Its been well over a year since Pokemon Go arrived and destroyed lives, in a good way! And despite some major flubs, some minor flubs, and some inconveniences; there are still millions of players around the world catching Pokemon. Why? Well because its Pokemon.
People ask me all the time, why do you still play and my answer is “Its Pokemon!” A more complicated answer from me is that since the dawn of the GameBoy I have had a Pokemon game, I may have fell off after Emerald but Pokemon always had a special place in my heart as a must have game on a Nintendo Platform.
When the game was first pitched it was a dream! A dream many people didn’t expect would ever happen, be good, or be a passing fad. And to their credit, the mobile space is already filled with fake copies of Pokemon and AR experiences that are bad. But the pitch for Pokemon, was that it was everything we wanted and will hopefully turn into later over time: Gym badges, trading Pokemon, PvP battles, catching legendaries, catching them all, proving you’re the best trainer. We can’t do some of those things and some of that isn’t exactly as we know it but the game has evolved since launch.
My point is that when someone pitched to me that I could use my smartphone to catch Lugia and use it to defeat local gyms, I was sold.
But it also became more than that, what PoGo nailed (that’s what leet players call it…Pogo. No big deal.) the aspect of random encounters. I work in a plaza where a makeshift river runs through. I always end up catching Magikarp and I’m on my 20th Gyarados if not more. It makes you go out and explore, it makes you go out to your local mall to hang out, it makes you go out to a restaurant just for the Gym or poke-stop or the raid. And sure you’re probably just there for that, but most of the time I see businesses only profiting off of it.
For millions of players out there I’m sure there are many reasons. But I think its the challenge and social aspect it provides more than your typical mobile game or your typical video game. You’re going out instead of sitting down all day on your DS or Gameboy in your home. And its one of those things where location definitely matters; my grandmother is out in the back woods with only one pokestop and thats miles away. My cousin plays the game and he said there was nothing! So he stopped. He moved to a bigger city and there are a lot more stops and gyms and he plays it more. And it moves from being an isolated experience to interacting with other people, finding pseudo rivals that always take your gym, joining forces with other people in your team to conquer and hold a gym or an entire part of town like mine. It has created a unique experience that you can’t shit on if you don’t experience it or you have fell off because it was never something you were into outside of seeing what the hype was about.
For you, the person asking or badgering why someone else is still playing the game. Ask yourself this, when you look down at your phone and log into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all these social accounts…why do you still use one or use one more than the other or don’t delete one and move to the other? My sister says its because she wants to stay connected on all fronts. Sharing videos, sharing posts, following celebs; she lives in the experience. Now take that and apply it to gaming in general then times that by two and you have Pokemon Go.
Granted Pogo isn’t the best gaming experience. I have my gripes, but when someone asks me why I still play, I just can’t help but tell them “Because its Pokemon” and I’m having fun.
P.S. Don’t come to my city I will wreck you!