform like all of the other suits I meandered through mud, grass and asphalt to score virtual pokéballs, potions and eggs. A zubat bounced in the air, flapping its wings, and I pitched a pokéball at it, capturing the purple flyer like an amateur trainer straight outta Pallet Town.

The leaves rustled and then a doduo and a rattata suddenly appeared. With minutes to spare and no more pokéballs to throw, I ran away like a grown man who shouldn’t be lurking alone in a public place for children.

Are you caught up in this frenetic, innocent game of cockfighting for kids? Pokémon GO is now available on Android and iOS devices.

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And then a wild man-child appeared!

Like No One Ever Was

I remember the good ol’ days of Red and Blue when there were only 150 of those adorable pocket monsters to kidnap, torment and fight with. We didn’t feed our animal army and we never really cared about their wellbeing unless they fainted in combat and needed to be revived only to be called upon again for more beatings.

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Get. In. The. Bag!

And what in Johto were these kids doing on the streets; shouldn’t they be in school, working, or better yet, sleeping? The post-apocalypse is a friendly place where the youth teach creatures how to maim and society adapts to accommodate this popular hobby by providing institutions to train, fight and barter.

There are now over 700 of the little dudes in pokéLore. PokéCool! Ok, I’ll pokéStahp.

Augmented—Nostalgic—Reality

Niantic combines Google maps, a viral, insidious Japanese IP and clever technical design to trick nerds into physical exercise. Rather than skip through virtual tall grass you actually have to stumble about in the real world to encounter the critters you need to fill your menagerie.

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Unlike the classics, to train your poliwags and pidgeys you need to catch a lot of them and then sell them for sweet, sweet candy. Candy and stardust lets you upgrade and potentially evolve your Pokémon. That’s right, folks, now we’re getting our tortured creatures into drugs.

The lazier, or smarter, trainers in the world will probably sit on the toilet with incense to lure the critters. Does it smell as good as it sounds, squirtle?

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Be the envy of your trainer chums with the bonus jet plane DLC*

In your scary travels outside you may find pokéStops, special locations that drop precious pokéballs and other items when you are nearby. Sometimes the app will glitch and you’ll have issues with GPS tracking. Don’t fret, simply reset the app and your device should re-align with the global positioning satellite gods.

Eggs are not for avatar consumption. If you were jonesing for a taste of scrambled slowpoke, too bad. You can, however, incubate these eggs and then walk 2km, or whatever, to hatch them.

In a World We Must Defend

One of the coolest outdoor features of Pokémon GO is the placement of gyms. There are now turf wars with people, for real, where you nominate a pokémon to stand guard after defeating the gym leader. You will now see weirdos like myself hanging out at the most average of places trying to be the very best.

At least I assume that’s what the gist of combat is like? I’m just pulling some ideas out of the back of my abra.

Team Rocket?

Oh yeah, crack level five and you have to choose sides in this cartoonish gang war. Red, blue or yellow. We’re now fighting for a cause that is greater than our own selfish ambitions to evolve that magikarp before anyone else does in our antisocial circle.

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Just waitin’ for a mate

Let the turf wars commence! I wonder how long it will take for these virtual scuffles to turn into violent altercations? Long live Team Mystic!

You Teach Me and I’ll Teach You

What are you waiting for? Gather your friends and go on a safari. I hear that we will eventually be able to trade pokémon, too. Rally a mob and lynch all of the haters.

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If it bleeds; kill it

The Horror

Can’t get enough of the pokéMadness? Watch the original TV series on Netflix. Yes, for metapod knows how long, you can witness Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu as they embark on a journey of adventure, animal abuse and substance discovery. When the servers are down, which is frequent at the moment, at least you can depend on Nurse Joy for your fix.

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And people actually do come back later
*Bonus jet plane DLC only exists in the author’s mind
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